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Essays In Love [Abridged] [Paperback]

Alain de Botton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
RRP: £8.99
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Book Description

20 Jan 2006

Essays in Love will appeal to anyone who has ever been in a relationship or confused about love. The book charts the progress of a love affair from the first kiss to argument and reconciliation, from intimacy and tenderness to the onset of anxiety and heartbreak. The work’s genius lies in the way it minutely analyses emotions we’ve all felt before but have perhaps never understood so well: it includes a chapter on the anxieties of when and how to say ‘I love you’ and another on the challenges of disagreeing with someone else’s taste in shoes. While gripping the reader with the talent of a great novelist, de Botton brings a philosopher’s sensibility to his analysis of the emotions of love, resulting in a genre-breaking book that is at once touching and thought-provoking.

‘The book’s success has much to do with its beautifully modelled sentences, its wry humour and its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader’s intelligence . . . full of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth.’ Francine Prose, New Republic

‘Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights.’ P. J. Kavanagh, Spectator

‘De Botton is a national treasure.’ Susan Hill

‘I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life.’ Jan Morris, New Statesman

‘Single-handedly, de Botton has taken philosophy back to its simplest and most important purpose: helping us to live our lives.’ Independent


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; Abridged edition edition (20 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330440780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330440783
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alain de Botton is the author of Essays in Love (1993), The Romantic Movement (1994), Kiss and Tell (1995), How Proust can Change your Life (1997), The Consolations of Philosophy (2000) The Art of Travel (2002), Status Anxiety (2004) and most recently, The Architecture of Happiness (2006).


Product Description

Review

"Imagine, of all impossible things, a young British Woody Allen with the benefit of a classical education and you have the nameless and exquisitely erudite narrator of Essays in Love."
-- "Boston Sunday Globe"
"The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modeled sentences, its wry humor, its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader's intelligence." -- Francine Prose in "The New Republic"

About the Author

Alain De Botton was born in 1969. He is the author of The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philsophy, The Art of Travel and Status Anxiety . His work is translated into 20 languages. He lives in London. For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A read that strikes a chord. 16 May 2006
By Cath B VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book. It charts the development of a relationship between the speaker and a woman he meets on a flight. Everyone will undoubtedly relate to the different stages of the relationship, from initial uncomfortable exchanges, charged with expectation, to the concern that you are more involved than your object of desire. It's a book that contains moments of high humour and accurately depicts the frustrations, confusions, joy and desolate despair that only romantic entanglement can bring. Neatly suffused with readable and thought provoking asides, this is a fantastic book - read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but narrow 22 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Alain De Botton is never less than an interesting writer and this book is no exception. However, it is comfortably my least favourite of his books because I can relate to it least. All writing about love is, to a certain extent, subjective, but in this case I find it hard to relate to De Botton's thoughts, feelings and reactions because they are so different from my own experience, which is not of relationships where there are major rows and patchings up, but of a greater degree of tolerance and compromise leading to a smoother ride, even through break up (although the pain of break up is not to be underestimated!). This book is worth reading because De Botton is very good at analysing each stage of his relationship with Chloe and it is fascinating to see Botton's character laid down in detail. But, in his other books I have always been able to take away a lot of points that are useful to my own life, or which make me think about things in a new way, which is not the case here. I wonder whether De Botton would have written a very different book today, at the age of 40, than when this was written in his early 20's?
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging philosophy on love 26 Jan 2010
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This was my second experience of reading Alain de Botton's work (I recently read A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, highly recommended) and for me it was another very enjoyable book. I've not, so far, been much of a philosophical reader and there is much philosophy is this book. I admit that I had to check the meaning of some of the philosophical words that he uses but in the main his writing is accessible and easy to follow. Where I did have to check meaning, I feel that I have learnt more about philosophy. So, not only was the book enjoyable (I'm sure that we will all identify with at least some elements of his descriptions of the journey of a relationship) but it was also a philosophical learning experience for me too.

It feels like a young person's relationship and de Botton did write the book in his 20s. The book is categorised as fiction and even has an alternative title for the US market of "On Love: A Novel" but it is not a novel in the conventional sense. There is an overall story as de Botton charts his relationship with Chloe but at each stage of the relationship he examines the philosophy and inner workings of a relationship. It feels like non-fiction and I wonder how much of the relationship is fictional and how much is based on one or more relationships that de Botton has had in the past.

The numbering of paragraphs seemed odd but it's certainly an engaging read and I would recommend it.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lurverly!!!! 30 Jun 2005
Format:Paperback
i first read this book by accident 3 years ago when it picked me in the library!!! A philosohical journey through the peaks and troughs of love and all that it brings.beautifully written ,raw in parts it stirred up a myriad of emotions from sadness to mirth, from despair to hope. some of it frightened me to death (love can sometimes be transparent and fickle). This book was soo very personal too me i never recommended it to anyone else for fear they would not enjoy the beauty of not just the written words , but that which remains unspoken. recently i did recommend it to someone i" marshmallow" and sure enough he loved it. its not everybodys read mind , one of those dolly mixture books either u love it or u dont!!!! and we all have our favourite bits.!!!
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, Fun, Poignant and Lovely 27 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This really is the most increible book. Charting a relationship from start to finish, the author manages to capture the heart of human relationships with amazing insight.
The novel is so true to life that I found myself mirrored within the pages of the novel and I am sure I am not the only one.
This book is wonderful, truly. If you are contemplating buying one of Alain de Botton's novels, start with this one.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My breaking up bible 25 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read. It will no doubt remain my breaking up bible. Alain de Botton captures the thoughts that each and every one of us have when we find someone, fall in love and lose them. It reminds us there is hope and that we are not alone. More than this though it is honestly a fantastic book, just to read, and to enjoy
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is nearing perfection 26 Jun 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Alain de Botton's 'Essays in Love' is a thought-provoking masterpiece in the description of western society's most powerful emotion. The analysis of the stages of his love affair with Chloe are fresh in viewpoint and full of the dissection needed to conquer such an emotive topic without ever becoming suffocatingly sickly. If you've ever fallen in love and have wondered whether feelings of inadequacy are unique then you should read this. It combines a beautifully penned introduction to European philosophy with a thorough scrutiny of love that will provide a real truth to an experience often impossible to analyse on a personal basis. I loved this book almost as much as the woman who recommended it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An essay about one love affair
Slightly depressing, one clinically dissected girlfriend/boyfriend relationship from the man's perspective. Speaks volumes about the modern anglo male, says nothing about 'love'.
Published 4 months ago by Nina Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is a must read
I have read and re-read this book so many times! It is so enjoyable and insightful. I have recommended it to all my friends
Published 4 months ago by Richard Huzij
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Read
Another insightful and inspirational one by Alain de Botton. This guy really is philosophy for the ordinary person. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Terri
5.0 out of 5 stars Really insightful look at love
I can't describe how much I adore this book. Alain De Botton encapsulates his many experiences in love in one relationship between a 'fictional' man and woman. Read more
Published 7 months ago by K. Bear
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious
You can't read this without falling a little in love with Alain. A great story, told well. And helpful if you're having problems in love
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
It was OK but not up to the standard of other things he has written too self indulgent and he lost my interest after about a third of the book.
Published 11 months ago by Alan Scott Brown
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I bought this based on a recommendation from a friend. But my ideas about 'love' don't match de Botton's (or conventional ideas) - so I found this book difficult to relate to and... Read more
Published 15 months ago by S. Worthington
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this. I'd recommend it to anyone, whatever stage of life they are in and no matter how much in or out of love they are. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Gra & Co
5.0 out of 5 stars So Good I gave it to my ex
Practical Philosophy for the love lorn age, I read it quite a few times during and after a breakup to get a good perspective.
Published 17 months ago by Mp Edmondson
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of my favourites.
Essays in Love was 'interesting' but not enthralling. I was hoping for something much better. That's the long and short of it. Read more
Published 19 months ago by CroydonBoy
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