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39 Reviews
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Engaging philosophy on love
This was my second experience of reading Alain de Botton's work (I recently read A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, highly recommended) and for me it was another very enjoyable book. I've not, so far, been much of a philosophical reader and there is much philosophy is this book. I admit that I had to check the meaning of some of the philosophical words that he...
Published on 26 Jan 2010 by Alison

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written but narrow
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...
Published on 22 May 2009 by Adrenalin Streams


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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 27 Oct 2012
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This review is from: Essays in Love (Paperback)
The summary as written on line prepared one for this book. No great surprises. Enjoyable to read if this is your taste in literature
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4.0 out of 5 stars Love-ology, 16 July 2012
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Peter Cronin "djpetecronin" (Watford, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
This wasn't really what I expected. I have a lot of time for Alain de Botton, I loved 'A Week At The Airport' and enjoyed 'The Consolations of Philosophy'. I think my problem with this book was my expectation; I thought it would be thoughtful essays on the subject of love. And I wanted a happy ending. My guess is that de Botton wrote this as a way of dealing with the break up of his relationship with Chloe. The book tells the story of their relationship and their eventual break up when she goes off with one of Alain's work colleagues.

The book analyses the relationship and Alain's feelings therewith. The start is absolutely gorgoeus, storytelling their fall into love. But they break up. I just wish they hadn't. Alain meets someone else at the end though. I just wanted something a bit happier, this is maybe a more truthful look at love, more realistic, less romantic.

Nevertheless I enjoyed the book, I think the fruit of it's use will become more apparent when I next have a relationship, it's certainly a book that stays with you.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Words of Wisdom, 27 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
This book is funny, insightful, charming and extremely well written, Such well formed sentences! A must for anyone who's ever fallen in love, which I guess is all of us...Alain knows the score! x
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book, 12 July 2010
By 
Dr. B. C. Burrows "Prof Plums" (Bristol UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
Given to me by an ex......prob the only good thing to come from that relationship, was my interest in Alain de Botton....have now read many of his books - this one is a lovely read and for many may answer a few questions as to why we do what we do
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good reality check, 25 Oct 2009
This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
Alain is an excellent writer, relating a realistic love story (with a sad ending, like many) whilst analysing it philosphically. I love the use of the term "romantic terrorism"...My only regret is that he doesnt offer any "solutions" or ways to "improve"!?

A must read for those looking to understand their relationships...
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't sound like everyones cup of tea, 2 Nov 2000
This review is from: Essays in Love (Paperback)
This is a great book for those that think a little too much about what is really going on when what should be happening is spontaneous and unplanned. I wasn't really sure when I started reading it but its written in a really nice way, while also being a challenging read. There are many questions in and I found myself smiling at the ideal situations found in the book. In a word 'nice'.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK, 20 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Essays In Love (Kindle Edition)
It was OK but not up to the standard of other things he has written too self indulgent and he lost my interest after about a third of the book.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 7 July 2013
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S. Worthington (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
I bought this based on a recommendation from a friend. But my ideas about 'love' don't match de Botton's (or conventional ideas) - so I found this book difficult to relate to and therefore boring. Disappointed because I really like de B's other books, especially The Art of Travel.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars special and delightful, 7 Nov 2011
This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
This is my second book from Alain de Botton, I've also read "How can Proust change your life" which was great as well.

This book explains surprisingly a lot not only because anybody can find some fragments of his own life but also because of the fact that there is a deep and realistic vision on love which is underpinned by a psychological and philosophical framework.

I believe that the movie "500 days of summer" has also been inspired by this book.
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not uninteresting but limited, 13 Jan 2009
This review is from: Essays In Love (Paperback)
This is neat exploration of romantic love in the 21st century (though its modernity is coloured by rather conservative, conformist notion of interaction). AdB is a bright guy and he realises that the book asks more questions than it answers (it would wouldn't it?) and is intended as material for debate (internal? shared?). He is not trying to solve the problem nor write a self-help book, a seducer's manual or a `get over your man' Cosmo diatribe. There are drawbacks: stylistically, he's hardly Proust; the numbering of paragraphs is noisome - it's not as if he refers to, say, `$60 above' which would be more systematic; the (lightly borne) philosophy is not really the right one (Kierkgaard, Nietzsche, Plotinus would be superior helpmates to ones he cites); and the `novelistic' side of the lover's tale is sometimes cloying (a man who `doesn't notice' a strategically placed mirror in a bedroom!! They have such interesting friends, deary! he's `socially superior' to her, etc. etc.)... still there are observations here that are worth digging for, especially for an adolescent reader starting out, as it were, and thinking he has gone nuts. Others might try Adam Philips...or better Tolstoy and Proust.
The great limitation? Well, I think there are more differences with respect to romantic love between men and women than it is fashionable to advance today and de Botton almost totally ignores the woman's side of the story. You might say, well, of course it's by and about a man - but men are not totally precluded from seeing the feminine (ugh?) point of view and this AdB singularly fails to attempt. Is there a book out there that does, but not in the `he betrayed me, the cad' school of wimmin's writing that dominates the shelves...?
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