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Publisher's Summary

One of the great fears many of us face is that despite all our effort and striving, we will discover at the end that we have wasted our life. In A Guide to the Good Life, William B. Irvine plumbs the wisdom of Stoic philosophy, one of the most popular and successful schools of thought in ancient Rome, and shows how its insight and advice are still remarkably applicable to modern lives. In A Guide to the Good Life, Irvine offers a refreshing presentation of Stoicism, showing how this ancient philosophy can still direct us toward a better life.
Using the psychological insights and the practical techniques of the Stoics, Irvine offers a roadmap for anyone seeking to avoid the feelings of chronic dissatisfaction that plague so many of us. Irvine looks at various Stoic techniques for attaining tranquility and shows how to put these techniques to work in our own life. As he does so, he describes his own experiences practicing Stoicism and offers valuable first-hand advice for anyone wishing to live better by following in the footsteps of these ancient philosophers. Listeners learn how to minimize worry, how to let go of the past and focus our efforts on the things we can control, and how to deal with insults, grief, old age, and the distracting temptations of fame and fortune. We learn from Marcus Aurelius the importance of prizing only things of true value, and from Epictetus we learn how to be more content with what we have.
Finally, A Guide to the Good Life shows listeners how to become thoughtful observers of their own lives. If we watch ourselves as we go about our daily business and later reflect on what we saw, we can better identify the sources of distress and eventually avoid that pain in our life. By doing this, the Stoics thought, we can hope to attain a truly joyful life.
©2009 William B. Irvine (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Gerard Sanroma Guell on 01-24-15

Excellent contemporary view of stoicism

Great book explaining stoicism in a contemporary way.
It reads very smoothly. Well structured and the author presents the concepts in a way relevant to our days.
I particularly liked the ending when justifies stoicism from an evolutionary point of view. This is a nice contribution of the author.
I also liked the personal experience of the author while practicing stoicism.
Finally it suggests some further reading.
Very interesting book. Accessible. The author makes the points very clear in my opinion.
I like the narrator too. Not too slow (like others I have heard).
Great book. Thanks.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful

By Sam A. Havens on 04-27-15


This is a great book, and the narrator fits perfectly. I would recommend this title to any thoughtful friend or family member. I started this book at a real low point, and found this profoundly helpful. Also, unlike most books that offer life advice, the author is clearly a smart, logical individual who thinks carefully about what he says and explains what it is like to put his advice into practice.

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By KarlK on 09-10-14

Great follow up to the Antidote by Oliver Burkeman

Would you listen to A Guide to the Good Life again? Why?

Yes, lots of ideas that need to be reiterated in order to fully grasp in a practical way

What about James Patrick Cronin’s performance did you like?

Narration a little spaced apart or something, kindof like it was read by a computer - you get used to it but could have been a bit more fluid.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me think about the way I think and how I perceive life's joys as well as challenges, definitely be implementing some stoic traits

Any additional comments?

Can't wait until they get more of Irvine's books on audible, just don't seem to like old school reading

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

By JASON on 01-10-14


Where does A Guide to the Good Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Very interesting and very insightful. A great hybrid between philosophy and personal development. Thoroughly recommended.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mikhail on 03-14-16

Perfect introduction to stoicism

I loved the way this book is structured. The flow from one chapter to the other seems perfect. This book have enough information to understand the basics of stoicism and how and why you should practice it. In addition to that, the book creates an interest to further read on the topic. I would suggest this book to anyone that has always felt different to others, and feel like they are waking up from a dream to learn the truth. I rated this book 5/5 because it was worth my time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Amazon Customer on 02-15-16

Really good introduction

This book provided a thorough overview into the philosophy and (importantly) the actual practice of stoicism. Irvine fills in a few gaps and modernises this at times though acknowledges this clearly. All round a great listen!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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