It took me a long time to like this book. Having studied Campbell’s monomyth many years ago, I found this author’s uncritical presentation of it unpalatable. Thankfully, he offers a compelling glimpse at his own hardship and this kept me sufficiently engaged to continue on. Once the groundwork has been covered the author’s thesis is compelling. Through continual examples from both real and fictional stories, Williams describes how ordinary people come to live a more fulfilling life. The book reaches its peak with the life skill of “speaking up” and how this is tied to depression, anger, and addiction. In the final chapters, the lessons are applied with an account of a broken man who learns to demand fair treatment and regains his life. This distinctly Australian account of self-actualization makes this book one I recommend.
I heard a quote from Joseph Campbell at one of my recovery meetings and it struck me enough to pick up this book and learn more about the “Hero’s Journey”. It does a great job laying out what the stages of the journey are, steps the reader can pursue and examples of the process through stories of other hero’s. It was certainly the right book at the right time in my life. Broken up in such a way the reader can take a break to consider tics message and work on their issues before going on the the next part of the process. Would be great for a group read and discussion.