66 of 75 people found the following review helpful
For many, it's a life-changing read,
This review is from: The Road Less Traveled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth (Paperback)
How amazing that we are still writing reviews on this record-breaking book 30 years after its writing! As another reviewer said, "The Road Less Traveled had an epiphany effect on my life." That has surely been the case for thousands of readers. Peck's insights into spirituality (not to be confused with religion) had a far more profound, immediate and direct effect on my adult spirituality than did my strict religious upbringing and my entire education at private religious schools (without disparaging the lessons of my childhood rearing).
The section of this book titled "Discipline" taught me that "spiritual" means more than just religious--and I have been infinitely more in tune with my spiritual side (the non-physical aspects of who I am) in the 20 years since the first of my many readings of this book than I ever was before.
The advice on love is indispensable. I used to tell everyone I dated that our relationship could not proceed until after they'd read that section--so they'd know what love is and is not! Another favorite section is where Peck talks about how most people stop drawing their maps of the world (their view of reality) at an early age because it is extremely painful to make revisions. But wise people embrace the pain of constantly redrawing our maps because it results in great rewards of meaning and purpose.
Some have mocked Peck's first sentence, "Life is difficult," as a great big "duh." They fail to mention the point he makes... how he builds on that. According to testimony, entire lives have been changed by the end of page one. Life's most important truths are the simplest ones (I learned that from this book, and it is so true!), and once we understand that life is difficult by definition, instead of assuming it is expected to be relatively easy, then suddenly it no longer seems the world is against us personally, and life is no longer so difficult. One page, changed lives!
I have given 20 to 40 copies of this book as gifts over time. But I always recommended only the sections on Discipline and Love. I told them I really didn't get much from the section on Grace, and that they should take it or leave it as they wished. (I can't deduct a star for this, since the rest of the book is so good.) I also agree with those who have said parts of the book are a difficult read. My first copy was a gift to me, and I didn't read it for several years, not until too many people recommended it for me to ignore it any longer. I had gotten bogged down in the case histories--the psychiatry talk. But be patient. The good parts are always just around the corner.
A book this successful, this enduring, and with so many accolades and favorable testimonies cannot be ignored by wise, thoughtful people.