The Age of Absurdity

  • by Michael Foley
  • Narrated by John O'Mahony
  • 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Funny, on point and cranky

The narration is top notch and the subject matter is compelling and presented in a quite humorous fashion. I do feel like some concepts were over simplified to allow for a more cohesive narrative, but that is forgivable given the depth of the subject matter.
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- The Madadh

A few tidbits here and there, but primarily an old man's rant

If you come away with anything from this book, it should be that "the striving for happiness is itself the happiness." There are several variations on the theme repeated around the book. But unfortunately, most of it just comes across as an older guy passing snarky, sarcastic judgment on some of society's newer trends. In particular, his obvious derision for people who derive pleasure from video games is cringe-inducing.
In many examples, he brings up ridiculous strawmen and then dutifully crushes them as he attempts to point out the "absurdity" of modern life. But I doubt many of the likely readers of this book has ever fallen to some of the depths that he uses as examples.
I'm not sure whether I should praise or damn Audible for using an Irish narrator to read an Irish author's book, but it is Mr. O'Mahony's reading which gives this title all of its dripping sarcasm, whether or not that was the original author's intent.
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- Scott

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-26-2016
  • Publisher: Audible Studios