TITLE: “A Reason for Living”
AUTHOR: Laurent Grenie
CONTENT: Inspirational and philosophical nonfiction
BINDING: paperback (also available as ebook)
LIST PRICE: 12.95 USD for the paperback
and 6.50 USD for the ebook
RETAIL OUTLETS: Amazon.com, among other bookstores
for a list of purchase options)
AUTOGRAPHED COPIES: available
through the author directly or through authorsden.com's bookstore
The way to fulfillment against great odds
BOOK DESCRIPTION: “A Reason for Living” is Laurent Grenier’s extremely moving story of his triumph over a disabling injury as he found meaning in life despite everything. Part autobiography, part philosophical essay, “A Reason for Living” looks back on the author’s past – his active, athletic youth abruptly interrupted by his diving accident, which left him a near quadriplegic and led to further hardships – and shows us the way to fulfillment against great odds through the courageous pursuit of wisdom and happiness.
“My diving accident was a misfortune that deprived me extensively of my life’s meaning. It was also a chance to discover a deeper and true r reason for living. Why live? See what my answer is. I trust it will help you live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.” L. G.
FURTHER INTRO TO THE BOOK: Every year a great many people suffer disabling injuries that turn their lives upside down. This disruption is often accompanied by overwhelming grief. Indeed, many victims of disabling injuries feel it is fundamentally their ability to achieve happiness they have lost.
“A Reason for Living” by Laurent Grenier was written especially for them, in an effort to help them adjust and view life in a most positive, meaningful way. “Today I concede without reservation that the absurdity of my reality was an illusion that my adaptation to this reality could dispel. The lack of meaning was a want of awareness. What I failed to see was the flexibility of my nature. More than an individual (in terms of my habits), I was a human being capable of shaping and reshaping my individuality in accordance with my changing situation,” Grenier writes.
The book proceeds from a determination to provide a solid and wholesome answer to the ever so pressing question “Why live?” It is about helping people lead wiser and happier lives – stricken people in particular who not only crave such an improvement, but also strive to satisfy this craving.
Furthermore – and this adds to the unique and resolute positiveness of the book – “A Reason for Living” is both philosophical and autobiographical, and does more than deliver a message; it sets an example. On the one hand, it is a view of life, and on the other, a life story, the latter serving as a backdrop for the former in a very illustrative, relevant, and convincing way. The author thinks what he says and lives it. His words are all the more credible and inspiring as they are matched by his actions. Now 48, he was once a teenage athlete who became severely disabled due to a sports injury and slowly rebuilt his life from the ground up by means of considerable efforts, including much study and reflection.
BIO: Laurent Grenier’s writing career spans over twenty years. During this time he has broadened and deepened his worldview, by dint of much reflection and study, and in the end has crafted “A Reason for Living,” his best work to date.
TOC (main headings):
Chapter 3—Death wish
Chapter 4—Poetic instinct
EXCERPTS: 1. “… unhappy individuals… are naturally reluctant to fault themselves for their unhappiness, or have a tendency to cast the blame on whatever beings or things bear a relation to them. Fortunately, they often resist this tendency, as they recognize its perversity. Although life comes with many strings attached – many determining factors, internal or external – humans are not mere puppets in the hands of circumstances. They may suffer, but they have the power to react against their suffering, unless they are mentally and physically incapacitated in the extreme. The more they passively claim to be the victim of a bad situation, the more they are an undeclared accomplice to it, for lack of struggling to better it or make the best of it. They can take responsibility for their so-called fate, within limits that vary from one person to the next and change with time. As a rule, through persistent efforts, they can succeed in life – in such areas as health, work, love, and friendship.
2. “Everything considered, our existence pivots on a single fact: To gain wisdom, happiness, and nobility – which constitute a trinity of values that amount to one good as our fundamental purpose – we have to struggle for them. Life is a battle, and a tough one at that, against the numerous evils of the world; I vouch for the truth of this popular image. Yet, this image overstresses the outside evils, portrayed as enemies we combat, while the worst evil is a seducer inside us by the name of laziness, which loves easiness. The right way is a hard way. But then, a battle without struggle is a victory without glory. Pride is our prize.”
3. “Through the years, I have met… remarkable persons, who had much experience and wisdom. When their situation turned rather bad, they said, ‘I have seen worse,’ and they kept cheerful. To them, a trouble that was not disastrous was petty, a mere inconvenience not worthy of a single tear. They did not indulge in wistful, wasteful thoughts either. They simply dealt with things in the most favorable way. I admire their no-nonsense attitude toward life, which can prove messy. I imagine their motto: Don’t whine, nor cuss; tackle the muss and clear it up, or grin and bear it!
All in all, they were well-adjusted realists who believed detriment and merriment can coexist when the former leaves room for something that makes life worth living, loving, despite everything. The secret is balance: The worse the detriment, the better this something must be to compensate for it and bring merriment. Great achievers are often great sufferers who had the will and the ability to redeem their condition with a profound dignity and joy in the pursuit and attainment of a high goal. Other great sufferers, of lesser will and ability, either lived passively and bitterly or killed themselves. In short, suffering enervates the weak and motivates the strong. Yet, beware! The strong may be weak at first and yield to morbid temptations or contemplate suicide for some considerable time; but at last they discover and develop the strength beneath their weakness, like a seed that lies in the parched soil of a neglected pot and needs the care of a flower lover to grow and bloom, and generate wonder.”
More content available for evaluation at http://laurentgrenier.com/ARFL.html
REVIEWS: 1. “‘A Reason for Living’ offers... a philosophy that is as uplifting as it is honest.... Highly recommended.” Nancy Morris at Allbooks Reviews.
2. “... writing is very in-depth and scholarly.... a fantastic job!” Lisa D’Angelo at BookReviewNU.
3. “Physical adversity and mental triumph.
“This book succeeds less as a memoir and more as a guide.... Grenier does find his ‘reason for living’ as the title promises.” Alice Barnstead at ForeWordreviews.com
4. “Excellent book... for a better, wiser, happier life.” Sandra Vassallo at e-bility.com.
5. “... your writing is very strong – stylistically, grammatically, and in terms of content.... The depth and breadth of your knowledge in philosophical and scientific matters are extremely impressive.... Wonderful!” Eric Barstad, author of the book “A Gloss on Our Painted Gods.”
6. “You are a remarkable man. When reading your book, I am filled with a desire to learn more and to acquire the deep compassion and philosophical meaning that you bring out so brilliantly… It is wonderfully written.” Lori Perkins.
7. “Bravo and again bravo! You have become a man in the noblest and wisest sense of the word.... Thank you for this beautiful account of your life, these beautiful descriptions of people and places, and philosophical reflections.” Dr. Gaston Sauvé.
8. "I justifiably applauded as well as enjoyed your book.... I, too, have been a student of philosophy in my youth, and your deductions on various subjects fascinated me.... Your stamina, both physical and spiritual, can be admired if not envied. Above all, however, I admire your ability to see good, to perceive beauty and experience joy in everyday life. It is a gift to you and from you to those who have not been as fortunate yet." Gundega Cenne, artist.
AWARD: (November 2004) "A Reason for Living" is one of the highlighted titles by Independent Publisher online, who “recognize[s] the latest and greatest in independent publishing.”