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On Love [Paperback]

Alain de Botton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £8.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Book Description

6 Jan 2006
The best-selling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Art of Travel revisits his utterly charming debut novel, On Love. The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a ParisLondon flight, and by the time they've reached the luggage carousel he knows he is in love. He loves her chestnut hair, watery green eyes, the gap that makes her teeth Kantian and not Platonic, and her views on Heidegger's Being and Time -- but he hates her taste in shoes. Plotting the course of their affair from the initial delirium of infatuation to the depths of suicidal despair, through a fit of anhedonia -- defined in medical texts as a disease resulting from the terror brought on by the threat of utter happiness -- and finally through the terrorist tactics employed when the beloved begins, inexplicably, to drift away, On Love is filled with profound observations and useful diagrams, examining for all of us the pain and exhilaration of love.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press / Atlantic Monthly Press; Reprint edition (6 Jan 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802142400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802142405
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 12.9 x 0.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 311,849 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


"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 member of On Love, a first novel by Alain de Botton, who seems to have been born to write."

From the Author

I'd like to hear from readers
If there are any readers of my first novel who have comments, please email me. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
de Botton's 1993 novel, On Love, is at once engrossing, thought-provoking and ultimately fulfilling. He skillfully blends an appropriate mixture of humor and sentiment into a story that could easily have become maudlin and trite. The questions that he ponders and the insights that he ascertains regarding this ever-elusive subject are extraordinary -- perhaps almost too real at times. Interestingly, a large part of the novel is written in the first-person narrative, with only a few pages devoted to actual dialogue among the players. Still, de Botton keeps his readers intimately involved with the story, while at the same time gracefully teaching many basic concepts of social philosophy. Perhaps the only criticism might lie in the excerpt and brief description on the book's back, which hardly does the story justice. A marvelously written tale which concludes as beautifully as it began, this book is most recommended if not for its refreshing and original take "on love", but for its attempt (a successful one, in this reader's opinion) to grasp this metaphorical goal that all of us hope one day to attain.
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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is published under different names by different publishers ('Essays in Love' by Picador and 'On Love' by Grove Press) and I fell foul of this by buying through Amazon (and therefore unable to physically see they were identical). Apart from this, I thoroughly recommend Alain de Botton. It's not for those who prefer not to think though, it is thought provoking and makes you work hard. Nevertheless it also can make you smile at the truisims within the pages. Well worth a read but not for the lazy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
De Botton's first book manages simultaneously to be important and entertaining. Through the first-person narrative, de Botton succinctly and insightfully dissects the nature of a romantic relationship. Sophisticated enough in its pontifications not to be trite, On Love is also spiced with enough humor that it does not plunge into a tired and dry treatise on love. In drawing from classical thinkers as well as providing diagrams for the reader, de Botton manages both further to illustrate the points he is making and to satirize the soberness of the sources and mechanisms that he uses to advance and refine his narrator's observations. This book can be a comfort that we are not alone in the psychoses that love breeds. At the same time, the book can help us raise our awareness as to the sources of these psychoses. Equally rewarding to plow through in three hours at the beach or to carefully dissect with a hi-liter over a course of months.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read for the single girl 25 Mar 1999
By A Customer
If you've ever wondered, as I did, what it would be like to have a relationship with a man who was intelligent, insightful, well-read, honest, open, emotionally available, even vulnerable, had a wit that made you laugh out loud AND was madly in love with you, adored you and everything about you, check this out. Alain de Botton is brilliant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars forget the self-help books... 30 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Who needs to know "Why Women Think the Way they Do" or "What Every Woman should know about Men." De Botton has captured so many of what are probably universal feelings and thoughts on love. Painful, yet funny, because so much of it's true!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 30 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Funny, witty, clever. An economist's approach to love. A great book and a good, quck read. If you don't like this book, you've never been in love.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The story of a romance 20 July 2003
By Sem
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the story of a romance from start to finish. It is a hilarious and thought provoking study of love and how it changes us. As you read you realise he could be talking about your last relationship.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful love story 5 Nov 1996
By A Customer
An extremely witty account of a love story, that basically says everything you'll ever need to know about love. It is written in a highly original style, which avoids the boredom of most novels. An ingenious mixture of analysis and story. Great.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
The summary as written on line prepared one for this book. No great surprises. Enjoyable to read if this is your taste in literature
Published 24 months ago by pat neale
2.0 out of 5 stars Clever, but not gripping
This book is a semi-novel. Chapters about a love story and about psychological aspects of love alternate. Read more
Published on 12 Jun 2004 by Charles Deckers
5.0 out of 5 stars esplendido libro
la unica cosa que puede impedirnos apreciar este libro es sentir envidia por el autor, porquie es el libro que nos gustaria poder escribir. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 1999
3.0 out of 5 stars Immature
First love usually has it's pitfalls. All love stories end. None more drastic than first love. Love is something you practice. It is work, not just pleasure. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 1999
1.0 out of 5 stars superannoying
A disappointing, pretentious effort. The characters are unoriginal and the plot predictable. A few months after buying this book I actually threw it away because I couldn't bear... Read more
Published on 3 Jan 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars In 20 years it'll be revered as a classic
An approach to love, in a post-Modern way, with echoes of Barthes and Eco. Highly witty and a bit cynical; sometimes the erudit references may bore the reader who might be looking... Read more
Published on 18 Nov 1998
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Witty, clever. Intelligent allusions to philosophers and literature. I highly recommend it.
Published on 28 Sep 1998
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