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‘The Existentialist’s Survival Guide’ Review: Choose Your Own Adventure

From the WSJ:

When it comes to living, there’s no getting out alive. But books can help us survive, so to speak, by passing on what is most important about being human before we perish. In “The Existentialist’s Survival Guide: How to Live Authentically in an Inauthentic Age,” Gordon Marino has produced an honest and moving book of self-help for readers generally disposed to loathe the genre. It is a hybrid of memoir and meditation, a culminating work of philosophy developed after two decades of teaching and writing.

“The thinkers between these covers,” Mr. Marino writes, “do not offer a step-by-step plan for coping with our feelings of inadequacy, or a checklist of behaviors to avoid.” His book isn’t a set of instructions for getting happy fast. “Instead of detailing some strategy for assuaging our depression, [existentialists] . . . tender advice on how to keep our moral and spiritual bearing when it feels as though we are going under.”

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