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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by [de Botton, Alain]
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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews

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Length: 338 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Amazon Review

To some degree, what the reader takes way from Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work will be influenced by what that particular reader brings to it. If you are looking for a serious and exhaustive analysis of work and how it affects both our psychological equilibrium and general sense of well-being, you may be disappointed; although de Botton draws on a variety of examples (some straightforward and illuminating, others eccentric and whimsical), his strategy here is more subtle and allusive, not something which can be demonstrated by adducing a carefully marshalled tranche of facts. Secondly, of course, anyone familiar with the author's approach will hardly be expecting a linear demonstration of a thesis, as might be gathered from his delightful How Proust Can Change Your Life. Alain de Botton is offering something at once insightful and idiosyncratic: a practical guide to a better quality of life through an off-kilter approach to the subject of work. In the earlier book, we were offered a (not entirely serious) method of extrapolating from the brilliant (and famously difficult) French writer a host of unconventional insights into dealing with our own personal emotional and intellectual fulfilment. Here, the notion of work is addressed with a similarly light/serious touch, following a variety of processes (such as the trajectory of a fish from the ocean to its final destination on the shelves of a supermarket) to examine the multiplicity of possible approaches to work.

The real insights here, however, relate to the way in which work (as de Botton sees it) is both a validation of the true purpose of our existence – and the most assertive way to 'rage against the dying of the light' – in other words, to keep at bay the daunting realisation of what a brief flicker of existence we have. It's a book that is both affirmative and (in its eccentric fashion) quietly persuasive. --Barry Forshaw

Review

Exquisitely written. . . . A perceptive philosophical meditation on work, with its extraordinary claim to provide, along with love, the principal source of meaning in our lives. Boston Globe
In the place of easy answers, De Botton offers an array of potent and portable insights about the delight and despair we find, daily, in our working lives. Los Angeles Times
Like a combination of Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace and pop philosopher Thomas Moore, De Botton's dense, pensive prose expresses a palpable preoccupation with finding better ways of living in our bewilderingly estranged age. Salon

"With de Botton's humor, boundless erudition and capable turns of phrase, it's the best work yet (and certainly the best-timed) from a pre-eminent genre-bender, one certain to find a welcome home in the hands of anyone making a living. The Portland Oregonian
Alain de Botton's new philosophical treatise, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work," feels like an intellectual acid trip without the stimulants. He focuses your gaze where you have never even considered looking and turns upside down your notions of beauty and love and work and what really is involved in crafting a meaningful life. The book is groundbreaking in approach, style and imagination. The San Francisco Chronicle
The Pleasures and Sorrows treats readers to a cast of eccentrics as it examines the thing we spend most of our lives doing. Business Week

The workplace as subject matter brings out the best in [de Botton s] writing. . . . His wit and his powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The Sunday Times (London)

Wonderfully readable stuff. . . . What de Botton is showing us, in his de Botton-esque way, is that, in our world of niched desire and economic efficiency, our working practices might be driving us nuts. . . . A timely book. The Spectator

Pleasurably intelligent. . . . The author has plenty of thought-provoking things to say. The Economist

This artful creation reports from planet Earth in the manner of a bookish Martian sending a postcard home. . . . This is a terribly funny book, intentionally so, and its ostensible subject is one that touches all of us. The Daily Mail

Features passages of imaginative prose as powerful as anything by Charles Dickens or George Orwell and explores the notion that people rarely feel connected to what they do for a living. Word Magazine

His questions are as important as they are unsettling. The Financial Times

Teems with sharp portraits, interesting details, and shrewd commentary. . . . De Botton is always fun to watch. The Guardian
"

"Exquisitely written. . . . A perceptive philosophical meditation on work, with its extraordinary claim to provide, along with love, the principal source of meaning in our lives." --Boston Globe
"In the place of easy answers, De Botton offers an array of potent and portable insights about the delight and despair we find, daily, in our working lives." --Los Angeles Times
"
Like a combination of Joan Didion, David Foster Wallace and pop philosopher Thomas Moore, De Botton's dense, pensive prose expresses a palpable preoccupation with finding better ways of living in our bewilderingly estranged age." --Salon

"With de Botton's humor, boundless erudition and capable turns of phrase, it's the best work yet (and certainly the best-timed) from a pre-eminent genre-bender, one certain to find a welcome home in the hands of anyone making a living." -The Portland Oregonian
"Alain de Botton's new philosophical treatise, "The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work," feels like an intellectual acid trip without the stimulants. He focuses your gaze where you have never even considered looking and turns upside down your notions of beauty and love and work and what really is involved in crafting a meaningful life. The book is groundbreaking in approach, style and imagination." -The San Francisco Chronicle
"The Pleasures and Sorrows treats readers to a cast of eccentrics as it examines the thing we spend most of our lives doing." --Business Week

"The workplace as subject matter brings out the best in [de Botton's] writing. . . . His wit and his powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book." --The Sunday Times (London)

"Wonderfully readable stuff. . . . What de Botton is showing us, in his de Botton-esque way, is that, in our world of niched desire and economic efficiency, our working practices might be driving us nuts. . . . A timely book." --The Spectator

"Pleasurably intelligent. . . . The author has plenty of thought-provoking things to say." --The Economist

"This artful creation reports from planet Earth in the manner of a bookish Martian sending a postcard home. . . . This is a terribly funny book, intentionally so, and its ostensible subject is one that touches all of us." --The Daily Mail

"Features passages of imaginative prose as powerful as anything by Charles Dickens or George Orwell and explores the notion that people rarely feel connected to what they do for a living." --Word Magazine

"His questions are as important as they are unsettling." --The Financial Times

"Teems with sharp portraits, interesting details, and shrewd commentary. . . . De Botton is always fun to watch." --The Guardian

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 91374 KB
  • Print Length: 338 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0771026188
  • Publisher: Penguin (2 April 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002RI9BE4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 54 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,296 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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