29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
A guide book to achieve the full value of travel.,
This review is from: The Art of Travel (Hardcover)Alain de Botton invites readers to view travel in a different way. He pursues this end by breaking down a journey into five philosophical sub-journeys. He calls them, Departure, Motives, Landscape, Art and Return.
In doing so, Alain de Botton travels to places where centuries ago, the likes of Flaubert, van Gogh and Ruskin have set a permanent mark. He attempts to relate how the thinking of these men were affected by their travels and how they have redefined the notion of travel itself. In his journey, he recreates - sometimes literally - the environment that these men were once in, to help him obtain their perceptions toward his five sub-journeys.
From the very first chapter, Alain de Botton's writing managed to toss my mind between travel in the physical and philosophical sense. Alain de Botton has certainly managed to change the way I view my past, present and future travels. Now, travel is to me, something more intimate than going places.
Those who are not accustomed to philosophical writing might however find this book languid in shaping a plot. She/He might even be disappointed in the end, to find an absence of a plot. It is afterall, a 'guide' to travel. Nevertheless, the book's simple philosophical subjects, and Alain de Botton's sense of irony will keep the reader engaged.
This book certainly milks out every drop of value in travel.