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on 5 April 2017
Reviewers of this book fall into two categories, journalists/writers and others, with the first category tending to pan it whereas the general public seem impressed. Well, I may be general public, but I'm with the professionals. His co-reviewer, author John Armstrong, demonstrates an impressive acquaintanceship with the world of art, but I begin to lose touch when de Botton takes over to tell us what ‘we’ are looking at and thinking, invariably by means of eccentric illustrative scenarios and begged questions, served on a bed of psycho-babble.

A sample of what the professionals have to say:

The New York Times - “perverse, playful reductiveness has always been de Botton’s shtick - he’s just never done it so badly”,

C Magazine - “Art as Therapy views enlightenment as something that is not achieved, but administered”,

The Guardian - “has filled the Rijksmuseum with giant yellow Post-it notes that spell out his smarmy and banal ideas of self-improvement - but leaves us no room to look at the art”,

The New Yorker - a more nuanced account of a guided tour of the Frick Collection by de Botton, from, "“Just look around,” he whispered, gesturing to the room and its crowd, “No one’s got a clue what they’re supposed to be doing!”", through a succession of de Botton conceits and contradictions, concluding with, "“Inside the museum, these ideas had seemed contentious. Outside, on Seventieth Street - where trees waved in the breeze, and clouds glowed behind them - they seemed less so.”
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on 17 August 2017
All of a sudden I realise that I am an Alain de Botton fan - I have read so many of his books. He convinced me
that I could and should read Proust's A la Recherche and so I did thus creating a momentous event in my life.
(Read it and see for yourself). Art as Therapy is a book to cherish, you can't really read it in one sitting or
call it quits on the last page. It is a handbook, a guide to teaching you over a long period of time how to look
at and utilize the works of art in our world. Alain helps to demystify the world, at least he has for me! Simple
language wtih a pervasive pleasantness.
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on 2 May 2016
This book is truly englightening. Describes historical and contemporary art by dissecting the subject into a variety of topics that art operates within; growth, nature, hope, sorrow, joy, etc, as well as going beyond the emotional mechanisms of art and the people that like it. It feels intellectual and easy to read, making astounding points without the need for noticeable and deliberately 'mystifying' language. Tasteful illustrations and art included too. An essential read, I would probably pay double the price for this.
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on 15 January 2017
Bought as a present for someone else after receiving it as a present myself. Opens up a wealth of thoughts and ideas. Good if you want an interesting art book or could use a little therapy. Good to dip into and relax, even if you don't need either.
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on 29 February 2016
An excellent book. Photographs and the text work so well together. Imaginative and thought-provoking
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on 2 May 2017
great intro to art therapy well presented book
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on 29 January 2018
Doesn't really tackle the subject, mostly academic waffle-ising.
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on 23 February 2016
Excellent book.
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on 18 February 2018
a very intellectual read
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on 18 February 2016
OK
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