Editor reviews

Man’s Search for Meaning is the deeply moving autobiographical audiobook written by world-renown psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl and narrated by award-winning voice actor Simon Vance. Frankl suffered immeasurable torture and depravity at the hands of Nazi soldiers during World War II. It was during this horrific time in his life that he started to develop the highly effective psychotherapy known as logotherapy. This listening experience is one that sees you explore Frankl’s remarkable life story and his belief that at the very core of what it means to be human lies an unending search for meaning. Available now from Audible.
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Summary

Internationally renowned psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl, endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps. During, and partly because of, his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning. Man's Search for Meaning is more than a story of Viktor E. Frankl's triumph: it is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and an introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day.
©1959, 1962, 1984 Viktor E. Frankl (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks
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Critic reviews

"An enduring work of survival literature." ( The New York Times)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jim Vaughan on 02-12-12

Potentially life changing...

So, we all know about the Holocaust, yet this book is a bit different - told with such "tragic optimism" that the message is not moral outrage or repulsion, but of meaning in the midst of unimaginable degradation. The "why" that makes the "how" of suffering bearable. Frankle quotes Nietzsche throughout.



The most moving passages for me were his imagined conversations with his wife, (who probably by that time was dead), which nonetheless gave him the purpose for continuing to live, and the glimpses of Nature, such as sunsets, raw in beauty, beyond the barbed wire.



His message is simple - it is in loving the people we love and in the struggle that our lives demand of us, that we find meaning that transcends the mere pleasure principle. Our own "ontic logos" is individually uncovered, not found through intellectual introspection on "THE meaning of life" (which is a nonsense and which usually just leads to neurosis).



Frankle highlights the contemporary consumerist "tyranny of happiness", which is endemic in the West, so that many patients feel not just unhappy, but deeply ashamed of their unhappiness.



Existentialism is not popular in the zeitgeist, but I think we can learn much from that generation who lived through the War, and the Holocaust, and developed such philosophies of coping with terrible hardship and suffering. By contrast, we can be very superficial, and self centred, and it left me considering what issues I cared about enough to take action on. Would I regret not doing so otherwise? Yes, probably - as an opportunity wasted!



This is a humane, inspiring, potentially life changing book; well narrated, subtle, profound and unpretentious. It deserves the highest rating.

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By R on 03-05-08

Throw out your self-help books!

This is an utterly remarkable book for so many reasons. What strikes me most about it is how it really gives meaning to the idea that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts. What I mean by this is the following: the book is not great psychology, nor great philosophy nor even great narrative. And yet, as a whole I would call it a great book. Why? Because it makes a definitive impact. I cannot say that I walked away from this book unchanged. I suppose it is Viktor Frankl himself who makes all the difference -- in him you find a truly humane, humble and ultimately wise human being. I was truly impressed to hear him quoting Nietzsche while in a concentration camp; this at a time when Nietzsche's work had been distorted and used to promote anti-semitism by the Nazis. One warning though -- his existentialist philosophy is outdated and really needs to be complemented by a contemporary understanding of human nature.

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19 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Ann Marie on 27-12-04

I will isten again and again

The beginning of this book deals with the author's time in concentration camps, and the descriptions are all to the purpose of tracing his observations, which he later builds his theory of logotherapy on. Thus, the descriptions are not horrifying for horrors sake, but serve to educate one regarding the way these experiences were able to be withstood.

There were a few surprises in this book as well. He mentions logotherapy, and paradoxical intention, in relation to its use in treatment for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, among other things.

Most importantly, to myself, were the ways he showed how he had developed his ideas on man's search for meaning. These are ideas that he himself used to save his life while enduring four concentration camps. They are not ideals plucked out of the ether and argued with only intellect.

The narrator has a European accent, which I cannot place, but which added greatly to my listening experience. Sometimes the ideas flow thick and fast and it is a challenge to keep up while also taking in completely the ideas you just heard.

This is a book I will listen to repeatedly and learn from on each occassion.

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126 of 131 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Leerkkee on 14-01-05

Humbling

All the other people that have reviewed this book have captured the content of the book very well. The only thing I have to add is that this is a book about an extraordinary man, with all of the horror he was subjected to he still remained a wonderful human. He is not bitter and does not hate the people who subjected him to these unspeakable acts, instead he tries to find the good or humor in their acts.

This book humbled me; I used to get upset when someone took my parking spot, or cut into my queue but now I smile as I have never had to endure real horror or injustice.

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120 of 129 people found this review helpful

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