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Publisher's Summary

Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In this book, Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world's mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.
As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists - including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers - and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.
©2008 Third edition (with revisions) © 2008 by the Joseph Campbell Foundation (jcf.org). (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Second edition (with revisions) © 1968 by Princeton University Press. Original edition © 1949 by Bollingen Foundation and published by Pantheon Books.
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Critic Reviews

"Arthur Morey, John Lee, and Susan Denaker are an adept and experienced performance team. The way they trade voices adds texture to the complex compendium of stories." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

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By Learner on 02-09-16

Meaningful and thought-provoking

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is of course a classic, valued by artists, novelists and humanities-lovers for decades. Interesting note: George Lucas and Star Wars were heavily influences by this book.

Outside of religious scripture, this is one of the most meaningful and thought-provoking books I've read. Drawing on archetypes - deep universal constructs in our human psyche - Campbell explains how we are all on (or could be on) a meaningful heroic journey.

This book was written when the ideas of Freud and Jung were all the rage. Freud has not aged too well. But Jung had a lot of intuition about the human soul that still resonates.

Campbell includes many fascinating accounts of dreams and world myths. "Myth" in this sense means a story with meaningful symbols that convey universal insights, as well as teaching the values of the culture in which the myth originated. Jung and Freud believed that dreams and myths contain subconscious truths.

I've owned the hard copy for years but found it difficult reading. I don't think Campbell was a great writer. But his ideas are mind-blowing. In audio-book form I have finally been able to enjoy this book. I highly recommend it.

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66 of 67 people found this review helpful


By DBruno1987 on 10-25-16

Hard to finish

I love the ideas that Joseph Campbell has given us in his career. I just don't think this book is a concise enough presentation of those ideas. I listen to lots of different audio books while driving, and many are very engaging. This one just wasn't... I could never follow what was being presented, and it seemed all over the place. I don't think the material was "over my head," I just think I got bored listening to it. Often times the quotes from the myths and stories read by the female and the british narrators were just thrown in without introduction or explanation. I would occasionally hear an idea that resonated with me, where I'd think "ohhh cool!" But that happened only once in a while, in the middle of a sea or drawn out boring narration.

Sorry, love JC, but not this audiobook:

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Dr Nik Jewell on 10-01-17

A triumph of over generalisation and reductionism

I've got half way through this and am returning it. I am obviously aware that this work is treated with great reverence (it was allegedly an inspiration for Star Wars after all!).

I'm afraid that I just find it a triumph of over generalisation and reductionism. Campbell knits together the worlds mythologies and the stories therein are interesting and pleasant to listen to; it is the connecting material that is sadly lacking.

For Campbell, it seems, mythology and religion are to be conflated. The difference is that the former is directed at a local audience whereas the latter is a mythology for everyone.

After making this dodgy reductionist move the field is open for Campbell to further reduce and over generalise everything he can find to fit into a single monomyth about the hero.

The superficial similarities of many stories worldwide is further to be analysed in terms of rights of passage, Freudian and Jungian themes. This type of psychoanalytic analysis (something that I am not amenable to) dates the book.

What really had me choking on my cornflakes however was the chapter on Buddhism. Not withstanding some questionable translations, Campbell grossly mischaracterises it, trots out the Heart Sutra as if he has the first clue what it means (I think we can safely conclude that he has not himself transcended subject-object duality), and then proceeds to conflate every duality he can lay his hands on. It's utterly meaningless garbage.

Enough was enough for me at this point. It is great that Audible allows you to return books.

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5 of 7 people found this review helpful


By R-the Relentless on 08-25-17

Brilliant! super informative and expertly narrated

loved it- wonderful narration and beautiful context and content. very educational, entertaining and intellectually comprehensive.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Amazon Customer on 11-12-17

Every writer should read this.

Great book on the structure of stories. It's written in the dense style of the early 20th century so it can be needlessly wordy in parts but it's worth the slog.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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