"A refreshing, invigorating experience…Adam Phillips is one of the richest and most rewarding essayists of our time." —
"Highly pragmatic…Phillips’s authority as a writer comes in no small part from his own experience as a highly regarded therapist….Like a priest, he is concerned with damnation and salvation, under the secular names of sickness and cure." —Adam Kirsch, The Boston Globe
"Transformative…Phillips can tease out contradictions with extraordinary delicacy….He shows that pleasure and desire are not simple; they can be feared…and used to hide things we should really see."
—The Guardian (London)
"Gently provocative reading on themes of need and desire…Phillips’s ideas are fresh and inventive, casting new light on counterintuitive topics from the psychological importance of punishment to the questionable pursuit of happiness." —Financial Times
"A set of beguiling essays…the author provides polished ponderables for all readers." —Kirkus Reviews