Most helpful critical review
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Well written but narrow
on 22 May 2009
Alain De Botton is never less than an interesting writer and this book is no exception. However, it is comfortably my least favourite of his books because I can relate to it least. All writing about love is, to a certain extent, subjective, but in this case I find it hard to relate to De Botton's thoughts, feelings and reactions because they are so different from my own experience, which is not of relationships where there are major rows and patchings up, but of a greater degree of tolerance and compromise leading to a smoother ride, even through break up (although the pain of break up is not to be underestimated!). This book is worth reading because De Botton is very good at analysing each stage of his relationship with Chloe and it is fascinating to see Botton's character laid down in detail. But, in his other books I have always been able to take away a lot of points that are useful to my own life, or which make me think about things in a new way, which is not the case here. I wonder whether De Botton would have written a very different book today, at the age of 40, than when this was written in his early 20's?