- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Penguin; 1st Edition 1st Printing Paper Back edition (13 Jan. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141014865
- ISBN-13: 978-0141014869
- Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.6 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Status Anxiety Paperback – 13 Jan 2005
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De Botton analyses modern society with great charm, learning and humour. His remedies come as a welcome relief when most books offering solutions to the stresses of life recommend the lotus position (Daily Mail)
Measured, amused, compassionate . . . de Botton is a surefooted discoverer of the pungent but less well-known quote (Daily Telegraph)
A purveyor of serious but playful manuals for living (GQ)
Turned me into a fan, for its range, insight, wit and sheer usefulness (Daily Express)
About the Author
Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1969. He is the author of Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, A Week at the Airport, Religion for Atheists, How to Think More About Sex, Art as Therapy, and The News: A User's Manual. Alain is a bestselling author in 30 countries. He lives in London, where he runs The School of Life and Living Architecture. Alain de Botton's first novel in nearly two decades, The Course of Love, will be published in April 2016.
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Top Customer Reviews
Importantly, the book steers clear of direct instruction on how you should respond to society, and for me it was the regularly evoked chains of thought that provided the greatest moments of realisation and satisfaction.
Taken at face value and read quickly, this book would still be a very interesting read, but it becomes a truly excellent one when used as an informed launch-pad for your own judgements, thoughts and ideas.
In fact Alain de Botton might be the greatest labour saving device since the personal computer. He's read all the books we know we should have, and with a cheeky anecdotal style he makes sense of our lives while leaving the sense of his sources un-diminished. In The Consolations of Philosophy, he digested and explained the great philosophers, giving us an executive summary for coping with our jealousies and the anxiety of being human. Status Anxiety, finds De Botton analysing the ox-coveting curtain-twitcher in all of us. Ours is an age where we spend it like Beckham even if we can't quite earn it, Status Anxiety goes some way to revealing why. Alain de Botton, every home should have one.
Stick with it though, and you will find yourself thinking more deeply about what status is and whether it is really worth having.
The first section is a compelling analysis of the human condition and how our (modern) world plays upon our predisposition and fears. The second section, while equally well reasoned took me to where I could see dry land but left me stranded on a sand bar. It offers no new solutions but only the consolations of philosophy politics religion or non-conformity. In short de Botton concedes that we are captive to our often punishing assessment of ourselves as handed to us by society and faced with that, perhaps the best we can do is to change the way we consider that assessment - to change one value system for another more humane.
Having said that, these solutions are solutions and certainly well worth considering, however I suspect that the type of person who buys this book may have covered much of this ground already.
I don't wish to appear negative about a book that I valued and will certainly recommend and it is perhaps to his credit as a scholar, that he is honest enough not to peddle any simple solutions - but - part of me wished he had sold me something and not just set out the stall.
I found the book clear well reasoned well written and understandable. It is also a good read - this was a book that I read in a couple of days. It is obvious that Alain de Botton has an enviable understanding of his subject and it was a pleasure for a lazy reader to be guided through such a wide tapestry of thinkers - I have in the past tried to read some of these authors but have been defeated by their verbiage. All in all a very good read and a valuable tool to make you assess the way you live your life and react to the world and other people
As a cynic who never understood status and it's pursuit ( or at least the status I was expected to pursue) this book has given me an understanding of what it is all about and so enabled me to adopt a kinder attitude to my husband who is frequently tormented by such concerns. But even more importantly it has made me feel ok about being different - I had for years been feigning interest in my friends' and colleagues' new trophies. They of course atributed to me a share of the love my husband earned with his own generous collection. While I don't intend coming out of the closet just yet - de Botton has made it a possibility for the future.
Read it and see what it does for you.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My favourite Alain de Botton book. This along with how Proust can change your life are his 2 best.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer 32
This is de Botton at the height of his insightful and engaging powers. Another wonderfully accessible read that brings on the like of Orwell, Schopenhauer, Rousseau and Adam Smith... Read morePublished 10 months ago by keen reader
A thoroughly enjoyable canter through a subject that I had never really given much thought to before. I love his style of writing. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Mrs E. A. A. Rolph
This book put into words my anxiety and dissatisfaction regarding some areas of my life where I feel that I do not measure up to the status ideal. Read morePublished 23 months ago by MONICA
De Botton has that gift of showing you things you'll think ought to have been blindingly obvious. Sardonic and elegant, and a very addictive style.Published 23 months ago by Craig Campbell
Not sure who the readership of such a book as this might be, but I'll be my bottom dollar that none of them are Bohemians, Christians or MP's. Read morePublished on 3 July 2013 by Gurjit
Very interesting read. Should be read by those who are worried by what people may think of them and should be read by those who know those type of people. Read morePublished on 20 Jun. 2013 by Lucy