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Suddenly confronted with his own mortality after a routine checkup, eminent psychotherapist Julius Hertzfeld is forced to reexamine his life and work -- and seeks out Philip Slate, a sex addict whom he failed to help some twenty years earlier. Yet Philip claims to be cured -- miraculously transformed by the pessimistic teachings of German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer -- and is, himself, a philosophical counselor in training. Philips dour, misanthropic stance compels Julius to invite Philip to join his intensive therapy group in exchange for tutoring on Schopenhauer. But with mere months left, life may be far too short to help Philip or to compete with him for the hearts and minds of the group members. And then again, it might be just long enough.
“A beautifully wrought tale of a therapy group’s final year and a moving debate about the end of life.”
“Considers the value and limits of therapy and those points at which philosophy and psychology converge.”
“Yalom’s enthusiasm is contagious. And he certainly knows how to tell a page-turning story.”
-Los Angeles Times
“As a novel of ideas, this book effectively explores loss, sexual desire, and the search for meaning.”
“Yalom’s melding of philosophy, pedantry, psychiatry and literature result in a surprisingly engaging novel of ideas.”
-San Francisco Chronicle
“The world’s first accurate group-therapy novel, a mezmerizing story of two men’s search for meaning.”
-Greensboro News & Record
“Meticulous. [Yalom’s] re-creation of a working therapy group is utterly convincing.”