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The Art of Asking cover art

The Art of Asking

Written by: Amanda Palmer,Brené Brown - foreword
Narrated by: Amanda Palmer
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Publisher's Summary

When we really see each other, we want to help each other."
—Amanda Palmer

Imagine standing on a box in the middle of a busy city, dressed as a white-faced bride, and silently using your eyes to ask people for money. Or touring Europe in a punk cabaret band and finding a place to sleep each night by reaching out to strangers on Twitter. For Amanda Palmer, actions like these have gone beyond satisfying her basic needs for food and shelter - they've taught her how to turn strangers into friends, build communities, and discover her own giving impulses. And because she had learned how to ask, she was able to go to the world to ask for the money to make a new album and tour with it, and to raise over a million dollars in a month.

In The Art of Asking, Palmer expands upon her popular TED talk to reveal how ordinary people, those of us without thousands of Twitter followers and adoring fans, can use these same principles in our own lives.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2014 Amanda Palmer (P)2014 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"Amanda Palmer's resonant yet intimate reading is captivating - but in a way that keeps listeners wondering whether it's her wisdom about emotional connections or her outspoken self-promotion that makes this audio so powerful. She turned the skills she developed as a street busker and nightclub stripper into crowdfunding her indie rock career and sharing her ideals about human exchanges in a TED talk that garnered six million views. Bringing authenticity to her audiobook performance, she sells herself as a new millennium woman who knows something about inviting people to understand her and enter into productive exchanges with her. Her dramatic and seductive vocal style makes her message unforgettable: Asking for what you want and need will make you a more genuine participant in the human experience." ( AudioFile)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Expanded autobiographical version of her TED talk

I have an odd relationship with Amanda Palmer. I supported one of her Kickstarters, and donated to her Patreon also for a while, but never actually read or listened to whatever it was they were for. I can name maybe two of her songs, but I enjoyed her TED talk about asking. To be honest, she entered my awareness more because I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan than for anything she specifically did. I admire her work and her philosophy and feel it's worth supporting and validating, yet feel as if I SHOULD enjoy her work more than I actually do. I keep vaguely aware of what she's up to because I follow Neil Gaiman on twitter, not because I follow her. I strongly support her work, without personally being captivated by it. Would she be okay with that? I think she probably would. I hope so.

This book has been on my list for ages but I only recently finally got around to reading it. It's basically an expansion of her TED talk on asking, with a lot of autobiographical stories thrown in. It's open and vulnerable and talks about impostor syndrome (which she calls the Fraud Police) and her close relationship with her fans and her relationship with her husband Neil and her childhood friend Anthony and how difficult it is to really ask for help. She has a lot of wise things to say about being open and honest with your fans, something that more marketing professionals, and more people in entertainment industries in general, could learn a lot from.

Most oddly of all, as I listened to this book I found myself thinking about my relationship with my mother a lot. Even though Palmer barely mentions her parents; in fact she talks as much about Neil's parents than her own. Still, she talks a lot about the way we relate to each other and comfort each other, and Neil's very emotionally distant upbringing, and how important it is to have love in your life. One quote from her friend Anthony in particular stuck with me: "If you want to know what you believe, ask the people you taught." A lot of my adult life has been spent trying to learn to be a different person from what I was taught by my mother. Palmer's book made me question lots of fundamental behaviours about how we treat people and open up to people (or not). So while it was a little rambling and the message could probably have been delivered quite a lot more concisely, it was still an interesting and thought-provoking read that I'll give a solid four stars.

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life changing, inspiring, real & i love her

it's the easiest book for my ears to fall into. i have the physical book but wanted to hear her.. now. 2019 is a hard year and i needed this audiobook more than anything. it's a gift. it's a flower. it's a donut.

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Nothing short of what I expected from AFP

I loved this all the way through and was so sad for it to end. I laughed, I cried, I felt ALL the feels and learned a few things about myself in the meantime.

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1 person found this helpful

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Authenticity is so amazing.

Now I can judge myself better and my perception of the world is more clear because I can see how it looks in Amanda's eyes. Thank you for sharing your honesty.

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Good storyteller. Good forward thinking messages

I wasn’t familiar with Amanda’s work as an artist but a friend recommended it to me as I was stuggling with my identity/worth as an artist. Loved her messages. Bonus is was her badass feminist voice and song clips.

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I'm in love

I absolutely loved this. The message and the delivery were so spot on. Never preachy. Felt like just getting caught up with an old friend and realizing some things about life along the way.

Definitely glad I read it as an audio book... Amanda Palmer's voice and cadence and timing just really added to the narrative. also music. always a delightful bonus.

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This book is a gift.

The Art of Asking is vulnerabule and intimate and beautiful. I read and listened to it twice, constantly teary eyed. Thank you, Amanda Palmer.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Really an autobiography

I thought this would be about, you know, the art of asking with useful tips. It's really just a career/life history of Amanda Palmer with just a bunch of entire Dresden dolls songs shoehorned in. If that's what you want: enjoy! It wasn't what I was looking for.

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The Art of Asking book review

I didn’t enjoy the book the author didn’t explain the purpose of this book as I expected she kep on talking about her life… don’t waste your time listening to it. In addition, I didn’t like the music that was in between the chapters didn’t think it was necessary.. even though I love listening to music but it was too much especially if you are in the mood of listening to a book and not to music.

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The book everybody needs now

Rather than retype the whole thing, or come up with more words to say the same thing in different ways, here’s a link to my GoodReads review of this. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1095575268

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