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Delicate, profound, comforting,
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This review is from: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Paperback)
Alain de Botton's writing are like the cool hand of a mother passing comfortingly across a fevered brow. The pleasures of his prose exist at several levels: there is the obvious erudite insight into many of the common problems afflicting our modern world - travel-weariness, anxiety about status, work; and there is also the simple beauty of the words themselves. Many of his sentences take me back for a second and a third reading - often out loud - to savour their sparse beauty.
His latest work is, in my opinion, one of the best. It is both humorous and compassionate. de Botton never talks down to us: he shares our sorrows and frustrations and locates himself clearly within the issues and difficulties he tackles. And although he promises - and delivers - no easy solutions or 'quick-fix' cure-alls, he instead offers something much more valuable and enduring. An appreciation of the beauty and vulnerability of human life, an awareness of the moments of joy and bliss that we may encounter from time to time, and a compassionate understanding that the reality of life for us all has more than its hoped for share of pain and sorrow.
Thank you, Alain. I look forward to many more strokes of your hand across the brow in years to come.