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The Course of Love Hardcover – 28 Apr 2016
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Publisher's description. Rabih and Kirsten meet, fall in love, get married. Think this is the end of the story? It's only the beginning. With his trademark warmth and wit, Alain de Botton explores modern relationships with a novel that asks what it truly means to love and to be loved. (Penguin)
Alain de Botton's gift is to prompt us to think about how we live (Jeanette Winterson)
Curious, humorous and dazzling... It contains more human interest than most fiction (John Updike on 'How Proust Can Change Your Life')
His prose is lovely: clear, gently persuasive, light of touch (Observer on Religion for Atheists)
Alain de Botton likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence(Observer on The Architecture of Happiness)
Engaging, sympathetic, meticulous, acutely perceptive...There's a refreshing honesty in what De Botton has to say (The Guardian)
Anyone who is, has been, or would ever like to be, in a satisfying, successful relationship, would do well to read de Botton. A brave couple might even read it together (Irish Independent)
Thought-provoking... [a] worldly wise romance (Mail on Sunday)
Well-observed and imbued with a tenderness that feels authentic and uncynical. It may even save some marriages (Evening Standard)
About the Author
Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1969. He is the author of Essays in Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel, Status Anxiety, The Architecture of Happiness, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, A Week at the Airport, Religion for Atheists, How to Think More About Sex, Art as Therapy, and The News: A User's Manual. Alain is a bestselling author in 30 countries. Alain de Botton lives in London, where he runs The School of Life and Living Architecture. The Course of Love is his first novel in nearly two decades.
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Top Customer Reviews
1) Some parts of the book felt really invasive or voyeuristic. Reading about the characters and their lives was a very powerful, but also uncomfortable experience. I found I could only read some parts of the book in very small sections before the intensity got to me and I had to step away.
2) The book sometimes slipped into very philosopher-ey type writing with very long sentences full of clauses, sub-clauses and sub-sub-clauses. I've always baulked at sentences like that (I once had to proofread a long legal document which was full of this kind of language, it took *forever*!). I found that I needed to have space and time to read this book and do it justice, but I felt that some of these points could have been made much more strongly with a bit of restructuring of these parts.
However, the book was very well written and is one I would recommend widely. I also think it is probably one of those books that you could get something different from if you read it at different times in your life, and at different stages in your relationships. I am sure it would have felt like a very different book if I had read it 15 years ago when I had just got married, 10 years ago when I was on the verge of becoming a parent.
I read it as one of our book group books, and I think it makes an excellent book for such a purpose as everyone is likely to get something different out of it.
For me, the couple are so easy to identify with. Their strengths, their faults, their thought processes. So many of those times in your life when you think your stance might be wrong, but you've stuck to your own stubborn belief in being right anyway? All in here. The emotions of first falling in love. The decision-making process for getting married. The mistakes made. It all felt so real.
I suspect that there will be some nay sayers about the style of this book, but for me its genius is the very style that De Botton has chosen and its clarity. It is a deceptively easy read, but don't mistake that for simplicity. What Jane Austen may have taken ten chapters and fifty-thousand words to say, De Botton gets across in a few paragraphs. There are passages in here that will make you stop and re-read them again and again for the insight they give into life and love. As an emotionally-inhibited man, or should that just be "as a man", this book gave me insight into my own and others' behaviour in my life and perhaps could have changed its course had I read it sooner.
Buy it. Give it. It could change lives. For the better.
It's not a novel because De Botton's exploration of these ideas ignores the novelist's most basic injunction: show, don't tell. De Botton tells, at length; crowding his own characters out of the narrative with his own all-knowing authorial voice, reducing them to the status of specimens on a Petrie dish, which he holds aloft professorially for our further enlightenment. Worse, once De Botton tires of telling, he commentates, in the form of the trite, italicised homilies that punctuate the text with dismaying frequency, just in case those of us snoozing at the back are missing the point of his lecture. In fact, perhaps The Course of Love is actually the name of a study option at De Botton's School of Life, and this is its core textbook. It wouldn’t surprise me.
Maybe this odd, didactic approach to novel-writing has spared the book from being even worse than it already is. De Botton simply cannot write dialogue. On the rare occasions that his characters manage to get a word in edgewise, we find to our dismay that they talk exactly like Alain De Botton, in a calm, measured, prolix and slightly patronising monotone, even when they are supposed to be really angry.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this a refreshing approach to the topic of love and marriage. The blend of story and editorial comment worked well on the whole, the comments providing both philosophical... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Recommend by a friend, this isn't my kind of book, it's a good insight into the trials and every day normality of marriage but the style of writing is somewhat juvenile and abrupt... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Jimmy 87
I enjoyed Alain de Botton’s TV programmes about philosophy (long time ago!) and even some of his writing, but this is a rather monotonous attempt at presenting a theory about love... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Phil O'Sofa
The book arrived bent at the corners and ripped at the back. Would enclose a picture if I knew how... I am very disappointed as this was a gift for my mother's birthday.Published 2 months ago by ellieshikari
One of the best books I've ever read - could save a marriage !!!Published 2 months ago by Ianto Thornber
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