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Publisher's Summary

The Seven Storey Mountain is the extraordinary spiritual testament of Thomas Merton (1915-1968), a man who experienced life to its fullest in the world before entering a Trappist monastery. By the end of his life, he had become one of the 20th century's best-known and beloved Christian voices. This autobiography deals...not with what happens to a man, but what happens inside his soul.

Public Domain (P)2009 Phoenix

What listeners say about The Seven Storey Mountain

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Letter to Audible

There is a wonderful recorded version in full by the late and great Wolfram Kandinsky. It was rented on cassette by Books On Tape. Can't Audible make that available to us?

79 people found this helpful

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Woefully incomplete audio version of a great work

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Unless you want only the cliff notes of Merton's story and development of his ideas, this audio version is a waste of your time. I have the book (have not read it) and hoped this would cover it, but it doesn't. Feel cheated. Abridged obviously suggests that some portions are omitted, but it feels like more than 50% of the book is omitted although I have not done a detailed assessment to say the omission is closer to 25 or 75%, but a quick at the final chapters suggests its at least 50%.

58 people found this helpful

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As a Secular Humanist, I Gleaned a lot from This

I took a class in college in Contemplative Writing. When we spoke about Thomas Merton, I asked a rare question for me, "Was this required reading?" To my happiness, the answer was no. We read a ton in that class. May Sarton and Gail Sher, Rilke and Rumi, and tons of self selected works of our choosing. Many of the students were reading and referring to Merton, but I wrote it off as their religiosity. We happened to be in Kentucky and took a visit to Gethsemane as well as Sister Loretto House. I thought about the nature as being connected to this guy Merton who everyone was talking about. But that was 2012. It took until 2018 for me to read some Merton for myself. I am glad I have.

I don't know if I can convince anyone that I have good reason for my resistance against Catholicism. But I wanted to say all that in the previous paragraph so you understand it has been a strong resistance. Knowing Merton's personal background now has made him in my eyes the exact opposite of a harsh or dogmatic read. Reading about the sad fate of Merton's parents, and especially the artistic upbringing of Merton makes me love the monk and take pride in the fact that I walked in the territory of the offspring of similar birds. If he had always been a Christian, it would have been one thing. But this is, instead, an exploration into the deep substance of life, from the frivolous games of college fraternity life. It is a human story above all else of a man who chose to deafen himself with liquor and noise and mindless interactions, to a man who found something meaningful to care about. There is nothing wrong with that. To have a knee jerk reaction against Catholicism, just shows what wounds I have, but it is not healthy to write off an amazing writer like Merton due to his religious difference any more than I would wish to have someone come and try to convert me from spiritual secularism to atheism. It just is not kind to dismiss someone's narrative and humanity due to their religious preference. So Merton, I am truly sorry.

So when I witnessed Merton praying at the bedside of his father who had passed away, I wanted to know how to pray as he seemed to instinctively know. I wanted to change into a deeper and more contemplative soul.

PS Also, the narrator has a very calm, soft, kind voice.

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Missing paragraphs

I like the story but it skips over a lot of paragraphs and I really hate that. Get this updated.

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Engaging

There are some passages in this book that took my breath away. I listened several times to the very compelling story of Thomas Merton's life and faith journey. I know I will listen again.

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Modern classic

If you could sum up The Seven Storey Mountain in three words, what would they be?

Thirst for truth

Who was your favorite character and why?

The author

What does Sidney Lanier bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

A sense of what the author's emotional state was for vignettes in the book.

7 people found this helpful

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Excellent abridged edition

Very well written abridged edition of Merton's life. Read well and catches your attention. I recommend to anyone interested in Merton.

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Good but the reading not so

Overall a good story but the reading kept putting me to sleep. Also the audio quality had some kind of hissing in the back ground.
I would read this rather than listen to it.

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Enjoyed

Really enjoyed listening to Merton life story. Thank u for making it possible for me to listen to it. God bless.

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The start of philosophy is a question.

I think this is an important book for many people searching for Truth. Not just satiation but the true joy that can only come from the full internal understanding of the Truth. It speaks from a position that isn't drawn from brith to be indoctrinated into a way of thinking. Rather Thomas comes from an unlikely background. The intellectual community that for the most part seeks to discredit the immaterial as being non-existent.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chadwick1848
  • 05-28-20

I wish there was an unabridged version!

this was an excellent story and rightly a spiritual classic. I think the abridged version lacks enough depth, though enjoyable.

3 people found this helpful

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  • louisa_lewis
  • 03-24-20

Is this abridged?

Very short and details a lot of info about his childhood. Seems too short for a 450 page book. Is it abridged?

3 people found this helpful

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  • MaryT kavanagh.
  • 03-12-20

??ABRIDGED??

was very surprised and disappointed by how short it was considering the size of the hard copy I have. Abridged?

3 people found this helpful

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  • Party Pete
  • 01-23-20

The Beauty of Religious Life !

Divine Love is described Divinely. This book, converted me over 20 years ago and inspires me NOW to continue until I complete my Doctoral thesis on this Divine Beauty.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sue joy
  • 03-02-19

A Must Read

Well written descriptive prose takes you into the life of Thomas Merton unfolding a story that you to a world that discovers true life in its fullness. A book I will return to. And will seek more of the author’s writing and works.

1 person found this helpful

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  • James
  • 06-17-22

A spiritual journey and conversion. Masterful writing and excellent audible version

In these words, Merton enables us to understand self abandonment and complete trust in God, our creator.

“But what was the answer to this paradox? Simply that the monk in hiding himself from the world becomes not less himself, not less of a person, but more of a person, more truly and perfectly himself for his personality and individuality are perfected in their true order, the spiritual, interior order, of union with God, the principle of all perfection. Omnis gloria ejus filiae regis ab intus.

The logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men! A weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real!”

This book is not a once only read. I will use it for ongoing spiritual reading and contemplation.

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  • Jacqui w.
  • 03-07-22

Stunned by the beauty of this book

Stunned by the profound beauty of this book both for its literary content and deep spiritual wisdom. Thomas Merton a true profit of our time, so beautifully and sensitivity read by Sidney Lanier.

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  • Jacqui
  • 01-25-21

Not the full version

Very disappointed with this Audible version of a great classic by Thomas Merton. I have read the hard copy but thought it would be good to have the Audible version to listen to whilst driving. It skips so much of the story and is only a shadow of the original version. I really hope that Audible will release the full version of this book.

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  • Kevin Mann
  • 02-04-20

Most excellent

I could have kept listening to this wonderful story a humble recount of ones life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-30-20

A Captivating classic still contemporary for today.

My first listen to this classic work and I was captivated by Thomas Mertons personal story. Highly recommended for those setting out on exploring Mertons life and work.

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  • Pete Shields
  • 09-27-19

So sad

Poor dear Jean Paul. Death and loss of all around him and love for our Lord.