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Showing 1-10 of 3,202 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,763 reviews
on November 18, 2016
If you're in pain, read this book. If you're scared, read this book. If you are lost, read this book. If you are happy, read this book. If you have time, read this book. If you don't have time, read this book. Read this book, read this book.

"We who lived in the concentration camps can remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others, giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms--to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way."
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on September 23, 2016
I read this in college and ordered again to read some 40 years later. Frankl relates the severe conditions in the concentration camp. Those without any purpose seemed to perish. Those that had developed purpose and meaning to the harsh conditions got out of bed every morning to face another unbearable day. this book is a classic. anything less than 5 stars would be a reflection on me.
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on August 22, 2017
Any attempt towards writing what this book beholds is a futile attempt, for it is a great piece that gets its essence from the experiences of author and several other unnamed people in Auschwitz concentration camp. Hence what I intend to do here is just to write about the key messages from the book. The book is not only must read, but is also a must have in one’s personal collection of books.

While author had the core idea of the book (logotherapy) even before he was sent to Auschwitz concentration camp, his experiences at the camp and those of fellow inmates helped in existential validation of Logotherapy, and today have made it more understandable and relatable for the readers. Logotherapy has its roots in “logos”. Logos is a Greek work that denotes “meaning”. Logotherapy focuses on the meaning of human existence as well as on man’s search for such a meaning. As per Logotherapy, striving to find a meaning is the primary motivational force in a man, and is what keeps man’s desire to live alive.

The core message of the book is “He who has a ‘why’ to live for can bear with almost any ‘how’”. Finding the ‘why’ to live i.e. finding ‘meaning’ in life, and then enduring the ‘how’s is what life is. There are three ways in which man discovers meaning in life:
1. Creating something or doing a deed - artists, scientists, researchers etc.
2. Experiencing something or encountering someone such as goodness, truth and beauty, and by experiencing nature and culture or, last but not the least, by experiencing another human being in his very uniqueness - by loving him
3. By the attitude we take towards unavoidable suffering - like that of concentration camp experience i.e. by turning one’s predicament into human achievement

While # 1 & # 2 are relatively easier to comprehend, # 3 warrants some discussion. Author goes on to explain how people have, in many cases, been able to turn their predicament into achievement. The key thing to understand is - in some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning! For the inmates in camp it was a realization that their loved ones are waiting on the other side, or that only they can complete an experiment which was just about to be completed before they were sent to the camp. The author elaborates this principle further through the case of an elderly gentleman who went to see a psychologist because of depression he was suffering, since two years post his wife’s death. The psychologist asked him one question - “What would have happened, if you had died first, and your wife would have had to survive you?” “Oh”, he said, “This would have been terrible for her; how she would have suffered”. Wherein psychologist replied - that the gentleman in fact saved his wife from suffering, at the price of surviving and mourning her. The gentleman left with a sigh of relief!
If Life has a meaning, then suffering also has to have a meaning - since it is an inevitable part of life. Whether one is worth of his/her sufferings is the thing that makes the difference! Reminds me of the Hindi / Urdu quote by Muhammad Iqbal -“Khudi ko kar buland itna ke har taqdeer se pehle Khuda bande se khud pooche bata teri raza kya hai.”

Life’s meaning can be discovered well through # 1 & # 2 above too, but what do you do in face of un-avoidable suffering? “Suffering” isn’t a bad thing - it is just another way in which meaning of life is realized – it is an opportunity to turn your predicament into achievement

Coming back to the book - It has been published in 21 other languages, English editions have sold more than 12 MN copies, and have seen more than 100 printings. Logotherapy itself was published originally in German in 20 volumes. If I have to keep only one book in my personal library it would be this.
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on August 15, 2016
Victor Frankl has remarkably offered some answers to some of the important questions of existentialism. His brief description of the life in concentration camps during World War 2 plunges the readers in some of the worst tribulations that humans can experience. He introduces the concept of logotherapy which emphasizes the ability of men to overcome the most difficult situations. He discusses the principle of responsibleness which should be perceived as the cornerstone of our deeds. He also presents practical examples of the ways to find meaning in our life. While psychoanalysis focuses on studying the past, he proposes logotherapy which focuses on the mental attitude to find meaning in everything and look forward to the future. I would strongly recommend this book to whoever struggles with the meaning of life, to students in psychology, and everyone.
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on August 25, 2016
This is the single most influential book in my life. Puts individual suffering into perspective and provides practical help which reassures and comforts. I buy extra copies to give away to certain people who would seem to benefit from its message. The message is extraordinary considering its source (a survivor of Jewish concentration camp)
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on May 25, 2017
Every person should read this book. Make your children read this when they get old enough. Make your grandchildren read it.

If you have not read it... you will understand why everyone needs to read this before you even finish the first chapter.

Buy it, and pass it down to your children.
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on August 22, 2017
Ignorance is bliss only when it is singularly focused.

As this book makes the case that only imagined fantasies drive our lives.

If you want to live long and healthy with success upon this earth?

Then imagine yourself living for some higher holy cause and this will in turn drive you to a very long successful healthy life.
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on June 26, 2017
It was a very intriguing book and really changed the way I look at life. The second part was a little tough to get through, but still worth it.
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on July 26, 2017
This is direct and to the point. The content is unimaginably well planned and instructive. I hate to read... but I couldn't put this down. I believe that I will read and re-read this again and again. I have already suggested this to many friends , my children and my spouse.
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on March 12, 2016
Mr. Frankel's answer to the, "Why am I here?" question is both thoughtful and thought provoking. It is shaped in large measure by having survived the holocaust. His position is one of unshakable hope in the face of what can only be described as the ultimate hopeless situation. His factual description of life in the Nazi camps is both horrific and fascinating as the backdrop for his philosophy. It is not so much a "preach," as it is a discourse on why he feels the way he does. He is less selling a philosophy and more explaining how he arrived at it. I found it interesting that the question he addresses is "Why am I here?" and not "Why are we here?". It makes his answer more personal and more accessible and actionable by the individual reader without sacrificing its applicability to the collective "Man" in the title.
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