- Paperback: 199 pages
- Publisher: Pantheon Books Inc; 1 edition (5 Oct. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679442758
- ISBN-13: 978-0679442752
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,329,637 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How Proust Can Change Your Life: Not a Novel Paperback – 5 Oct 1997
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"This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while." (The Sunday Telegraph)
"De Botton's little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life." (The Daily Telegraph)
"A self-help manual for the intelligent person . . . witty, funny, and tonic." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Delightfully original. . . . As well as being criticism, biography, literary history and a reader's guide to Proust's masterpiece, How Proust Can Change Your Life is a self-help book in the deepest sense of the term." (The New York Times)
"Curious, humorous, didactic and dazzling. . . . It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction." (The New Yorker)
"This is a genius-level piece of writing that manages to blend literary biography with self-help and tongue-in-cheek with the profound. The quirky, early 1900s French author Marcel Proust acts as the vessel for surprisingly impressive nuggets of wisdom on down-to-earth topics such as why you should never sleep with someone on the first date, how to protect yourself against lower back pain, and how to cope with obnoxious neighbors. Here's proof that our ancestors had just as much insight as the gurus du jour and perhaps a lot more wit. De Botton simultaneously pokes fun at the self-help movement and makes a significant contribution to its archives." (Amazon) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
‘Dazzling’ John Updike --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In "How Proust can change your life" he takes the wisdom to be found in the novels of Proust and shows how they can help us to live better lives. Or perhaps to make us aware that we live better lives than we think.
There are sections on how to love life, read for yourself, take your time, suffer succesfully, express your emotions, be a good friend, open your eyes, be happy in love and put books down.
I loved this book and it has made me feel I can read Proust and appreciate it properly. Swann's Way is next for me and I am looking forward to it with anticipation. But whether you intend to read Proust or not this book is well worth reading.
The whole experience is truly life-changing and, whilst the title does not reveal this, de Botton himself deserves some of the credit for that too.
Un fair, I hear you moan. I know. Your're right.
Alain DeBotton's witty and concise critique of Proust in bibliographic format is up beat, insightful and funny! He refers to Proust as a sickly young man who showed immense sensitivity for his Parisian life style, his friends and especially his mother! Apparently, he literally couldn't take a dump without detailing every satisfactory and unsatisfactory movement to "mamon". When he went away on holidays, letter after letter, would detail how much he could or couln't eat, how much he could or couldn't sleep and the regularity of his bowel movements. Like wise mamon would relpy to her son, demanding more details concerning these matters. Weight, size, shape and shade became fundamental details of her son's well being.
Still, I guess, any mother or father worth their salt maintains a similarly watchful eye on the in and out trays of their off springs digestive system.
DeBotton, reviews different aspects of Proustian philiosophy: how to be a good friend, how to express emotion, how to take your time and so on. Each section being neatly summed up by DeBotton for its merits and de-merits. It was refreshing to see the author unafraid to refute Proust's views and offer an alternative. The last chapter is very powerful, to me anyway: how to put books down. Here both the subject and the author agree. Books are great, they enlighten, they impress, they reassure and they offer a dim light for errant souls. And here, in this last comment, lies the best part of DeBotton's book and the Proustian perspective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Marcel Proust’s brother Robert supposed that only serious illness or a broken leg were likely to provide the opportunity to read À la recherche du temps perdu (In Search of... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Lost John
I am not a good reader, but I should say that the first channel didn't get my full attention. For I while I put apart, hopefully I will continue reading it to have a better idea... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
It's not necessary to have read Prousts great novel In search of Lost Time to appreciate this book, though it helps. Read morePublished 4 months ago by John Edward Moore
How I wish I'd read this book before reading Proust. But there again, if I hadn't read Proust, would I think this book so good? Read morePublished 7 months ago by Aysa Knox
The book reads like a short biography, and by the end of it I felt that Proust was an old friend of mine. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Julie Dagonet
exactly what the product description said; very satisfiedPublished 10 months ago by AIKATERINI FYTOPOULOU