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45 Reviews
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69 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirming and thought-provoking.
This is a feel-good book for anyone who thinks a bit about society and their place in it. Alain de Boton is like an incredibly well-read and eloquent participant in a discussion taking place in your head, confirming and developing so many thoughts and ideas that you've always had but are unlikely to have had the chance to ever analyse properly.
Importantly, the book...
Published on 13 Sep 2005 by David

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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is status really worth having?
Status Anxiety puts forward a proposition about society that is genuinely compelling and quite convincing. The book follows a logical structure starting with a discussion of the causes of status anxiety and finishes with some inspiring solutions. The text is generally clear and straightforward, although disappointingly has a tendency at times to ramble into unnecessarily...
Published on 10 Jun 2004 by gpk2002


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but BEWARE OF THE KINDLE EDITION, 18 Jun 2012
By 
B. Waterhouse - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
Alain de Botton has put together an interesting read (bought for Kindle Touch), and it certainly brings a strong sense of perspective with respect to status in its various forms and social circles. I personally found it to be an easy, witty read, although at times became a little tedious with almost laboured points. The book takes the reader through the anxieties attached to gaining status, and then attempts to remedy these, which it effectively achieves.

HOWEVER. For the kindle BEWARE that the conversion of the book to Kindle is appalling. Literally appalling. Here's a list:

- Probably 90% of the pictures in the book are not in the Kindle version
- All of the pictures are referred to in de Botton's text, not in passing but as keystone to several paragraphs; you absolutely need the pictures.
- There are half pages of text frequently (not missing text, just poor formatting)
- Tables of figures and values are completely skewed, so it's difficult to ascertain which values are appropriate to which columns.

So I had basically paid for a book, and received maybe 90% of a book. I had to get a refund from Amazon (with which I bought Shooting an Elephant - George Orwell's essays; an awesome read), as I would never be able to revisit it and it was useless to keep.

Ultimately, I would certainly recommend it to my friends, but I would definitely avoid the Kindle edition. There are simply too many references to missing pictures.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Alain......., 28 April 2009
This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
As a previous reviewer commented " something about de Botton's writing captivates me..." I feel exactly the same way. This is writer I return to again and again. Not a single sentence misses a beat. I love this book and the impact it has had on my thinking.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining, but not his best, 20 Mar 2007
By 
Stephen Davies (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
I'm usually quite a fan of Alain de Botton's writing but I found this book a little disappointing. De Botton has a consistent style and approach: a light-touched, urbane tour of the great minds, usually in search of resolutions to widespread issues or questions, in this case the causes and potential solutions to status anxiety. It is a pick and mix of philosophy, art and economics: not in such large chunks as to be indigestible and sweetened with wit and amusing examples. Alain is a fine writer: he is economical and precise but not mechanistic and he does good anecdote.

Where this book fell a little flat for me was in two respects. Firstly, it seems that Alain enjoys the diagnosis of status anxiety more than the cure. As an acute sufferer, this was a disappointment to me. The parts of the book that came alive were in the first section where the causes of the condition are examined: this is entertaining and will generate empathetic engagement. Less convincing are the outlines of potential remedies (art, philosophy, religion, etc.), maybe because they don't particularly convince me, but perhaps because de Botton is (understandably) more interested in the microscope being focused upon a dissection of human frailty and failings rather than on their remedy. Perhaps also because this is not a serious engagement with what one assumes is sometimes a serious condition. If you have genuine status anxiety, please do not look here for a cure! Fair enough, Alain is not, nor I imagine would claim to be, a qualified psychologist or psychotherapist. However, it does leave the second half of the book a bit humdrum, lacking in insight and maybe sacrificing content for form. Some nice pictures though. I am particularly pleased to have discovered Thomas Jones through this book.

In general, also, I found the book less imaginative and sparkly than his previous works. I would recommend "How Proust Can Change Your Life" and even his first work "Essays on Love" ahead of "Status Anxiety" if you are seeking some entertaining parlour philosophy. They are more playful and thought-provoking.

Got to hand it to Alain though - he is one well-read guy.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this, 23 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
I have never written a review before, but cannot help remarking on how exciting and challenging this book is. From the first page the author grips the reader with what must be the number one obsession/activity of our time, and the greatest source of unhappiness in the West - and challenges us to live differently.
The text is dense with meaning, succinct and easily accessible - and, while not providing easy or trite answers, helps us recognise other sources of peace, harmony and understanding to help us overcome this cultural obsession.
A must read - it really can change the path of our lives, or at the very least the way way view it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keeping up with the Jones, 20 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
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. It provides valuable insight into the causes of this anxiety.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Expected more on modern times..., 25 April 2008
By 
This review is from: Status Anxiety (Hardcover)
I knew this book would involve the history of status and the various fads thoughout the ages as to what 'high status' represented, however was really hoping for more about modern concepts and examples/studies. There were only a few references really, perhaps unrealistically I expected a few chapters. This is an excellent book for anyone wishing to research the historical elements and background though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone's idea of a holiday read, but definitely perfect for my sunlounger!, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Kindle Edition)
A thoroughly enjoyable canter through a subject that I had never really given much thought to before. I love his style of writing. It's easy to read but thought provoking and engaging.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very good but left me feeling dissatisfied, 27 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Kindle Edition)
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. It has helped me to understand myself and others better. I was left dissatisfied because I hoped, perhaps unrealistically, that the author would articulate an alternative to bourgeois capitalism, or suggest something more tangible for overcoming status anxiety. Instead he proposes that we seek for alternative for spaces where we can be appreciated in accordance with our own values. Fair enough, I suppose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars True Wisdom, 26 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Kindle Edition)
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Very thought provoking book, 10 Mar 2013
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This review is from: Status Anxiety (Paperback)
Although I am reading it to give myself ideas for my dissertation for university it is written very simply, and gets you thinking about life and how we look at it.
I would recommend this book
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Status Anxiety
Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton
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