The Art of Asking

  • by Amanda Palmer, Brené Brown (foreword)
  • Narrated by Amanda Palmer
  • 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When we really see each other, we want to help each other."
—Amanda Palmer
Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter - they've taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she had learned how to ask, she was able to go to the world to ask for the money to make a new album and tour with it, and to raise over a million dollars in a month.
In The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use these same principles in our own lives.

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What the Critics Say

"Amanda Palmer's resonant yet intimate reading is captivating - but in a way that keeps listeners wondering whether it's her wisdom about emotional connections or her outspoken self-promotion that makes this audio so powerful. She turned the skills she developed as a street busker and nightclub stripper into crowdfunding her indie rock career and sharing her ideals about human exchanges in a TED talk that garnered six million views. Bringing authenticity to her audiobook performance, she sells herself as a new millennium woman who knows something about inviting people to understand her and enter into productive exchanges with her. Her dramatic and seductive vocal style makes her message unforgettable: Asking for what you want and need will make you a more genuine participant in the human experience." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Love the book. Palmer reads and sings here!

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Asking the most enjoyable?

Amazing to hear Amanda Palmer read this to me, play music, sing her songs. The book is potentially life-altering without these additional courtesies ... with them, it's magic.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Art of Asking?

The things that hurt, are sad, are powerful. In one example, someone claims to have lost her family in a disaster to get Amanda's attention. And her response, that it's a tragedy either way, is the wisest possible.


What about Amanda Palmer’s performance did you like?

It feels very real and immediate to me, not that I'm an expert on this -- I feel like we've been on a journey together. Palmer and I are different, and my life isn't, couldn't be, much like hers -- but I am inspired, grateful, and changed.


What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

This book has so many things in it. I'll remember the way autobiography frames, and makes relevant, the citation of research. I'll remember the call to love and be loved, and admonition to ask for what I need, the advice that there isn't always a crowd who can hear and deliver on any given request.


Any additional comments?

The profanity in the book is not obnoxious, but it means I don't feel comfortable giving it to, for example, Mom.

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- Matthew

Worth it.

What did you love best about The Art of Asking?

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If you’ve listened to books by Amanda Palmer and Brené Brown (foreword) before, how does this one compare?

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Have you listened to any of Amanda Palmer’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

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What did you learn from The Art of Asking that you would use in your daily life?

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Any additional comments?

This book is not so much about the art of asking as it is about the author's life. That said, Amanda Palmer seems to live her life more interestingly, candidly, and intuitively than the rest of us so it's most likely worth your while regardless. I was not a Dresden Dolls fan or an Amanda Palmer fan before listening to the audiobook (though I had seen her TED talk), but her honesty and appetite for connection really impressed me. The audiobook also includes all kinds of musical stylings and interludes, so I recommend it over the print version.

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- Mark Mulvey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-11-2014
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio