Get a free audiobook

Man's Search for Meaning

Written by: Viktor E. Frankl
Narrated by: Simon Vance
Length: 4 hrs and 44 mins
5 out of 5 stars (321 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 18.78
CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

Internationally renowned psychiatrist, Viktor E. Frankl, endured years of unspeakable horror in Nazi death camps. During, and partly because of, his suffering, Dr. Frankl developed a revolutionary approach to psychotherapy known as logotherapy. At the core of his theory is the belief that man's primary motivational force is his search for meaning.

Man's Search for Meaning is more than a story of Viktor E. Frankl's triumph: it is a remarkable blend of science and humanism and an introduction to the most significant psychological movement of our day.

©1959, 1962, 1984 Viktor E. Frankl (P)1995 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the critics say

"An enduring work of survival literature." (The New York Times)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    256
  • 4 Stars
    54
  • 3 Stars
    8
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    208
  • 4 Stars
    48
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    228
  • 4 Stars
    33
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fixed my perspective.

If you struggle from a depression or a neilistic outlook, this book will bring you back to a view of personal existence that elevates you beyond a simple view of an objective reality.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Everyone should read this book before they die.

Frankl's work changed psychiatry. He would ultimately inspire generations of physicians and psychologists alike to focus on meaning through human experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing story

such a detailed description of what happened. it makes you be thankful for your life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The most useful book I’ve ever read.

The Author’s experiences and reflections help to showcase a viewpoint I rarely see in modern life today.

In addition, it helped me to seek meaning in my own life.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Very good book and very good narrator

The narrator is so good that he binds your attention throughout the book. I liked the way he changes his tone for characters other than the author himself.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

everyone should read :)

loved every minute of this book. a masterpiece that everyone should read before they die

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

good book

this book get you to slow down and think about life and what it means to be human.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Changes


I loved the way the narrator changed his voice for the different characters! Thanks!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Insightful to say the least!

What an amazing triumph of the mind and the spirit. Viktor Frankl’s experiences and his conclusions are eye opening! Must read for everyone interested in psychology of the mind and spirit.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Incredibly Interesting

This book was so interesting, it really makes you think. The conclusions that Mr. Fankl drew from his experiences have changed the way that I look at things. #Audible1

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Derek
  • 2015-07-21

Read This if You're Very Sick and/or Thinking About Ending Your Life

Does a chronic disease or messed up life have you feeling like you're at the end of the line? Are you feeling like it's time to end your life? Reading/listening to this book may end your suffering. The author, Dr. Frankl, has insights on life that may change your perspective. He was a Jewish doctor in Austria when the Nazis invaded in 1938. He had the opportunity to get out of the country, but decided to stay with his family. That was the wrong choice as he ended up in concentration camps, but this little book was the result. It was/is one of the most compelling that I've ever read. Steven Covey, the self help guru, made mention of this book in the first pages of his bestseller, "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." It changed him. His self help system was based largely on this book. I could go on, but I'll just say that I read this book when I was in a dark, hopeless place after my doctor told me that my 11 month treatment would have to be extended to 18 months. Perhaps that sounds like no big deal, but I was living on savings and it meant that I would run out of money before the end. Obviously, that had me feeling pretty low. This book changed my perception of my lot and perked me right up! I couldn't change my fate, but I could change the way I thought and dealt with it. Best wishes & I hope you read this!

111 of 114 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ann Marie
  • 2004-12-27

I will isten again and again

The beginning of this book deals with the author's time in concentration camps, and the descriptions are all to the purpose of tracing his observations, which he later builds his theory of logotherapy on. Thus, the descriptions are not horrifying for horrors sake, but serve to educate one regarding the way these experiences were able to be withstood.

There were a few surprises in this book as well. He mentions logotherapy, and paradoxical intention, in relation to its use in treatment for people with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, among other things.

Most importantly, to myself, were the ways he showed how he had developed his ideas on man's search for meaning. These are ideas that he himself used to save his life while enduring four concentration camps. They are not ideals plucked out of the ether and argued with only intellect.

The narrator has a European accent, which I cannot place, but which added greatly to my listening experience. Sometimes the ideas flow thick and fast and it is a challenge to keep up while also taking in completely the ideas you just heard.

This is a book I will listen to repeatedly and learn from on each occassion.

174 of 182 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Leerkkee
  • 2005-01-14

Humbling

All the other people that have reviewed this book have captured the content of the book very well. The only thing I have to add is that this is a book about an extraordinary man, with all of the horror he was subjected to he still remained a wonderful human. He is not bitter and does not hate the people who subjected him to these unspeakable acts, instead he tries to find the good or humor in their acts.

This book humbled me; I used to get upset when someone took my parking spot, or cut into my queue but now I smile as I have never had to endure real horror or injustice.

145 of 155 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Miroslaw
  • 2008-12-11

Between stimulus and response, there is a space...

"Man's Search for Meaning" is the great summary of Frankl's view on life. Sold in 10 million copies - the book has two distinct parts - the first is a kind of memoir of the horrible time Frankl spent in at least four concentration camps during II World War, including Auschwitz. From all written stories about the life in camp - Frankl's relation is astonishing - there are no gruesome scenes, no ghastly relations - but through some cold description of prisoners shock, apathy, bitterness and finally deformation of morals - Frankl's account is one of the most fearful stories I have ever read. Yet, there is still a small light of humanness, still a germ of meaning in all these atrocities. Let's read: "We have come to know man as he really is. After all, man is that being who invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz; however, he is also that being who entered those gas chambers upright, with the Lord's prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips."

The second part of the book deals with his LOGOTHERAPY - the fundamental theory Frankl promoted in XX century. Logotherapy seeks the cure for neurosis and existential emptiness in the search for meaning in life. There are passages in the book, also those about love and its importance that make one shiver....

Let's read two citations from this great book:

"An incurable psychotic individual may lose his usefulness but yet retain the dignity of a human being. This is my psychiatric credo."

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."

116 of 125 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Troy
  • 2015-08-25

One of the Most Important Books Ever Written

There are a handful of books that should truly be required and desired reading for everyone across the world. This is one of them. It is simultaneously repulsive and compelling, disheartening and hopeful.

I read this book perhaps 20 years ago. The older I get, the more I find new meaning in it. There are a great many self-help books out there that go on and on and say nothing. Then there's a book like this that offers an unblinking look at one of history's most horrific events from an inside perspective and uses that as a lead-in to offer to us a scientific embrace of the three little words that could mean the most to all of us.

Love. Faith. Hope.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • 2011-10-30

Great book for those dealing w/ existential issues

Great book for anyone dealing with existential issues or anyone who wants an introduction into a sound anthropological psycho-therapy method. Frankl chronicles his experiences as a concentration camp inmate and from the viewpoint of his psycho-therapeutic / phenomenological method of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones, and thus a reason to continue living. Through his experience, he developed a method of psycho-therapeutic method that he called logotherapy. His analysis focuses on a "will to meaning" as opposed to Adler's Nietzschean doctrine of "will to power" or Freud's "will to pleasure". Rather than power or pleasure, logotherapy is founded upon the belief that it is the striving to find a meaning in one's life that is the primary, most powerful motivating and driving force in humans. According to Frankl, "We can discover this meaning in life in three different ways: (1) by creating a work or doing a deed; (2) by experiencing something or encountering someone; and (3) by the attitude we take toward unavoidable suffering" and that "everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances". For Frankl, it was his love for his wife that enabled him to survive Auschwitz and three other camps, not to mention many moments of "luck" or grace. Love, for Frankle, became the highest experience that a human can have. I appreciated the back story of Frankl's experience that lead to his method and agree with his conclusions, but I think some of his premises fall into a naturalistic fallacy. Nevertheless, he has a great ability to put into words the psychological and existential reality that one deals with when suffering or striving to understand a purpose in life.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2004-12-20

Invaluable path to a meaningful life

Frankel's account of his concentration experience is not as moving as those of Elie Wiesel, but the second half of the book on logotherapy draws together the threads of that experience into a structure for treating patients struggling with the existential crisis of life's meaning. Frankel, the founder of logotherapy (meaning therapy), is with Freud and Adler one of the primary Viennese psychiatrists of the 20th century. For Freud sexual conflicts were key to understanding mental turmoil. For Adler it was the struggle for personal power and superiority. Frankel thought that mental conflicts arose from a desire to know the why of existence. He thought that if we know the why we can live with any what. He said the why is clear if we can love someone and if we can work at something we enjoy.
The concentration camp experience also taught Frankel that he had control over his thoughts and feelings. No SS soldier could change his thoughts. He could always go somewhere in his mind. Frankel foreshadowed the present day's psychology of "think it and you will feel it."

36 of 41 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kevin
  • 2004-11-30

Great Book!

I got this book after Dr. Phil said he has read and re-read it several times in his life. While I'm not always a Dr. Phil fan, I think he has it right with this one. It's one of the few books I consistently recommend to anyone. Very insightful, unbiased, and amazing the he has actually lived what he learned and vice versa.

62 of 72 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Samantha
  • 2013-11-24

Touching Story of Resilience

What did you like best about this story?

It's difficult to describe the darkest moments of your life. It's even harder to find meaning in them. Frankl shows courage and great resilience by having created this work of art, which will help others find purpose in their struggles as well.

40 of 47 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Aschecte
  • 2018-09-26

Adversity-Suffering-Meaning

This is a book I would normally pass on the shelf. A friend who happens to be a Psychologist recommendedI I read this; after a terrible diagnosis I received. Never and I mean NEVER has a book enveloped me, inspired me, or, said exactly what I needed to hear, and on a level compare my own troubles to. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has given up on living a meaningful life; better even know what a meaningful life can be. I would give this book 5 stars, it didn’t solve my problem, but gave me the tools to do so on my own.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful