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Extended Audio Sample Staring at the Sun: Overcoming the Terror of Death Audiobook, by Irvin D. Yalom Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (843 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Irvin D. Yalom Narrator: Gregory Gorton Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2008 ISBN: 9781482977479
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Irvin D. Yalom is an author whose bestselling trade books and novels tell compelling, dramatic, and illuminating stories with which readers can identify.  

At 74, Yalom has penned a book that is the climax of his lifework, focusing on the universal human issues of mortality and death. He suggests that what he calls the “awakening experience” can help us acknowledge, accept, and utilize our fear of death in a very positive manner. Such an awakening experience can be as simple as a dream, or quick as a sudden insight. It is often a loss, a trauma, or just plain aging that can prompt an awakening experience that is a turning point for a more meaningful life. He discusses how people can make lasting changes in their lives, rearrange their priorities, communicate more deeply with those they love, eliminate interpersonal fears of rejection, and increase a willingness to take risks for personal fulfillment and a life filled with love.                                          

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Unlike many psychotherapists, Yalom writes like a dream.”

    Oxford Times

  • “The idea that the anxiety of facing death can prompt an awakening to life strikes a powerful chord.”

    Bookseller

  • “Yalom is the Scherherazade of the couch, his work a marvelous exercise in storytelling.”

    New York Times

  • “While the existential realities of death, isolation, and meaninglessness may seem at first bleak and full of despair, Dr. Yalom’s existential approach helps his readers frame these realities in positive and meaningful ways that foster personal growth and intensify our connections to others and to the world around us.”

    Harold Ramis, actor, writer, director, GhostbustersGroundhog Day, and Analyze This

  • “One of America’s finest therapists guides us through one of life’s most challenging tasks in this profoundly helpful book. It will benefit anyone who reads it.”

    Harold S. Kushner, New York Times bestselling author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/19/2014

    " I'm reading this for research for my master's thesis. Again, Yalom is very readable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 2/15/2014

    " I found this book to be a must read in pondering death. Whether it be the death of a loved one or yourself. Yalom offers a unique secular perspective on death that offers one the ability to cope with the anxiety of death. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Karolina Oracz | 1/26/2014

    " Such an approachable style... So humane... An amazing example... It's so easy to almost read it too fast and then being happy to read it again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Bambery | 1/24/2014

    " Glad I read this book. I think the general premise of the book is true, the more (directly) we think about our mortality the more we are liberated. It is certainly a sobering book at times, however, and perhaps not for everyone. I also disagree with some of his interpretations of epicurean philosophy. That being said, Yalom is Yalom and he remains one of my favorite authors. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/13/2014

    " Another interesting read from Irving Yalom about death anxiety. I recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Warren Buffington | 1/9/2014

    " Excellent for both the therapist and the lay person. Yalom puts the complicated into simple terms and makes the reading a pleasure. Fast read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carolina Castro | 1/7/2014

    " Great insight on death, meaning and approach to life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lane Willson | 1/5/2014

    " Great book. It seemed as though Yalom was trying to impart as much of his knowledge as possible before his own death. It frequently was off topic, and I loved it. By the way, it's also a wonderful tool for helping those who are struggling with their own mortality. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sally | 1/5/2014

    " This is a challenging book to get started on, but is worth reading for its insights and observations about the human condition. It is surprisingly easy to read, despite the topic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maggie | 12/27/2013

    " A book about the fear of death, and how to overcome it. Many examples drawn from the Author's psychotherapy practice used with permission of the people concerned. A fascinating and ultimately hopeful book that I highly recommend to anyone who has been struck by fear as I was following bereavement. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Stephany | 10/18/2013

    " Love. Love. Love!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Annie Merrill | 9/28/2013

    " I love Yalom...reading anything by him reminds me of why I chose to become a therapist. This book is a great resource for therapists and for anyone interested in learning how to confront our existential issues! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Veek | 7/3/2013

    " An accessible follow-on to David Spiegel's book "Living Beyond Limits" and to other of Yalom's books, this one holds few groundbreaking insights for scholars, but is rich with anecdotes, client profiles and memoirs that reinforce some simple and critical ideas about death and life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Candice Erdmann | 5/10/2013

    " The author starts off strong, but a heavy focus on his own views of death and personal practice become tedious in the second half of the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emp1101 | 2/7/2013

    " Not only is this a thought-provoking book about how I view death, but also how I want to live the rest of my life. Citing philosophers, work with his clients and his own philosophy, Yalom takes us on this journey. Well worth the read! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caleb | 9/6/2012

    " You should just check it out. All the big questions, none of the answers, but lots of significant material...Actually an incredible way to feel connected to humanity. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katlet | 6/5/2012

    " I especially enjoyed the chapter on being a therapist and dealing with clients' death anxiety. I'm not sure that I find his philosophical ideas about death to be helpful in terms of my own death anxiety, but I do find it helpful to know that so many other people deal with this feeling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordin | 1/23/2012

    " Some excellent points to ponder in preparing us for our inevitable slide toward death... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth Portnoy | 7/20/2011

    " Sounds freaky, I know. But anything by Dr. Yalom is a comfort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liana Giorgi | 5/14/2011

    " Reiterates the lessons from 'The Gift of Therapy' from the perspective of death anxiety. Contains interesting examples as to how death anxiety manifests itself and how it can be treated. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Arryn | 4/2/2011

    " I always enjoy and learn something from Yalom's books. I'll keep you posted. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Warren | 4/1/2011

    " Excellent for both the therapist and the lay person. Yalom puts the complicated into simple terms and makes the reading a pleasure. Fast read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeanine | 10/16/2010

    " A provocative look at loss, death and suffering from a broadly sweeping philosophical and therapeutic perspective, I am finding myself both moved and changed by this helpful book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trisha | 8/4/2010

    " Very good words of wisdom for each of us who is grappling with death anxiety or assisting others in working through their own. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 2/5/2010

    " great read! Irvin Yalom is brilliant. I would recommend reading anything he writes. I can't think of another writer out there with the same point of view as Yalom. This book especially. It my universe it would be required reading for every human being. I never read truer words than Yalom's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jordin | 11/11/2009

    " Some excellent points to ponder in preparing us for our inevitable slide toward death... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sangeeta | 7/29/2009

    " Interesting and important to read in learning about treating death anxiety "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mariaazevedo65 | 6/2/2009

    " Um livro a ser lido em qualquer idade. Confronta-nos com o medo mais oculto e que é a origem de todos os outros medos: o medo da morte. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candy | 5/12/2009

    " A good book to bring up issues on death, but the last part of the book focuses on how therapists can discuss death with their patients. Since I am not a therapist, it became too difficult for me to sift out pertinent points for myself. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emp1101 | 3/21/2009

    " Not only is this a thought-provoking book about how I view death, but also how I want to live the rest of my life. Citing philosophers, work with his clients and his own philosophy, Yalom takes us on this journey. Well worth the read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katlet | 2/10/2009

    " I especially enjoyed the chapter on being a therapist and dealing with clients' death anxiety. I'm not sure that I find his philosophical ideas about death to be helpful in terms of my own death anxiety, but I do find it helpful to know that so many other people deal with this feeling. "

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About the Author
Author Irvin D. Yalom

Irvin D. Yalom, MD, is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Stanford University and a psychiatrist in private practice in San Francisco. He is the author of many books, including Love’s Executioner, Theory and Practice in Group Psychotherapy, and When Nietzsche Wept.

About the Narrator

Gregory Gorton has narrated more than five hundred audio books. His television credits include Homicide: Life on the Streets and Unsolved Mysteries. Greg has been performing, writing, and teaching with Washington, DC’s, premiere musical comedy improvisation troupe, Now This! and Now This, Kids!, for more than fifteen years.