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Listen, Little Man!
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Listen, Little Man!

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  6,368 ratings  ·  468 reviews
Listen, Little Man! is a great physician's quiet talk to each one of us, the average human being, the Little Man. Written in 1946 in answer to the gossip and defamation that plagued his remarkable career, it tells how Reich watched, at first naively, then with amazement, and finally with horror, at what the Little Man does to himself; how he suffers and rebels; how he este ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Noonday/Farrar, Straus & Giroux (NYC) (first published 1946)
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,368 ratings  ·  468 reviews

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Jan 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow what a wonderful book! I've heard about the writer Wilhelm Reich, but frankly I didn't know this book well before I've bought it. Just bought the cover truth be told.

Luckily, it was a fantastic book. I couldn't put it down for just one minute, about 120 pages and finished within a day. I really really enjoyed it and it became one of my favorite books.

I highly recommend this book to the little man's out there, who still don't have a clue about anything but thinking he got the whole world sor
Jon Nakapalau
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Listen! Great book by this often neglected thinker!
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Looking for a sustained rant of 130ish pages? This may be your book. Wilhelm Reich was a noted psychoanalyst and Austrian MD, lauded in Sigmund Freud's inner circle for the concept of character armour, i.e. people closing up and dealing with only a slice of the incoming sense data about the world in order to protect themselves, becoming an expert in that slice, and sniping from within the protection of that narrow fetishization of the world.

Later on, he fell out of favour with Freud when he bega
Mardin Uzeri
Jun 28, 2015 rated it did not like it
*Cringe* >.<

140 pages of a rambling, incoherent, ranty mess
Jun 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
Wilhelm Reich was evidently quite angry when he wrote this. Plus it wasn't originally intended for publication. This is probably why it's such a rambling, incoheren, ranty mess. It was written just after the end of WW2 and he was obviously reacting to the actions of his fellow Germans during the Third Reich, but still, a little more focus, structure and use of specific examples wouldn't have gone amiss. Instead we get a misanthropic (and at times misogynistic) splenetic outburst, combined with p ...more
Constantina Maud
Aug 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Would have rated this great read higher, but there's too much personal rage (and too much abiding by the Freudian 'blame everything on sex' axiom) in it at some instances. This personalization robs some of Reich's arguments of their undeniable power.

"You see, little man, it all boils down to one thing, to you and your sound or unsound thinking."
Jul 13, 2013 rated it did not like it
Under the pretext of showing the Little Man, the Common, Petty Man the error of living trivially, Wilhelm Reich has written an incoherent portrait of a society that persecutes the enlightened, or Great Man in an attempt to defend the legitimacy of his much-criticized "research." He comes from a position of hatred for the contents of the minds of most men and claims to have complete separation from it, then offers the reader the same like an egomaniacal door-to-door salesman. It gets clear as the ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I did not know of Reich until perhaps a couple of weeks ago, when a dear friend suggested it to me saying that she had loved reading it. I can now understand why. In such little space, Reich has talked about human potential and possibility whilst also berating the Little Man and Woman for destroying that very potential. He knocks the Littles down, only in expectation that they will come to think, love, and live for themselves as he asks them to. I do not know how this book fits into Reich's larg ...more
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Unexpected!! Woow!!

An Adam's Apple!! The exact word to describe this book. It's like some spiritual conversation from a scene of Quentin Tarantino directional movie.
This book is naturally wacky to read.
It shakes up a ordinary man who has an (hidden) inferiority complex. This is a very small book which I would strongly recommend everyone to read to know themselves truly and stand up courageously for themselves against odds.
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
People kept praising this book a little too much recently and so I thought it must be a great one to read, especially because I read the Kurdish translation since I figured it would help me get better at reading Kurdish books.

I have to say that I wasn't impressed. I don't think I got a lot of benefit from this one except that it reinforced some ideas I previously had, which is not a bad thing to say about a book by the way. The author presented too many ideas for me to comprehend and I didn't kn
Eva Nissioti
Apart from a few worthwhile passages, the rest is a never-ending, repeating itself rant of a man who claims to be a "great" man and lists all the times the "petty"man had done him wrong in his career while at the same time he reassures the petty man that he cares for them and their future. I cannot understand the hype.
The parts that can be explained to have a parallel to anti fascism speech are interesting and important but the rest is just a bad copy polemic of something Nietsche would write.
Apr 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: looking for a reckoning
Wilhelm Reich was a psychiatrist living in Nazi Germany; in 1945 he wrote this "talk" as a means of explaining to the common man the reality he had invented. It grows more relevant by the hour. I have a copy illustrated by William Steig. ...more
Nov 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Actually, this would probably be a 2.75 or so, ranking-wise. If you know nothing about Wilhelm Reich, this is not the place to start. Even if you do know something about Reich, this book is still an oddity - it contains none of his early work in psychiatry (done with Freud), and only contains his later, more controversial and "fringier" ideas (that precursored the sexual revolution) as background. This book is not a "sketch it out for the layman" instruction manual, either, despite its deceptive ...more
" قبل أن تفكروا بالتخلص من حاكم مستبد، تخلصوا مما يستبد بكم من عادات سيئة وتقاليد سوداء. " ميخائيل نعيمة
What life consists of is the dimensional matrix of events floating around the so-called “reality, and how the protagonists “us,” who are placed involuntarily inside this matrix manage to deal with these realities.
Well, even with this illusionary nature, we have a minor agency to control our virtual existence, and it's best if we practiced this agency upon ourselves before others.
That’s someh
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too much crap for such a short book.

Okay, okay, it had some interesting ideas, like "only you can save yourself" and "you are the one in which your future relies" but I am absolutely sure that there are thousands of books out there that manage to show the same message without all the arrogance and belittlement of others that this author shows through the novel.

All the novel can be summed up in this: "Okay you are all little man, which is a synonym for f*cking idiots, and I am the most intelligen
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: geography, crítica
A small reflection, from a misunderstood man of his time.
Although I recognize he might have been really upset with society, while he was writing this short conversation with the little man ( and woman!), and sometimes he thinks he has all the answers ( but of course he is only a human being and doesn't know everything, and I do have some critics to this book), but the thing is that he really shows us our incapability of being who we truly are, of demonstrating our opinions ( as we are always lo
Tafan Kareem
Apr 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Tafan by: m.zana
“You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pett ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philoshophy
Reading this book, you really can sense Reich's anger towards the world. It is fantastic. Although the book is written in a very incoherent manner, one can really sense his frustruation. Read this book years ago, and I can easily say that it was the most life-changing experience... He gave me the courage to stand up to my true self- and I guess, partly that is due to the tone of the book.

That said the whole sexual orgone box theory is totally nuts... but amusing, nevertheless. I was going to re
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, classics
There was some unnecessary fat shaming and spinster-phobia (is that even a thing?).

However, I do recognize that this was written by a very bitter man, who had some otherwise constructive things to say, so I would encourage most people to read it.

May 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Political ranting with a few gems of pure positive energy. No wonder this mad genius got sacked by the FBI. I read this whole work in a morning. =)
Zaubin Z
Oct 25, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone
This book is good, in that it puts stupidity in its place. It provides a good view of how our selves are the greatest obstructions to our own progress and well-being. It points out the smallness that hides in all of us, with the hope that by being aware of it, we might be able to transcend it.
I agree with Reich that his research should not be judged on a moral reactive basis, but with sound reasoning. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how much sound reasoning has ever been invested into Reichian ther
Esa Ruoho
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
this is when Wilhelm Reich got tired of all the slander and public/private hatred towards him and his discoveries, coming from doctors, scientists and the general public, which was based on their distorted ideas of what he was researching and how he was researching it. this is when he ranted against the emotional plague, and the little man inside every human being. its his private attack, which was later published, to the smallness of man and his resistance of new ideas. W.Reich was incredibly s ...more
Elliot Ratzman
Mar 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
“I have discovered the laws of living energy…your cosmic essence.” Written in the mid-40s, this is one long stream of narcissistic rant by Reich, complemented with cartoony illustrations by William Steig (creator of Shrek!) that undermine the seriousness (or seriously deluded) tone of Reich’s legal situation. Paranoid and resentful, he sees the “little man” out to get him in particular, and the genius/great man in general. By this time he was living in Maine, claiming to have discovered the cure ...more
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
little man

A book that explains perfectly well the vanity of human beings and the nature of fascism or similar ideas, degrading every form of freedom.

A great speech about the Little Man/Common Man we all have inside of us. Drawn by his own experiences of injustice and disdain, he speaks directly to the reader about the pettiness of the Common Man, which makes it very easy to read and hard to put down.
He explains and judges, and the other way around. He puts feelings into words and thoughts into examples
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: faves-read
An incredible and uncomfortable book, if you know anything about Reich and the amount he came up against in his Research the you will appreciate this book, it is a rant against all the oppressors he came up against and you can both identify and feel attacked (armored against :), but ultimately it makes you take a sideways look at yourself. Hard to explain.
J. Gonzalez- Blitz
Aug 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I liked the parts about self-mastery, critical thinking, and not placing reliance on figureheads, real or symbolic. But like a lot of "free your mind/personal empowerment" type reads, can apply to how things might happen in the real world from a certain limited perspective, which I accept is just part of a lot of 20th century European literature. (shrug) ...more
Sep 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Very Good !

Everyone can feel alone in crowds. I know how its like... Read this book if you like Freud style also, because Reich is his student. This book shows us how we manage and jump from anger to serenity ...

Its very good.
Hilal Altun
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
"I embrace a woman because I Love and desire her, not because I have a marriage certificate or because I’m sex-starved." ...more
Panais Christobal
Jun 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read it when I was 16. It changed my way of thinking!
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the jam. A total rant against every average citizen.

It was also one of the more influential texts for Vaneigem and co.
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Jewish Austrian-American psychiatrist and psychoanalyst.

Reich was a respected analyst for much of his life, focusing on character structure, rather than on individual neurotic symptoms. He promoted adolescent sexuality, the availability of contraceptives and abortion, and the importance for women of economic independence. Synthesizing material from psychoanalysis, cultural anthropology, economics,

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“You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.” 215 likes
“You'll have a good, secure life when being alive means more to you than security, love more than money, your freedom more than public or partisan opinion, when the mood of Beethoven's or Bach's music becomes the mood of your whole life … when your thinking is in harmony, and no longer in conflict, with your feelings … when you let yourself be guided by the thoughts of great sages and no longer by the crimes of great warriors … when you pay the men and women who teach your children better than the politicians; when truths inspire you and empty formulas repel you; when you communicate with your fellow workers in foreign countries directly, and no longer through diplomats...” 157 likes
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