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Seneca: Moral Letters to Lucilius, Vol. 1

So it’s probably not news to anybody that’s been hanging around that I have gained some benefit from reading the works of Tim Ferriss. Some people don’t care for his stuff and fair play to them…his stuff has worked for me, though. His Four Hour Work Week helped clear up a lot of mental clutter that I had going on (and have you met me? I have a bit) and his follow-up, Four Hour Body, got me into a large size shirt for the first time in…forever. I was, to put it mildly, classified by scientists worldwide as “megafauna.”

Anyway, there’s a point to this (a rarity for this site, I know). Everywhere I ran across Ferriss talking about his stuff, people would ask what they should read. Everywhere–and I mean freaking everywhere–that he responded he said Seneca. Now, again, if you’ve been around for a while you know that me cracking open a book is rare. Even 4HWW was an audiobook and the only reason I broke down and actually read 4HB is the audiobook couldn’t, of course, give you pictures and charts and such. (The previous book I actually read? Feast for Crows…because the narrator wasn’t Roy Dotrice and couldn’t hang.)

But I couldn’t find an audiobook of Seneca’s letters. This was making me nuts. So I decided to take matters into my own hands and start recording them.

The end result is a plan to record all of them and release them in installments: perhaps two, probably no more than three volumes. The first volume is available now, both as an M4B audiobook file and a zipped up array of MP3 files. It’s around eight hours in length, is taken from the 1917 edition which was translated by Richard Mott Gummere and is read by me. It consists of the first sixty-five letters in the series.

I’m going to be officially launching the website for the audiobook some time shortly. But I’ve been handing around discount codes and I wanted to hand out one here. You get $5 off the price until the site launches…and that’s at least 24 hours away. The code, naturally, is “needcoffee.” Go check out the site for a free sample letter. Comment here if you have any questions.

Thanks for checking it out, guys.

By | 2017-09-24T22:32:16+00:00 April 2nd, 2012|Headsup|10 Comments


  1. Dindrane April 4, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    So exciting!

  2. annodoom April 15, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    I commend you on taking matters into your own hands, and I understand that your time is valuable, but I still wish you had gone the librivox route — http://librivox.org/

  3. Widge April 15, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Anno: I’m quite familiar with Librivox…however, I spent three to four months of pretty solid work to put the audiobook together, so I simply can’t justify giving it away for free. I’ve given away my books, my short stories…this website is free, so I have some personal experience with the fact that free won’t pay my mortgage. Sorry, amigo.

  4. Myles September 13, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Excellent work, finally an audiobook to enjoy, thank you!

  5. Doug December 3, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    How’d you get the audio rights from Penguin?

  6. Widge December 3, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Doug: Thanks for the question. It’s a different translation from the one Penguin has out in paperback and one that’s in the public domain.

  7. Dennis May 7, 2013 at 6:31 am

    just bought the audiobook and it’s great! Any plans on part 2? Would love to have the complete letters as audiobook…

  8. Widge May 7, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    Dennis: Many thanks…Part 2 is in production even as we speak/type!

  9. Dennis September 26, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Any updates on Part 2?

  10. Widge September 27, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Thanks for the ping. It’s still in production. Should be wrapping up shortly. Watch this space.

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