The Hero with a Thousand Faces Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell

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Since its release in 1949, The Hero with a Thousand Faces has influenced millions of readers by combining the insights of modern psychology with Joseph Campbell's revolutionary understanding of comparative mythology. In this book, Campbell outlines the Hero's Journey, a universal motif of adventure and transformation that runs through virtually all of the world's mythic traditions. He also explores the Cosmogonic Cycle, the mythic pattern of world creation and destruction.As relevant today as when it was first published, The Hero with a Thousand Faces continues to find new audiences in fields ranging from religion and anthropology to literature and film studies. The book has also profoundly influenced creative artists-including authors, songwriters, game designers, and filmmakers-and continues to inspire all those interested in the inherent human need to tell stories.



  • I've read about half of this book and I'm returning it. I know it's highly regarded (apparently it inspired Star Wars!), but I just can't get on board with it. It feels like a lot of oversimplification and generalization to me. Campbell takes different mythologies from around the world and the stories themselves are interesting and enjoyable to listen to. However, the connections between them are lacking. For Campbell, there's not much difference between mythology and religion. He treats them as if they're the same thing, just with different audiences. Once he makes this reductionist move, he starts reducing and generalizing everything he can find to fit into a single hero's journey monomyth. He goes on to analyze the superficial similarities in stories worldwide, using psychoanalytic approaches like Freudian and Jungian themes and rites of passage. Personally, I don't really buy into that kind of analysis, so it makes the book feel outdated. But what really got to me was the chapter on Buddhism. Campbell completely misrepresents it, misinterpreting the Heart Sutra and seeming like he doesn't really understand the concept of transcending subject-object duality. He ends up conflating every duality he can find, and it just comes across as meaningless nonsense. At that point, I had had enough. Thankfully, the service allows you to return books, so that's what I'm doing.
  • I'm not too sure who made the decision to go with this narrator, but he doesn't seem to be the best fit for this type of writing! I can totally picture him doing a great job narrating a thriller, but not something as academically significant as this. It's a bit off-putting, and the addition of footnotes by different voices also makes it confusing to listen to. The whole thing only really becomes clear when I have the physical book in hand, as otherwise it can come across as a bunch of jumbled thoughts and unrelated ideas. The main feeling I get while listening to this is that the narrator is just reciting words without truly understanding their meaning. But let me tell you, the book itself is an absolute classic!
  • This audiobook is absolutely terrible. The narrator randomly switches multiple times throughout the recording, without any clear explanation, which completely ruins the flow and makes it incredibly difficult to concentrate on the actual content. Additionally, the audio level is all over the place, making it even more frustrating to listen to. Overall, this audiobook does not do justice to Campbell's work at all. I would highly recommend avoiding it.