• Staring at the Sun

  • Overcoming the Terror of Death
  • By: Irvin D. Yalom
  • Narrated by: Sean Mangan
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

At the age of 74, best-selling author Irvin Yalom turns his attention to one of the great human questions: our fear of death. He suggests that what he calls the 'awakening experience' can help us acknowledge, accept, and make use of our fear of death in a positive manner. These awakening experiences often follow a loss, a trauma, or the death of a loved one, illness or just growing old. Yalom shows us how such an awakening can be the turning point for a more meaningful life.

This is a practical and tremendously useful book that includes methods and techniques for dealing with the most prevalent kinds of fear: anxiety that is hidden and appears to us as other problems in our lives. Dr. Yalom argues that once we confront our own mortality, we are inspired to rearrange our priorities, communicate more deeply with those we love, appreciate more keenly the beauty of life, and increase our willingness to take the risks necessary for personal fulfillment.

©2010 Irvin D. Yalom (P)2010 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What listeners say about Staring at the Sun

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  • Rey
  • 09-27-16

must read

Life would be so much easier if everyone read books like this one.
definitely worth your credit.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Alan Bowman
  • 04-18-19

Good book but narration is patchy

Really good book. Useful for therapists, less as a technical manual but more for a broad process level exploration of very important therapeutic matters.

I found the narration problematic. For the first few chapters I genuinely thought it was a robot. I either habituated to it, or the narration improved after that.

1 person found this helpful

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  • reka s
  • 01-01-19

Discussion of death anxiety w personal stories

Interesting read about existential psychotherapy and death anxiety written in accessible way with many illustrative anecdotes. However becomes repetitive and in places presents theories as true facts rather than just theories, and emphasises dreams a lot. Sometimes feels self-help rather than informative.

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Harvey
  • 01-01-16

Yalom never disapoints

What did you like most about Staring at the Sun?

Yalom is able to be honest and open about himself as a therapist and a person

Who was your favorite character and why?

I can't name an exact character but every one made a point and got a message across

Any additional comments?

If you liked this you will love 'Love's Executioner'. Yalom writes so well. As a counsellor I have found reading Yalom to be inspiring.

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  • Susie
  • 07-27-15

Insightful read

I liked the openness Yalom gives & the interactions he talks about with his clients. Insightful & thought provoking. I would recommend this book to anyone who is working with death anxiety.

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  • Rachael Edge
  • 07-21-15

Inspiring and helpful

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

The best one (out of four I've listened to)

What did you like best about this story?

An inspiring guide to 'staring at the sun, with plenty of inspiration for work with clients. Also great just as a book about thinking about death.

Which character – as performed by Sean Mangan – was your favourite?

No characters in this book

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It's not that kind of book

1 person found this helpful

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  • Chloe
  • 11-05-21

The case studies helped

I had some therapeutic realisations through listening to this. The advice for the Psychotherapist part didn't really give me any more than I already knew which was unfortunate.

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  • Mane
  • 10-13-21

Very helpful during hard times .

My therapist recommend to read this book,as I'm dealing with a tragic lost in our family. It has very powerful and incredible approach in understanding death fears. Simple language and amazing conclusion.

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  • Andie Broomfield
  • 03-25-21

Amazing and inspiring book

I absolutely loved this book...so much so that I will listen to it again soon ( and I never read booksore than once). Wonderful writing from Yalom, as usual, and lovely narration.

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  • michelle82
  • 10-09-20

great read

loved it. Yalom never fails to face the hard topics with grace and distinction. thought provoking and mirrored some of my own death anxiety.

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  • Zhila
  • 09-23-21

The best book if you have fear of death!

This book helped me a lot! Highly recommended.
It shows you the different fears that are behind fear of death and reveals so many aspects of it!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-25-21

A true source of growth

I work as a psychologist with my adult clients, who often bring the topic of death terror into our sessions. I loved listening to this book. At times it was confronting, yet so very engaging, and most of all taught me a great deal of my own understanding of death. It made me question some of the ways I have dealt with my inner conflicts and challenging therapeutic relationships with my own clients, in the past. Most importantly, I found the discussions on therapist self-disclosure and "Here and Now" very helpful and deeply meaningful. I thank my own therapist for suggesting me to read this book. What an incredible gift my therapist has given me and now I can see how that will have ripples to the people I come in contact with in my personal and professional life. Thank you, Dr. Yalom for sharing your insights with us.

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  • Alberto Andres Florez Claro
  • 02-14-18

Inspirational, creative and confrontational. Great

This book has inspired me to keep going with my counselling studies, has provided new ideas and has confronted my fears as a teacher would to enlighten my path. Thank you Dr. Yalom.

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  • Amanda
  • 12-17-16

Existentialism therapy surrounding death

I recommend this book to all counsellors, therapists , and psychiatrists; especially students.
This is a book I will revisit many times, as the messages are profound and need to be listened to more than once or twice.
I have a newly merging view about death, and this is due to Irvin Yalom's insightful existential therapy. His opinions which he has gained from , and through his experiences and friendships over many decades is intriguing to say the least.

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  • Simone
  • 05-17-15

Yalom grasps the human condition

Beautiful narration and case studies made this book truly come alive.

A personal book that touched me greatly and helped me as a person/therapist.