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The Manual: A Philosopher's Guide to Life (Stoic Philosophy Book 1)

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4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,141 ratings  ·  90 reviews
Life's Missing Instruction Manual

Epictetus (c. 50-135 CE) was brought as a slave to Rome, where he became a great teacher, deeply influencing the future emperor Marcus Aurelius among many others.His philosophy, Stoicism, was practical, not theoretical--aimed at relieving human suffering here and now.

And Epictetus knew suffering. Besides being a former slave, he was lame in
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Kindle Edition, 66 pages
Published April 23rd 2017 by Ancient Renewal
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Average rating 4.37  · 
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 ·  1,141 ratings  ·  90 reviews


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Solon
Dec 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A Wonderful Translation

I'm a sucker for plainly written translations, and this exceeds expectations. As for the content, while you probably won't agree with every maxim (I didn't), there's no question you'll find several passages that will push you toward meaningful change in your life.
Miss Maya
Jan 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lead me, Fate, wherever you will
and I will cheerfully follow.
For, even if I kick and wail,
all the same, I must follow.

_ Cleanthes
Kevin
Jan 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are a whole bunch of short translations of the Enchiridion, and this is one of them. I can't really recommend one over the others, so I'd say get a bunch of them and read 'em all (they're cheap).

In terms of value/word, this is about as good as it gets. So I'll give it five stars and move on.
C. L. Kay
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very quick and easy to read--nuggets of wisdom.

I finished the text in under 30 minutes but each but if wisdom requires deep contemplation and inner work. An interesting ancient perspective that still holds weight.
Anamika Gioia
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
A simple, quick and easy to read translation of The Manual by Epictetus. This book is full of philosophical principals that I would like to live my life by. I have highlights on almost every page of this book!
Justin
Sep 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Nicely organized but redundant which is especially frustrating considering its size
Aycan Doganlar
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I’m sure I’m going to read this over and over again.
Philipp
Nov 21, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick read, a reader's digest of Epictetus writings, the 'main points' taken out and put into very short chapters you can print in a calendar. If you're after the life advice portion, and only that - no historical context etc. - of stoic thought this is a good start.


What of things, objects, and beings that delight your mind, are of good practical use, or which you dearly love? Remind yourself of their true nature, beginning with the smallest trifle and working upward.
If you have a favorite
...more
Alexandru Somesan
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
Image
Now, this was a short book, I finished it in 30 minutes! The book cover is misleading: it's not a compilation of passages of Epictetus, it's a rewriting of his ideas entirely in Sam Torode's words, based on his reading and understanding of Epictetus.
The content is concise, clear and straightforward on how to act and think like a stoic philosopher. I rate it 4/5 because some ideas are repeated and because throughout the book, you do not get to grasp the context and the 'why' underlying the
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Odessa Scorpio
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I finally understand the guy who calls everyone normies

Honestly it wasn't bad although there was actually a lot I did not agree with. This took me a while to read despite being short. It was a bit judgy.
Miha Rekar
Jan 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
60 pages of distilled philosophy. You can read it in 30 mins. And then read it again. And again. 1900 years old knowledge but repacked in modern English. Can not recommend it enough.
Ben Ostrowsky
Short and to the point. Truly one of the wisest Vulcans ever born on Earth.
Prasanth K. Rajan
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved this! Nuggets of wisdom you would want to keep reading again and again.
Zhexi (Bonnie)
Dec 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this because DHH recommends this book in the twitter.
Its main concept repeats what I have learned from a mentor and friend: “When anyone provokes you, remember that it is actually your own opinion provoking you. It is not the person who insults or attacks you who torments your mind, but the view you take of these things.” “This is only my interpretation, not reality itself.”
Nick
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We no less struggle to avoid distress and lead the good life today than we did in Ancient Greece—Epictetus’ practical advice is as relevant as ever. Torode’s clear, straightforward interpretation of Higginson’s turn of the century translation brings fresh air to Stoic philosophy’s core principles.
Gary alpis
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stoic Philosophy

Great read, simple guidelines for oneself to follow, reminders that we sometimes forget , will definitely recommend it to others.
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Isil Arican
May 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
One of the books that was on my reading list for a while, and I am not impressed.

It was not bad, and probably was a very good book for its time considering it was written around 100 CE. However, I could not shake the feeling of reading a very predictable self-help book. It was boring and did not offer any new wisdom or anything interesting to me.
Also, I should admit that I do not like books that try to tell you how to live your life. "Do this and do not do that" is the worst kind of a book in my
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rixx
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had a couple of stressful weeks, with both positive and negative experiences with wonderful people. When I start losing my equilibrium (ok, no, when I have irrevocably lost my equilibrium), I sometimes go back and read **The Manual**, a very short, 50-pages-at-most read of the Stoic principles by Epictetus.

I don't agree with some parts of Stoic philosophy, mostly regarding the natural order of things and how people connect to one another, but boy are they ever good at reminding you that you
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Danielle Grant
Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent

Excellent, concise guide for living. Great introduction to writings of Epictetus, and to Stoic philosophy. Every maxim may not apply to all individuals, but regardless of personal beliefs, one will very likely find this guide adaptable/applicable to their daily mode of being.

Many thanks to Sam Torode for putting this manual into clear, easy-to -understand language. It was a great quick read and I look forward to re-reading, as well as reading Book #2 in the series, 'The Meditations - A
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Tensor Monkey
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
A collection of ancient mantras written in plain English. My morning routine involves walking to the river looking into Portland as the sun rises, and I bring my Kindle with me and go through my highlights on this book and reflect.

The key takeaway for me was that I'm really only in control over my own thoughts, which helps explain why two different people can react in extremes to the same event. My favorite quote in the book which was early on backs this up with:

"When anyone provokes you,
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David Mytton
Jul 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a good, modern version of the key maxims of Stoicism. Stoic philosophy is easy to understand and quite obvious, but difficult to apply in the moment. This book only takes 15 minutes to read and could (should) easily be a regular return read, making it much more likely you will remember and apply the principles.

The downside of this book is the same as the upside - it’s the pure principles and nothing else. It therefore lacks context. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius or Letters from a Stoic
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Theo B
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well digested quick read

Didn’t dislike at all
It was the read i hoped it to be. Really a good reopening book for me to explore my life better. Opens the mind to prepare your rough draft to jump into the world of philosophy. He is well written and the quotes were perfectly placed. Much recommended and will be reading the second book !!!
Mike Parrott
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great interpretations

I really enjoyed the translation of Eoictetus' teachings to contemporary lamguage, however it's difficult to gain a full, true understanding without knowing the original text. I would have preferred the author provide the original text then an interpretation in modern voice. Nevertheless, it's a great, quick read. Finished within 2 hours.
kayson  oakey
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Parables

It's a good book of parables, it doesn't go into detail about the philosophy behind the principles, just the practical dude of it. It is a good resource to stay with because it it tells you what you need to master in practice then once you have mates it you can go to other sources for better explanation.
Michael Siliski
Jul 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Insightful, concise, accessible. If you want just the stoic teachings without the history, this is probably your best bet. You could read the whole thing in an hour, but as each page is its own piece of wisdom, it’s probably best consumed over a longer piece of time with more reflection.
Sushil Rungta
Jan 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
A waste of time

The author, throughout the book, commits the crime he advocates avoiding: preaching. This book is not entirely based on the writings of Epictetus but a cocktail of advice, preachings, and sermons. Read the original or a well translated work of Epictetus.
Carl Marcus
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Loses a bit in modern translation

The content of this book is, of course, classic. This translation tries too hard to be modern. It has its benefits, but at times the desire to be contemporary is glaring and weakens the message.
Denise Delight
Ok, this had one too many translations. It was translated at one point, and then this version was "rendered into contemporary English" in 2017. It seemed they may have been loose, but I haven't read the original to know. The topics were broad and the advice was high level -- not my kind of book.
Ray
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short and sharp.
Mel Clark
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Timeless wisdom in a very readable translation.
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Epictetus was a Greek Stoic philosopher. He was probably born a slave at Hierapolis, Phrygia (present day Pamukkale, Turkey), and lived in Rome until his exile to Nicopolis in northwestern Greece, where he lived most of his life and died. His teachings were noted down and published by his pupil Arrian in his Discourses. Philosophy, he taught, is a way of life and not just a theoretical discipline. ...more
“If you pin your hopes on things outside your control, taking upon yourself things which rightfully belong to others, you are liable to stumble, fall, suffer, and blame both gods and men. But if you focus your attention only on what is truly your own concern, and leave to others what concerns them, then you will be in charge of your interior life. No one will be able to harm or hinder you. You will blame no one, and have no enemies.” 2 likes
“Some young women confuse their self-worth with their ability to attract the attention of men, and so pour all their energies into makeup, clothing, and jewelry. If only they realized that virtue, honor, and self-respect are the marks of a true beauty.” 2 likes
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