• Staring at the Sun

  • Overcoming the Terror of Death
  • By: Irvin D. Yalom
  • Narrated by: Gregory Gorton
  • Length: 7 hrs and 41 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (604 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Irvin D. Yalom is an author whose best-selling trade books and novels tell compelling, dramatic, and illuminating stories with which readers can identify.

At 74, Yalom has penned a book that is the climax of his lifework, focusing on the universal human issues of mortality and death. He suggests that what he calls the "awakening experience" can help us acknowledge, accept, and utilize our fear of death in a very positive manner. Such an awakening experience can be as simple as a dream, or quick as a sudden insight. It is often a loss, a trauma, or just plain aging that can prompt an awakening experience that is a turning point for a more meaningful life. He discusses how people can make lasting changes in their lives, rearrange their priorities, communicate more deeply with those they love, eliminate interpersonal fears of rejection, and increase a willingness to take risks for personal fulfillment and a life filled with love.

©2009 Irvin D. Yalom (P)2009 BBC Audio

What listeners say about Staring at the Sun

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  • Overall
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Positive & Life Affirming

Let me start by saying that the title of this book and the publisher's summary makes it seem that it will be dark and scary territory. While there is an open discussion about fear, anxiety and death the book is very positive and life affirming.

Yalom offers a balanced, insightful and humane approach. More importantly his long career as a therapist and a professor/trainer of other therapists brings into play a rich background of actual experience. I really enjoyed the case study approach of this book. To me, hearing about the concerns and struggles of real people takes the material out of theory and makes it both tangible and useable.

Recommended if you are a therapist or are interested in working with panic and anxiety issues on a personal level. Fascinating and engaging concepts to assist in focusing on living life fully not fearfully.

34 people found this helpful

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Performance (at times) was a distraction

The performance was a distraction at times. Each time Gorton imitated a female character, I was taken aback by the utter ridiculousness of his efforts. It was a distraction from the serious and weighty topic the book was addressing. Surely, there could have been another way to communicate the presence of a female character without resorting to a stereotypically bad drag queen imitation.

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Must read

This book is awesomely thought provoking and is greet for all aspiring counselors and therapists or anyone looking at working in the helping profession with those facing end of life and those who are grieving

4 people found this helpful

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pretty good, overall

This was a good book, but not as good as I was expecting from Dr. Yalom on the subject. I've enjoyed many of his other books more and felt like I got more from them. My real complaint was with the reader. I felt the accents he assumed for patients sounded silly and were distracting. Also, the voice inflection he gave Dr. Yalom as therapist sounded patronizing and insincere.

3 people found this helpful

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Great book! For everyone, not just therapists.

This is really a great book that talks about the important issue of death and how we should live.

I like how Yalom explains a point and gives examples—usually personal ones. I also like how his interpretation of dreams helps in therapy. As an older therapist, Yalom talks about his own issues around death.

I read the hard copy of this book years ago and just listened to it. I’m glad I did because I have a best friend who may be going into chemotherapy soon. Life is short and I need to live it fully!

Great narration. Highly recommended!

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Every persons book for these Pandemic times

The title resonated with my "staring at the sun" in childhood following
harsh parental physical punishment; no doubt a way to regain control and express defiance and other feelings. A tough book for the average reader seeking escape. Irvin keeps reader "on the ropes" and repeating "there for the of love God" go I. Irvin makes you come down from being a "fly on his office wall"; instead wishing you were his patient. So glad to get acquainted with his beliefs and works. Plan to read or listen to all.

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Counsel for the Difficulty of Death

Where does Staring at the Sun rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Yalom is superb, helping the listener through the struggle. Massive and thoughtful!

What did you like best about this story?

The personal internal struggle Yalom reveals through his therapy is extraordinary.

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

No

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

Hearing about living in the present, helps the tension of the future unknown.

1 person found this helpful

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Confronting the Fear of Death Saved Me

I absolutely enjoyed this book. It’s was relevant, captive, and practical. A mix of philosophy, scholarship and the real world makes this easy attend and absorb. So many relatable case studies. I highly recommend and have shared with those I adore and love.

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A great book

A wonderful book that I found to be developmental and maturative for a young man coming of age such as myself. I found this book to be well written and I further highly recommend this book.

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Understanding universal death anxiety

You don't need to be a therapist to gain a lot of insight from Dr. Yalom's book.