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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Secular society has failed to provide us with a guide on how to live. As Krznaric suggests, the self-help literature and the psychology of happiness seem unsatisfactory and superficial. His approach, which seems so obvious and compelling once embarked upon, is to seek guidance from history. This beautiful book draws inspiration from how those before us have made sense of the things that matter most to us: love, family, empathy, work, time, money, creativity, belief, and death. Krznaric effortlessly draws on the vast richness of how people have lived in the past. We discover that despite our many forms of progress, often those before us had far deeper conceptions of how to live. Love has a far more subtle and varied form in Confucian, Buddhist and ancient Greek thought. Time, "the tyranny of the clock" which Krznaric describes, has not always been our master. Rushing to achieve more we often succeed only in experiencing and understanding less. There are wonderful alternatives, such as the Balinese concepts of "full days" and "empty days". Nothing in this book is predictable, or dull. Intriguingly, family conversation is something we have struggled with as much in the past as the present. But the ways in which we have failed, and the examples of cultures that succeed, can provide guidance. The range of sources and relevance of this book is impressive. But Krznaric keeps his erudition hidden; his wisdom comes to the fore. This book is not just a guide on how to live. Reading this book is an end in itself. It is a deep, moving, pleasure.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
What the author manages to do very well in this book is to raise deeply important messages and discuss them in a very rich, yet very accessible manner. This is very fitting for our time. Our minds are overloaded by information and stimuli of mostly dubious value. This book strives for and achives the opposite: its enormous value is rendered in a succint prose, which is both warm and personal, and full of inspiring and instigating energy. Make no mistake: the message here is as important as is simple, because it touches us in a very direct yet profound way.

I suggest you read first the section on "Belief", then put the book down for a day in order to absrb that one specific message. Let it resonate in your consciousness with unrestricted selff-honesty. That will sure move something deep inside your mind, and your very notion of being. Then move on to the rest of the book and let the author's clear-minded, mature, empathic, and passionate prose travel freely in every realm of your existence and change your life. For the wisdom expounded in the book is transformational, in that it can set you free from the many virtual shackles our age.

If you want to (re)claim freedom and (re)set yourself on a path of practical wisdom and liberating happiness, you should absolutely read this book and recommend it to your dear ones.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had the chance to hear Roman Krznaric speak at the Wilderness Festival in 2012 and because of that, bought his book The Wonderbox. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Krznaric writes about love, friendship and community (and many other subjects) with a sense of introspection and excitement at the possibilities of how they could be defined in a more fulfilling way. The lovely thing is, that he does it using history as context. It was quite an interesting, uplifting read - I have passed my copy on to family and friends and think it will stay on our library shelves indefinitely.

(Please note that I didn't give it five stars because I think that would set unrealistic expectations about any piece.)
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Of course it's always a question of expectations, but I thought this book would offer more solid philosophy than opinion. Sadly, no. And the writing is turgid and slow. Oh well.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I think this is a fabulous, fabulous book and I just loved reading it. So much so I have started to re-read after just finishing. Such
insight, such great stories. Inspiring, questioning and relevant. I just hope more people read it and absorb some of the things he discusses.
Having said this, it is interesting and absorbing but I want to absorb more! There is so much to take in but it is written in such an engaging
way that I know I am going to enjoy it just as much, if not more, on my second visit. Thank-you Roman, for your inspired book.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this on a local newspaper review and was really looking forward to it. I am 20% of the way through and I am ready to put it to one side or use it as a reference book. The examples he uses are excellent and meaningful, his scholarship and the structure of the book is fine.

My problem is basically with him. I do not want or need his philosophy permeating all aspects of this book or, more correctly making assumptions about the rightness or wrongness of his readers. The historical references are strong enough on their own and do not need a post modern take on them. Far better to lay out the instructions from history and let readers take their own course rather than his ham fisted way to lead them with his own modern view of the world.

I would not mind if his philosophy was sophisticated but it is nothing more than you can read anywhere on a left wing blog or a social democrats web page. Lacking depth, yet with an idea of his own right view, is what lets this very fine idea for a book down.

It reminds of an annoying habit with reporters which I dislike, "This morning my wife said to me blah! blah! blah!". At times I feel a bit like this with this author.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Overall good communication, good value, good customer service! Worth your money, and it is a good investment. I would recommend
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Reading for a course. Kind of circuitous in topics and a bity obtuse. That is all I have to say.
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