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4.5 out of 5 stars
108
4.5 out of 5 stars
The Consolations of Philosophy
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on 7 October 2017
The lack of continuity may be the one criticism I have in that its a series of philosophical theories strung together without a narrative to make it memorable. So I've forgotten a lot of it and may have to go back to reread certain sections. Helpful division of sections though. Worth the read, just not my A++
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on 17 August 2017
Excellent quality, just as described.
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on 25 April 2017
Entertaining, easy read
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on 11 October 2017
Very nice book
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on 30 May 2001
After reading some of the reviews on Amazon, I was expecting read a life changing book. The book did not inspire me or alter the way I view life. I did gain some new knowledge of philosophers I had not previous come across. However, I found the book quite shallow in the ideas it was trying to put across. The book is easy and quick to read - suitable reading for the daily commute. However, I think you only really get something out of a book like this if you have never had any contact with greek philosophy (if you want some, read Sophie's World instead).
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on 11 December 2016
Great bibliotherapy. Love having it on my shelf to return to when in need of wise, comforting words.
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on 30 January 2010
+
I enjoy de Botton's books for their breadth of reading and thinking, in which he applies philosophy to everyday life. I have also read his `Status anxiety', which is somewhat more original.

This book is a commentary and summary of the thoughts of six great philosophers, with a pleasantly quirky individualism from the author intruding. In addition to giving us the essence of their philosophies, he outlines what is known of their lives. The heavy sprinkling of illustrations is entertaining, and relevant to the text.

The six are:
Socrates - Consolation for unpopularity
Epicurus - Consolation for not having enough money
Seneca - Consolation for frustration
Montaigne - Consolation for inadequacy
Schopenhauer - Consolation for a broken heart
Nietzsche - Consolation for difficulties

This is not high-falutin' exegesis of difficult philosophy, but neither it is condescending or simplistic. The author strikes the right note (to my mind), with humour and sagacity. If you want a quick "bluffers guide" to these philosophers, I would recommend this book. De Botton himself has clearly done a deal of research to write these essays. He quotes extensively from the works, annotating the source of every single quotation from an astonishing wide range of books. He has done a lot of digesting for us. He has also travelled to several relevant sites, such as Montaigne's famous circular library.

I learned much from this book. For instance, I knew virtually nothing of Schopenhauer, but now I can place him in the history of thought. I read some Nietzsche at university, but could not grasp the overall point of what he was trying to say - now I think I have grasped the theme. It also inspired me to pick up another book which I have had on my shelves for 30 years - a Penguin edition selection of Montaigne's essays. He is probably the most worthwhile of these six to pursue further.
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on 12 March 2017
all ok
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on 21 April 2017
Great . readable . love it
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on 22 May 2016
This book was a pleasure, at around 250 pages I was addicted and completed it within a week.
It has a diverse plethora or useful and mentally satisfying ideas, and is a fantastic introduction to these philosophers.
My reading list has quadrupled as I've been inspired to read some of the original philosopher's works, Montaigne's Complete Essays n particular.
Enjoy!
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