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Beauty: The Invisible Embrace

Rediscovering the True Sources of Compassion, Serenity, and Hope
Written by: John O'Donohue
Narrated by: John O'Donohue
Length: 5 hrs and 18 mins
Categories: Self-Help, Motivational
5 out of 5 stars (12 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The human soul is hungry for beauty; we seek it everywhere in landscape, music, art, clothes, furniture, gardening, companionship, love, religion, and in ourselves. When we experience the Beautiful, there is a wonderful sense of homecoming; we feel fully alive. Our lives become illuminated, and behind the shudder of appearances we come to glimpse the sure form of things. On Beauty: The Invisible Embrace, Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue invites us to remember and to awaken the Beautiful; it is always secretly there, awaiting but our attention and reverence in order to come alive. Beauty is the true priestess of individuation. But our times are dominated by anxiety and by what is vulgar, coarse, and artificial. Were Beauty to awaken in the fields of politics, religion, planning, discourse, and seeing, our world would heal, and fresh wells of hope would refresh us. Kathleen Raine, the English poet says: "Strangest of all is the ease with which the vision is lost, consciousness contracts, we forget over and over again, until recollection is stirred by some icon of that beauty. Then we remember and wonder why we ever forgot."

©2006 John O'Donohue (P)2006 John O'Donohue

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Enraptured

This was my first John O'Donahue book and it didn't disappoint. How thrilling to have the author himself enchant you with his brilliant prose and keen eyed romanticism of the world. Each word was spoken (and written obviously) with such conviction I felt myself lulled into a trance with his lovely accent and heart felt words. Indeed I will look upon the world around me with new eyes now, almost as if I was hypnotized to believe no less. I will listen to this again and again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 2018-01-18

A book as beautiful as its title would suggest

What made the experience of listening to Beauty: The Invisible Embrace the most enjoyable?

This is some of the most moving, profound, wisdom-inducing literature I have ever encountered. I began to look at the world with fresh vision from the initial minutes, and my growth in perception continued through to the end and into subsequent listenings (three to date).

The book would be only half of itself without the author's lyrical delivery--a thing of beauty in itself--but even then that would be plenty. I recently heard a poem by Donohue recited by another reader, and it was beautiful and insightful, but nothing can replace Donohue's own inimitable voice in its expressive power and understanding.

I came to learn about the meaning of reverence and the relationship between mystery and beauty, and so much more. I felt truly edified by this book, and that I grew as a person from it. Thank you John O'Donohue.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Kelly
  • 2017-06-19

Stunning book

One of the best and most beautiful books I have ever read. This book is beauty itself.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Sparkles Galore
  • 2016-09-17

Rediscovering the Beauty around us and in us.

If you could sum up Beauty: The Invisible Embrace in three words, what would they be?

Thoughtful. Brilliant. Peaceful.

What did you like best about this story?

Not a story - duh. John O'Donohue is a gifted teacher and weaver of words.

What about John O'Donohue’s performance did you like?

Gaelic Lilt.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Had to listen to much of it more than once. Full of deep heart.

Any additional comments?

I ll likely listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Maggie Hess
  • 2019-10-30

expansive view of beauty

I have been researching beauty and came across this book that goes so far beyond most people's understanding of beauty. I am amazed by this book. I am drawn by its depth and should study it forever as some kind of bible.

O'Donohue sees beauty in the physical realm and inside each person. Most people seem caught up in the first ideas we all seem to have on beauty, but O'Donohue goes so much further.

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  • Toi M Geil
  • 2019-09-14

inspiring

a great way to reconnect with beauty and the eternal. worth the listen. what's up with the word count inbedded in the review program...succinct is better.

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  • John
  • 2019-09-04

Beautiful, but not identical to the book

The book is beautiful and John O’Donohue reads it beautifully. It, however, is NOT the unabridged version of the printed text, as one may be led to believe by its description as an “unabridged audiobook,” and by the fact that the title is identical, and cover image similar, to the printed book’s cover. The book’s details in the Audible store are therefore a little deceptive. While much text comes from the book, this is essentially an oral presentation by O’Donohue himself, produced by Sounds True. It is a close adaptation of his text, which itself is pure poetry to read on the printed page. Even though the texts are not identical, they are complementary. I will continue reading the text even after finishing the audio version. The oral presentation is a pleasure to listen to and, I’m sure, effectively the same work from a certain perspective, but one might feel deceived if one purchases this audiobook expecting the text of the book itself. If you want to read the book, you will have to actually read it.

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  • B3cc4M
  • 2018-04-13

John O'Donohue and Beauty

What made the experience of listening to Beauty: The Invisible Embrace the most enjoyable?

Its beautiful listening to John O'Donohue narrate one of his own works. It feels like he is talking to you as a friend and pointing out some wonderful things he has reflected on about beauty.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Beauty: The Invisible Embrace?

One thing that stood out to me was that this world is all about glamour when what we really want is beauty in life.

What about John O'Donohue’s performance did you like?

His Irish accent is beautiful. He is careful to enunciate so its not too hard to understand (I understand some people can have thicker dialectal accents that make them hard to understand, but I believe O'Donohue worked on this and was very aware)

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The True Search for Beauty

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  • CoopMom
  • 2017-08-11

a wealth of insights

John O'Donohue wisdom on beauty is incredible. Having it read by the author is a true gift.

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  • Susan Unbridled
  • 2016-12-24

Beautiful in Every Way ...

And enlightening book read with verve and passion by it's author John O'Donoghue. I highly recommend this book for anyone who needs to see the magnificence of this world through new eyes.