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Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on June 29, 2015
Like with all Yalom's novels, he gives us tidbits of himself in terms of self-revelations, but like all of his novels he goes head on into some heavy dialogues about life and the meaning it has or doesn't not have with his "patients". He learns perhaps at times more about himself than the "patients" reveal about themselves, at times the catharis is anything but what Yalom had expected or searched after, but via circumstances out of his "relationship" with them, they discover what it is they were seeking. Happenstance? A seed from the 'dialogue' between therapist and patient had been planted, only to be harvested in its own due time? Yalom certainly does provoke self-reflection, at least in this reader. Would that Yalom would actually have the courage to do more self-revealing about his own inner workings, his own emotional state(s) as he grows older and toward eventual death. But, he refrains from such disclosures just when it seems he is about to pull the curtain to show himself (kinda like the Wizard of Oz, but there is no Toto to do the pulling for him). His intellectual acumen, his analytical mind, his creativity is evident in all his novels, and particularly in this series of 'case studies', but that curtain remains securely tied preventing any in depth self-revelation. Is the therapist "resistant"? His conviction of no after life makes intellectual sense to me, but the emotional content of 'fear' of the unknown is never explored, and sadly not. He could have provided us with an even more powerful invitation into self-awareness, I suspect, if he had gone down that pathway.
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