- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Picador; New edition edition (26 Aug. 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330334360
- ISBN-13: 978-0330334365
- Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 707,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Essays in Love Paperback – 26 Aug 1994
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More About the Author
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)
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)
It's a familiar tale but there is nothing predictable about De Botton's explanation of how love enthrals us all. This is no light romance but a sort of "When Harry Met Sally Meets Roland Barthes". . . A novel of wit and insight; whatever the state of your love life, it will make entertaining and sometimes painful, sometimes profitable reading (Time Out) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
The classic book on love by the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
In her introduction to de Botton’s book (Picador Classics) Sheila Heti begins, ‘Essays in Love has been classified as a novel, but it’s a very strange novel.’ It is, she says, ‘a guide through the landscape of contemporary romance.’ In the book de Botton makes a habit of reflecting on a previous paragraph telling the story of (presumably his) love affair with Chloe, a woman whom he meets by chance sitting next to him on a Paris-London flight. Thus the novel-memoir seems at times to be a mere jumping of point to a profound analysis of the trite business of falling in love - and of course inevitably the disillusion inherent in that commonplace but unique event.
I must confess that I am often puzzled by the memoir genre - how much is ‘true’ and how much falsified for the sake of art? In books about love affairs, which this absolutely is, how constant is the point of view? How can the reader believe in the ‘facts’ as retailed by the narrator? Well, de Botton (who wrote this book in his early twenties) does a masterly job of analysing the ebb and flow of desire, beginning with rapture over finding that the lovers have so much in common that some supernatural agency must have pre-determined their meeting. ‘I love chocolate, don’t you?’ asked Chloe. ‘I can’t understand people who don’t like chocolate.’ Well, the narrator, the ‘I’ in the story, de Botton or a version of him, hates chocolate: ‘I had been more or less allergic to chocolate all my life.’ So of course in the ‘story’ the narrator has to lie, or else run the risk of losing the ‘angel’ as Chloe is soon to become. This is the key to the novel, focusing on a mundane preference and lying about one’s true feelings. It’s what we all would do in the circumstances.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Essays in Love was 'interesting' but not enthralling. I was hoping for something much better. That's the long and short of it. Read morePublished on 8 Mar. 2013 by CroydonBoy
The summary as written on line prepared one for this book. No great surprises. Enjoyable to read if this is your taste in literaturePublished on 27 Oct. 2012 by pat neale