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 Audio CD edition.
‘Dazzling’ John UpdikeSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
In "How Proust can change your life" he takes the wisdom to be found in the novels of Proust and shows how they can help us to live better lives. Or perhaps to make us aware that we live better lives than we think.
There are sections on how to love life, read for yourself, take your time, suffer succesfully, express your emotions, be a good friend, open your eyes, be happy in love and put books down.
I loved this book and it has made me feel I can read Proust and appreciate it properly. Swann's Way is next for me and I am looking forward to it with anticipation. But whether you intend to read Proust or not this book is well worth reading.
The other problem is that this book isn't really about Proust, it's about de Botton. Like 'THe Romantic Movement', it's a very narcisstic book, where de botton is more interested in his own ideas than his subject's. It's as if de Botton has laid out his own life philosophy and used Proust to prop him up. Proof of this is shown in the chapter on love, which echoes many of de Botton's theories in his earlier novels. Only this time round he manages to make it look as though they are really Proust's ideas, and he just happens to agree.
I just found this book far too pretentious for its own good. However, 'Consolations of Philosophy' is much better - somehow it is written with a great deal of humanity, and you sense de Botton really wishes to help people, but this one reads as though he is just showing off.
This book also has the most perfect last line I've ever read...
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 19 days 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 1 month 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 1 month 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 1 month ago by daphne strand
Gives a clear view of what you should be expecting in life sometimes.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Heard on Tim Ferriss podcast, very provoking book. For introspection.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
If you have always fancied a bit of Proust, read this first. Its a guide book that will show you how to approach the old master!Published 4 months ago by LEE MAN
Alain de Boton is a supremely elegant writer. This is a charming, witty, precise and clever book, which delivers an amusing yet respectful portrait of the enigmatic Proust. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Lord Copper