Book Review Man’s Search For Meaning – Endurance Through Trial Viktor E. Frankl (Author)
This is by far the most inspiring book I’ve ever read. Starting with a firsthand account of the holocaust, and finishing with a psychoanalytical approach to the suffering which took place there, Frankl shows us his ability to objectively analyse and draw conslusions from his own experiences. His story is not one of bitterness, as one might expect, but one of survival, of deep meaning and optimism. He looks back to his Holocaust experience with the eye of one truly at peace with himself and his life. It is truly beautiful that one can endure such a process, even at times, questioning their will to live, and come out liberated both in body and spirit. In his toughest times, Frankl thought frequently of the love he had for his wife; this love, his meaning to survive when in the depths of hell, gave me a new outlook on my life. Frankl’s story is a testament to his own philosophy. That he could survive such a trial, when the mind becomes desensitized, focusing only on the day to day camp regimen, surrounded by death at every turn, is a beautiful and inspiring fact. He allows you into the frame of mind of a holocaust victim, and poses the question of how one, once liberated physically from the camps, could even begin to reenter a society so different from the atmosphere they’d come to know. His ability to find his “will to meaning,” and optimistically help others, through logotherapy, to find a meaning in their lives, is, again, truly inspiring. Unlike some of my fellow reviewers, I find this optimism inspiring and wonderful, not naive and idealistic. We should reward him for having achieved peace in his life, especially after an experience like that, not offer pointless pessimism. This book allows you to take an emotional journey into the holocaust, seeing its effects on the mind, and gives an inspiring and optimistic look toward ways to not only survive that experience, but to turn it into something meaningful.
by Matt “Matt” (New York, U.S.A.)