Customer Reviews


15 Reviews
5 star:
 (13)
4 star:
 (2)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 
‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love and Security, 11 Sep 2008
By 
Ms. N. Goggin (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
I came to "A General Theory of Love" through a recommendation by a leading personal coach and emotional intelligence expert. Having read it, I understand why he thought so highly of this book.

The title sounds almost contradictory, yet the authors really do elucidate the nature of love, how it is enabled and how it is suppressed. They eloquently explain how humans are essentially emotional animals, no matter how evolved our logical brains have become. They describe how this has enormous impact on how we make choices in our lives about all manner of things, in our almost blind pursuit of happiness.

This book should be high on the reading list of anyone who wants to better understand the nature of human relationships of any kind. It offers insight into the reasons for feelings and behaviours of individuals, whether in partner relationships, friendships or the workplace. Perhaps more valuably, it explains the impact of parents, partners and society on the development of a person's ability to form loving relationships and to have emotional stability, more generally.

The authors make their points eloquently throughout the book, citing plenty of academic research to validate their arguments. For those inclined to further research any aspects, there are references aplenty.

"A General Theory of Love" is beautifully written. I would recommend this book to existing or budding parents, actual or potential lovers and indeed, human beings in any culture or society.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


56 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rich synthesis of passion and professional committment, 18 Sep 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
A bold yet delicate approach. I very much appreciated the second chapter in helping me understand the basic structure of the brain.
I believe this book to be a challenge to complacency that may exist among people working in the mental health field. It questions some assumptions that all troubles may be treated by a cognitive or behavioural approach and that the 'talking cure' may be enough.
I was delighted to read that "A capable therapist shares much with a good reader - he must willingly suspend his belief in the rules he know and approach a personal universe whose workings should be unimaginable to the uninitated".
I loved the encouragement to suspend knowing and maintain "a childlike capacity for wonder". I was both inspired and relieved to read these authors.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It rings 100% true, 26 Mar 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
This is such a rich book, it rewards multiple re-readings. To understand love from the perspective of science, one has to understand how the brain works, and the authors do an outstanding job of covering vast amounts of ground to enable this. It's easy to lose count of the sheer number of new insights including areas such as evolution, memory and visual perception as well as romantic and (especially) parental love.
But this is no soulless text book. Indeed, it has been criticised for being a bit flowery, and in places it is. The authors' contention is that this is a subject only art and literature have previously handled, and perhaps this is their way of paying respect to the massive insights gained over the millenia. For me, it works. It is not a typical science book by any means, and this will suit some perfectly and others not at all.
It is a shame that this is a barrier for some people. It is hard to believe that the whole world wouldn't gain from absorbing a little of the book's contents. Very readable, it rings 100% true.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clear, poetic, essential, 10 Aug 2010
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
this book explains so much about how we create, interact and change emotionally; about the drivers of our lives. I only expected to learn a little more to help me understand myself and others instead I sit here enchanted by the language, thrilled by the information and inspired to integrate this into my daily life, personal development, coaching and shamanic practices. I'm so glad I found this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you want to understand human beings..., 16 July 2008
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
You need to understand Attachment Theory if you are going to work with people or want to understand them/yourself. I've read a lot of books on Attachment but this book takes the science and the evidence to a whole new level, or series of levels. I've just been reading it for a second time and have got lots more out of it. Beautifully written and eloquent, this should be required reading for every psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker, anyone who has anything to do with children and their development.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars intelligent, informed and sweet at the same time, 22 Mar 2011
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
This book takes a scientific view on human attachment patterns with some biology and neuropsychology thrown in and it manages to be sympathetic and informative at the same time. It deals with quite a lot of attachment theory (Bowlby) and challenges some early thoughts of human relationships such as those by Freud and other reductionist views. It also explains in great detail why we are sometimes in need of 'love' and care and what is behind maladaptive patterns of behaviour.

It also has some poetry thrown in for good measure. (not much)
Great book
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coping with reason and emotions the right way, 18 Jun 2008
By 
laurens van den muyzenberg "laurens" (Villa Lama, Super Cannes, 06220 Vallauris Golfe-Juan.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
I was surprised how little I knew about how the brain works after all my studies. The book explains convincingly that our emotions are in the limbic brain and our reasoning in the neocortical brain. The latter I knew. Our actions are very heavily influenced by our limbic and reptile brains; that is not in a rational way. That influence to a considerable extent is exerted in a way of which we are not aware. This explains why it takes so much effort to train the brain to get rid of negative emotions such as anger and jealousy. I found it very helpful to understand of the way in which emotions and reasoning interact. I now realise that when I talk or write to people that I am dealing with the limbic and the rational brain
The authors do note that it is possible to gain better control over negative emotions other than with drugs and therapy, but do not describe how.
The authors are very negative about business because employees become attached to business but business has no attachment to its employees. There are plenty examples of heartless companies but also many examples of companies that are concerned about the well-being of their employees. The only example in the book is a quote of what Vandiver Brown, attorney of Manville (asbestos).Question: "Do you mean to tell me you would let your workers work until they dropped dead? Mr Brown's answer: "Yes. We save a lot of money that way!" The answer is scandalous. But it is also scandalous that the authors present this as a typical attitude of business.
I nevertheless rate this book five star, because when the authors describe how the brain works it is absolutely brilliant.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars emotionally enlightening, 6 Feb 2008
By 
M. Marques (Lisbon,Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
This book was recommended by a close friend in the US. After reading it ,I have already sent copies to 8 friends. Flowery? I call it poetic and accessible to a layperson like me.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Explains why we are all so messed up to include society as a whole., 1 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
A lot can be gained from reading this book, although the author could of made it more readable for the layman, although it is more than worth the time it takes to read it. Already knew a fair amount of the reason things are the way they are, but this book solidifies it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Scientific Freud then Ascends, 4 Jun 2013
By 
Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles "FIST" (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: A General Theory of Love (Vintage) (Paperback)
Takes a multiple view of love and rises when it admits what it does not know and drops down heavily when it tries to tie love to maths. The problem for me is that science as the authors near enough state is based on a sense of emotional autism. Therefore trying to explain love in terms of its scientific concepts leads to some torturous gymnastics. So I was torn by reading it, but by the end I was enthralled by what it had to offer, not completely taken in, but enough to go away and think.

So within, and this is for people who want to reduce love to biology, it is about neurotransmitters and Hebbian diagrams, yet within the poetry speaks louder than diagrams. It was interesting to read about the reptilian brain which monitors functions. One key issue however is that the brain is tied to a body and the heart is in our culture viewed as the centre of emotions.

Previously however it was the other way round, the mind was the centre of emotions and the heart was the epicentre of thinking. We are, as the authors explore within, trapped within a particular perspective. Therefore trying to reduce mating to love to lust and to mathematical equations is pure mind torture. It is worth reading however, akin to seeing a group of people who are strangely disengaged from an emotional reality trying to make sense of it after drinking a crate of wine.

The bits about psychotherapy and memory lack a sense of Nietzschean angst and Adlerian grasp into the ether and ultimately, albeit heavily disguised, underneath all of its pretensions - this leads back to the medicine cupboard. Prozac helps people to leave bad relationships by numbing them to the sense of nihilism that ensues when a relationship ends and the existential pain of loss begins. Psychotherapy is evidently useless because memories are not fixed - they change over time due to experience recollection and ahem neurons going astray in the brain. Hypothesis disguised as science we are back to a belief in things we cannot see but then this is the point of the boo

So initially we are led back to using Big Pharma's finest to deal with feelings rather than acknowledge them, no need to go through the emotional pain barrier and feel something. So stuck on Prozac how is the person going to reach within to find what they need to fill their life with human connections after they have left their partner?

At first I was seduced by the prose, but half way through the meanderings the Aspergers kicked in and the posturing became rampant and then well.... It is an American book, written in a brisk style. Then I thought shall I persevere and I was glad I did because suddenly it turns a corner and although I was not seduced it began to make sense.

Human relationships and attachments are what create the changes inside people and this is what makes them better and worse. It is then it began to make sense.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

A General Theory of Love (Vintage)
A General Theory of Love (Vintage) by Richard Lannon (Paperback - 2 Jan 2001)
9.65
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews