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83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Meaning of our Labour
Something about Alain de Botton's writing captivates me. Though great chunky paragraphs of this photo essay are taken up with things which are banal on the surface like detailed descriptions of how biscuits are manufactured or the workings of electricity lines, the author's pithy observations about the individuals involved and his asides about the nature of being are...
Published on 7 April 2009 by Eric Anderson

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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent however not his best.
I've read all of de Botton's published work and many of his books can leave you wanting still. I eagerly awaited the release of this one thinking that it would blow me away the same way Consolations of Philosophy or Status Anciety did, however I quickly found myself becoming disappointed.
Rather than examine the reader or society as a whole, de Botton takes various...
Published on 2 May 2009 by James Tunnell


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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Joy of Pleasures and Sorrow, 4 Jun. 2009
By 
Pauline (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hardcover)
As always, this book by De Botton is beautifully written - subtly humorous and elegant. The style is enhanced by wonderful photographs, making the whole is a pleasure to behold. Not all parts are equally engaging, and some slightly lack De Botton's personal presence, thereby diminishing the feeling of all being in the same boat, as humans, that he can often convey so well. Nevertheless I was once again very happy to read his book, and am looking forward to the next one.
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14 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Should have slated work more, 11 Jun. 2009
This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hardcover)
I was expecting an anarchic slant on work along the lines of Eliot's:

'A crowd flowed over London bridge
So many.
I had not known death had undone so many.'

Basically, why do we agree to work at all? Instead he examines a lot of very boring jobs in extensively tedious detail, probably offends his father by comparing him to a totalitarian dictator and includes lots of arty pictures of cows, ships and tuna.

Gave up after chapter three.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Every picture tells a story, 4 July 2009
This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hardcover)
This is a quirky, original look at areas of work most of us know nothing about. The photos accompanying the text lift it out of the ordinary and it is beautifully produced. It's an easier read than you might expect and I enjoyed it. However, there are some errors of fact: on page 134 the author states: "...a member of the European Union, its [French Guiana's] highest legal authority is the Court of Justice in Strasbourg". It isn't; the European Court of Justice is in Luxembourg, and is the highest legal authority for EU states. Strasbourg is the location of the European Court of Human Rights, which is an insitutions of the Council of Europe, not the EU (although all EU states are members).
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Oct. 2014
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Perfect
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Sept. 2014
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I thought this was possibly Alain de Botton's best book yet, 29 May 2009
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This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hardcover)
I thought this is a great book, full of observation and not lacking emotion. It is not afraid to deal with the nitty gritty of life. I was slightly disappointed, perhaps, that there was no transparent attempt to deal with the issues of marketing and "sustainability" - which maybe I'm wrong to worry about....do pharmaceutical companies worry about sustainability?

UPDATE: It is really worth reading Hans Selye's 'Stress without Distress' along with this book. Although the title may not seem as though it has that much to do with the topic Selye branches out to discuss work and life aims/goals in general in a very useful and plausible fashion.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, 7 Jun. 2009
By 
Philip Townsend "Rosemarie Townsend" (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Hardcover)
A very enjoyable read! Extremely interesting and well written. Alain got into the weeds of a variety of jobs; I never thought I would enjoy reading about someones hobby on logging Electricity Pylons. I brought this book to help with my Charterd Institue of Personnel Practice studies; I am now looking forward to reading his other work for pleasure and interest.
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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton (Hardcover - 2 April 2009)
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