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Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book…

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book (1983)

by Walker Percy

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897814,835 (3.92)5
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Not sure why I chose this a my first Percy book. I guess the cover description and blurbs won me over. The book itself is interesting, but doesn't really sustain your full attention through its length. It is (or is it?) sort of a parody self-help book, except it isn't (or is it?) Perhaps I need to read it again--but I found it a bit tedious at the time. ( )
  datrappert | Oct 24, 2016 |
This may be the third time I have read this book. From the first reading I recalled the concept of transcendence from the scene set at the Pueblo corn dance. It really made sense to me to think of how different people from completely different points of view can feel that they have a greater grasp of the situation than others do. It certainly helps explain the appeal of all encompassing systems such as Marxism, Christianity, scientism (not to be confused with science itself) and so forth. I still find this a valuable concept. However I had forgotten, or perhaps not noticed on earlier readings, the author's preoccupation with male homosexuality and rather conventional, though superficially feminist, concepts of female character. ( )
  ritaer | Feb 9, 2016 |
A pretty funny mock self-help book with a lot of thought experiments and a little bit of philosophy thrown in. Read for the humor, and not for the answers. Especially since a large premise of the book is that the more we understand of the cosmos/world scientifically, the less and less we know of ourselves. Seemingly (at least in Percy's book) there is no way out of this conundrum. ( )
  leecalvink | Jun 29, 2015 |
Funny, fascinating, remarkably insightful book
  rmiesel | Apr 8, 2012 |
I read this book out of curiosity about the title. I was very disappointed. It made about as much sense to me as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which is to say none at all. ( )
  paulrwaibel44 | Sep 10, 2009 |
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We are unknown, we knowers, to ourselves … Of necessity we remain strangers to ourselves, we understand ourselves not, in our selves we are bound to be mistaken, for each of us holds good to all eternity the motto, "Each is the farthest away from himself"—as far as ourselves are concerned we are not knowers.-- Friedrich Nietzche, On The Genealogy of Morals (1887)
For my fellow space travelers, John Walker, Robert, David, Jack
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Imagine you are reading a book about the Cosmos. You find it so interesting that you go out and buy a telescope.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0312253990, Paperback)

The late Walker Percy's mordant contribution to the self-help book craze of the 1980s deals with the heavy abstraction of the Western mind and speculates about why writers may be the most abstracted and least grounded of all. (Before taking up novel writing, Percy was a medical doctor who became a patient in the very institution where he had worked.) The book disappeared for a time. Now it's back in print. Take the quizzes in it, then take a walk--you need to be back in the world before you write another word.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:04 -0400)

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Explores human nature and presents insights on the self and its fears, sexuality, boredom, depression, and other aspects.

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