The Art of Living

  • by Epictetus (translated by Sharon Lebell)
  • Narrated by Richard Bolles
  • 1 hrs and 30 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Epictetus, one of the greatest of the ancient thinkers, believed that the primary mission of philosophy is to help ordinary people meet the challenges of daily life and deal with losses, disappointments, and grief. His prescription for the good life: master desires, perform one's duties, and learn to think clearly about oneself and the larger community. This recording includes an interview with philosopher Jacob Needleman on the significance of Epictetus' work.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Invaluable Life Lessons

I love this book and listen to parts of it every day as it has the clearest and most workable philosophy of life that I have ever found.

The basics of Stoicism can be gleaned from the opening lines: "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not."

This book may not appeal to everyone since the philosophy runs counter to much of the dogma of popular culture.

Stoicism, as explained in this book, is a no-nonsense and straightforward philosophy. In life, there are some things you can control and some things you can’t. You focus on the things you can control, like what you eat and drink, and ignore things you can’t control like civil war in Syria or who is going to win American Idol.

Epictetus also advises against getting caught up in other people's problems or opinions.

"It is a fact of life that other people, even people who love you, will not necessarily agree with your ideas, understand you, or share your enthusiasms. Grow up! Who cares what other people think about you!"

As you can see from these quotes this translation is in understandable conversational English. And the narration here is very good.
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- Richard Seeley

A fine work but poorly narrated

What didn’t you like about Richard Bolles’s performance?

Bolles's rate of speech is choppy and lacks the knowledge of how Language flows. For example, when speaking in Classical Greek or Roman Latin emphasis and rate of speech is just as important as reading English to convey the moral point of the lesson. For example, compare the Tao Te Ching translated and narrated by Stephen Mitchell to Bolles's and one will hear the importance of understanding the original language in order to correctly place emphasis to convey the moral point of the lesson.


Any additional comments?

Get someone more skilled to redo a narration of this work.

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- Steve

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-15-1999
  • Publisher: Phoenix Books