- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: Picador; 1st edition (20 Jan. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0330354914
- ISBN-13: 978-0330354912
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,261 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How Proust Can Change Your Life Paperback – 20 Jan 2006
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"This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while." (The Sunday Telegraph)
"De Botton's little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life." (The Daily Telegraph)
"A self-help manual for the intelligent person . . . witty, funny, and tonic." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Delightfully original. . . . As well as being criticism, biography, literary history and a reader's guide to Proust's masterpiece, How Proust Can Change Your Life is a self-help book in the deepest sense of the term." (The New York Times)
"Curious, humorous, didactic and dazzling. . . . It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction." (The New Yorker)
"This is a genius-level piece of writing that manages to blend literary biography with self-help and tongue-in-cheek with the profound. The quirky, early 1900s French author Marcel Proust acts as the vessel for surprisingly impressive nuggets of wisdom on down-to-earth topics such as why you should never sleep with someone on the first date, how to protect yourself against lower back pain, and how to cope with obnoxious neighbors. Here's proof that our ancestors had just as much insight as the gurus du jour and perhaps a lot more wit. De Botton simultaneously pokes fun at the self-help movement and makes a significant contribution to its archives." (Amazon) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
‘Dazzling’ John UpdikeSee all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
Un fair, I hear you moan. I know. Your're right.
Alain DeBotton's witty and concise critique of Proust in bibliographic format is up beat, insightful and funny! He refers to Proust as a sickly young man who showed immense sensitivity for his Parisian life style, his friends and especially his mother! Apparently, he literally couldn't take a dump without detailing every satisfactory and unsatisfactory movement to "mamon". When he went away on holidays, letter after letter, would detail how much he could or couln't eat, how much he could or couldn't sleep and the regularity of his bowel movements. Like wise mamon would relpy to her son, demanding more details concerning these matters. Weight, size, shape and shade became fundamental details of her son's well being.
Still, I guess, any mother or father worth their salt maintains a similarly watchful eye on the in and out trays of their off springs digestive system.
DeBotton, reviews different aspects of Proustian philiosophy: how to be a good friend, how to express emotion, how to take your time and so on. Each section being neatly summed up by DeBotton for its merits and de-merits. It was refreshing to see the author unafraid to refute Proust's views and offer an alternative. The last chapter is very powerful, to me anyway: how to put books down. Here both the subject and the author agree. Books are great, they enlighten, they impress, they reassure and they offer a dim light for errant souls. And here, in this last comment, lies the best part of DeBotton's book and the Proustian perspective.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Unlike Proust, this affectionate yet informative reflection on Proust's life and work can be easily enjoyed while whetting one's appetite for a return to the master's epic... Read morePublished 7 months ago by P. Donovan
You have to be a fan of Proust to enjoy this. Not really like Botton's other more popular writings.Published 8 months ago by Kitchen Prince
I am not sure how the credit should be apportioned between De Botton / Proust, but for those looking to appraise and perhaps improve or amend their outlook on the world, this is an... Read morePublished 10 months ago by G. Dunn
I am struggling to like this book which I had such high hopes for. Not even half way through any my glance is slipping to other books. This is not like Alain De Botton's lectures. Read morePublished 10 months ago by tj
Having read in french ""remembrance of things past" quite a feat in itself i found this book very interesting and very informative. Read morePublished 11 months ago by michele OBRIEN
As always, Alain de Botton is precise and concise. This book is an easy and enjoyable read that picks up and examines the threads running through Proust's work. Read morePublished 11 months ago by cpsw
I bought this book as an introduction to reading Proust literature for the first time. Alain de Botton's book was helpful and I enjoyed it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by good hair day
Gives a clear view of what you should be expecting in life sometimes.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer