The Hero with a Thousand Faces

  • by Joseph Campbell
  • Narrated by Arthur Morey, John Lee, Susan Denaker
  • 14 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

Most Helpful

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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- Dr Nik Jewell

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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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-02-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio