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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars before you check the news headlines again, read this
Some years ago, on the advice of a motivational guru, I was advised to stop watching the news as it would only depress me. By and large I have followed his advice, finding that if news is necessary to me it will somehow find me. I heard Alain de Boton being interviewed about this book on the radio, and thought it sounded very interesting. I don't think I've highlighted so...
Published 6 months ago by Sandcastle24

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, not followed up
The whole idea of analysing what the news is, and what it means to us is very interesting, but some of the conclusions to draw from that felt a bit weak and the style of examples became quite repetitive. Definitely worth a look though.
Published 2 months ago by Nick Humphreys


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars before you check the news headlines again, read this, 22 Feb 2014
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Some years ago, on the advice of a motivational guru, I was advised to stop watching the news as it would only depress me. By and large I have followed his advice, finding that if news is necessary to me it will somehow find me. I heard Alain de Boton being interviewed about this book on the radio, and thought it sounded very interesting. I don't think I've highlighted so many excerpts on my Kindle app for any book before. So many insights which I agreed with. I shall enjoy dipping into The Philosopher's Mail for interpretation of news stories in future.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant, original, mischievous + funny - essential reading, 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The News: A User's Manual (Hardcover)
News a Users Manual is part of Alain de Botton's sublime philosophical survey of the modern world and how to exist in it and even be amused by it. He's done workplaces and art and love and now he is doing the News. I am addicted to the news like everyone else and yet I find this blizzard of information exhausting and confusing and often somewhat painful; and there is far too much of it and alot of it is unnecessary. So its a wonderful idea to write a guide, a users manual to understanding, analysing and navigating this constant flow, avalanche, this blizzard, this cannonade of information that bombards us at all times. but this book is much more than that. I have read the de Botton books since he started - first the novels of love then the Proustian and philosophical books - and I always relish his voice and his original approach. I am an author myself and I know a lot about how the news is made but I have found so many ideas and concepts and facts in this book that I hadn't known before or more often approaches I hadn't thought of. And so I especially relished not just the cleverness of the writing, the bon motes but its exceptional originality - no one else does it like this. This is a guide to modern living and I think the fun of this is that de Botton is gradually writing a body of work that should be published in one big volume on how to live in the 21st century. As always with de Botton, it is witty, its playful, its very unpolitically correct, its full of wisdom, whimsy and unusual facts but also its full of common sense and wry knowledge of the world. To read de Botton the only thing you need is a sense of humour - the sense of fun is never absent and there is usually a smile behind even his most grave pronouncements. We all know there is something of the philosopher about de Botton but there is also something of the investigative reporter: he is interested not just in the slick vapidity of the news flow itself but also the sweaty rush of the newsroom where the news is decided by people who often know nothing of the place or the event they are covering. I don't often write reviews on amazon but I so enjoyed this that I couldn't resist reviewing it here. De Botton's News is brilliant, original, mischievious and funny - this is essential reading for anyone who is living in the 21st Century and wishes to enjoy it and even survive it.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, insightful and surprisingly funny, 6 Feb 2014
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This review is from: The News: A User's Manual (Hardcover)
I thought this was a clever, insightful and at times surprisingly funny guide to the modern media. De Botton looks at things differently and helps de-construct this messy world and challenges our pre-conceptions about it. And not in a boring "media studies" way. No doubt reviewers from the media will not like being on the receiving end of his intelligence and humour but ignore them, this is a fascinating and clever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, not followed up, 12 Jun 2014
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This review is from: The News: A User's Manual (Hardcover)
The whole idea of analysing what the news is, and what it means to us is very interesting, but some of the conclusions to draw from that felt a bit weak and the style of examples became quite repetitive. Definitely worth a look though.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting perspective, 28 Feb 2014
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Some very thought provoking passages. Perhaps it's a little to evangelical in tone and, therefore, comes across as preaching as much as analysis. Therefore, one must read this though the same eyes as the author himself advises one consumes news. Be conscious that it, as well as its subject, has an agenda.

Nonetheless, it adds much to ones thoughts about a pervasive aspect of our everyday lives.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version? Don`t bother, 30 Aug 2014
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Much of the usual from de Bottom. Erudite but rather shallow - a pamphlet to while away a train journey or a trip to the smallest room. Reasonable read but won`t change your life. Would give it 3 stars except for the Kindle edition`s massive shortcomings.

It may not be in the print versions, but sentences suddenly lose nouns. Reads like a partially amended proof copy, where they haven`t yet decided whether citing the Daily Mail or The Sun would be a good idea. DO NOT BUY until they have either sorted this out or the paperback edition is available. Score one against Kindle books. Again.
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3.0 out of 5 stars One of his weaker books....., 6 July 2014
This review is from: The News: A User's Manual (Hardcover)
After reading The Consolidations of Philosophy and Religion for Atheists, I was really looking forward to this book. Sadly some of the chapters are a bit weak. We occasionally get lost in his fetish with art, which I sometimes find a bit annoying. But there was some great chapters on the “power of photography” and how we rarely here about “ordinary day-to-day lives of people around the world”. Sadly the news does have a strange fetish with bad news, and it’s pretty rare to come across good news. (Maybe a good news section on page 2 might be a good idea?) It’s also interesting how the news tries to hold powerful people to account. It’s worth a read, but it’s defiantly one of his weaker books. There was even times when I was bored reading, (which is usually very rare for an Alain De Botton book). I think the book could possibly have been a bit shorter, or could have been a large chapter as part of a larger “Philosophy of modern media book”.. That said you can’t really trust what anyone really writes these days…. So read the book and come to YOUR own conclusion.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea but execution inconsistent., 11 April 2014
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What starts off as an attempt to point out the ridiculous and sometimes disturbing reliance on and interest in the News, descends into an unbalanced and rather paternalistic essay. However, as usual, the author succeeds in provoking thought.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Headline: Information epiphany, 14 Mar 2014
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This book is the kind of redux the digital age really needs. It's all you need to know about to how to build cognition out of information overload. Very well played Alain de Botton.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable and illuminating, 6 Feb 2014
Alain's latest has all the charms and strengths of his other work. It is lucid, funny and perceptive. It genuinely made me think about the way I consume media - and made me want to be a lot more careful! Highly recommended.
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The News: A User's Manual
The News: A User's Manual by Alain de Botton (Hardcover - 6 Feb 2014)
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