• The Age of Absurdity

  • Why Modern Life Makes It Hard to Be Happy
  • By: Michael Foley
  • Narrated by: John O'Mahony
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-26-16
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.3 (56 ratings)

Regular price: $15.98

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Publisher's Summary

The good news is that the great thinkers from history have proposed the same strategies for happiness and fulfilment. The bad news is that these turn out to be the very things most discouraged by contemporary culture. This knotty dilemma is the subject of The Age of Absurdity - a wry and accessible investigation into how the desirable states of well-being and satisfaction are constantly undermined by modern life.
Michael Foley examines the elusive condition of happiness common to philosophy, spiritual teachings and contemporary psychology, then shows how these are becoming increasingly difficult to apply in a world of high expectations. The common challenges of earning a living, maintaining a relationship and ageing are becoming battlegrounds of existential angst and self-loathing in a culture that demands conspicuous consumption, high-octane partnerships and perpetual youth.
In conclusion, rather than denouncing and rejecting the age, Foley presents an entertaining strategy of not just accepting but embracing today's world - finding happiness in its absurdity.
Cover credit: The Caravan Gallery.
©2011 Michael Foley (P)2016 Audible, Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Jeremy Sanderson on 11-09-17

A curmudgeonly rant

I regret wasting a credit on this book and confess I didn't make it past the first chapter, the purpose of which is to generally set the tone for the rest of the book. If you are a cynical curmudgeon, looking for something to confirm and validate all of your negative biases then this is the book for you. If, on the other hand you have, like me, suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune to arrive at a happy and contented middle age, then this book will do little more than put you in a negative mood for the rest of the day. I bought the book half expecting the sort of satirical observation that Bill Bryson does so well, but the author of this comes across as angry, bitter and lacking any redeeming charm. I would imagine him to be the sort of dinner guest who seldom gets invited twice. How can I be so judgmental having only listened to the first chapter, you may ask. Because I rapidly found myself losing the will to live, and that alone was reason enough to switch it off, swallow the loss of a credit and go and do something more enjoyable with my time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By David Pinkus on 05-16-17

Pointless, absurd rant. Save your money.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the book had any point whatsoever. The first half of it is an endless rant of nonsense, then he tries to salvage it by quoting the popular research that you find everybody quoting in modern non-fiction books.

What was most disappointing about Michael Foley’s story?

The endless banter that went on and on and on, all while waiting for a point.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John O'Mahony?

I don't think his accent helped at all.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Where's my money? How do I return this? I really paid for this?

Any additional comments?

I'd like my money back. Or a credit or something. Seriously, this was a waste of time.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By WildMike on 08-31-16

In yer face modern philosophy!

Laced with a cynical barb Foley's words are sharp, intelligent and funny. Well read too.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By A Person on 11-19-16

A very long moan interspersed with occasional wit

Quite early on in the book Foley makes the perceptive observation that no philosopher ever recommended moaning about the world. Foley would do well to listen to himself.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Todd Murphy on 06-12-17

Brilliant narration

Perfect choice of narrator. Makes for an audio book that I can easily recommend over reading the paper version for that alone.

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