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Essays in Love/a Novel Paperback – May 1, 1995


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Paperback, May 1, 1995
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Picador (May 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330334360
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330334365
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,171,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Imagine, of all impossible things, a young British Woody Allen with the benefit of a classical education and you have the nameless and exquisitely erudite narrator of Essays in Love."
-- "Boston Sunday Globe"
"The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modeled sentences, its wry humor, its unwavering deadpan respect for its reader's intelligence." -- Francine Prose in "The New Republic" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Alain De Botton was born in 1969. He is the author of The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philsophy, The Art of Travel and Status Anxiety . His work is translated into 20 languages. He lives in London. For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Alain is the author of seven non-fiction books that look at the great questions of ordinary life - love, friendship, work, travel, home - in a way that is intellectually rigorous, therapeutic, amusing and always highly readable. His goal is to bring ideas back to where they belong: at the center of our lives.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Alain de Botton has a good sense of humour, and it makes this book very enjoyable.
carolMA
I guess we all want to know what THIS thing is, and he does a pretty damn good job at getting below the surface.
Inga Somoza
He is able to adroitly mix a scholarly, intellectual analysis with truly felt emotions.
Lleu Christopher

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Lleu Christopher on November 28, 2001
Format: Audio Cassette
This is a kind of hybrid novel/philosophical study of romantic love. The plot is, on the surface, a rather conventional one; a man and woman meet and fall in love. Most of the book, however, consists of the narrator (the male lover) reflecting on each stage of the process, from initial attraction to the despair of love's departure. What is perhaps most striking about Essays In Love is how Alain De Botton manages to combine passion and intellect. He is able to adroitly mix a scholarly, intellectual analysis with truly felt emotions. He is also extremely perceptive regarding the often perverse nature of our emotions. For example, he illustrates the tendency of someone in love to feel less highly of the loved one if he or she reciprocates the feeling. From this book, I'd guess De Botton has a background in Western philosophy, as the bulk of the references are from this field. Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, and many others are quoted. Yet the book is never dry or academic; the rawness of the lovers' emotions is always there to keep our hearts as well as our minds intrigued. James Wilby, the reader, perfectly captures the ideas, feelings and nuances of the story.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By K. A. Harris on August 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
In the words of Karen Carpenter, "they long to be , just like me, close to you". Here Alain just wants to be close to Chloe, or close to love more precisely. I enjoyed this read, as a philosophical discussion of love there is probably none better. Dont expect a love story though, the plot element of this 'novel' is very sparse, bordering on non existent, nothing really happens except for the fact that Alain takes us on a witty, funny , insightful and revealatory discussion on "what is love?". In fact this would have been a wonderful sub title for the book and is a must read for anyone who has oftened wondered. Once you have read the book, wonder no more about the question that poets, novelists and songwriters never tire of.
The limitations of the novel:
1. It makes no comment about what love means for the human race and draws no conclusions about the sociological implications of love, this is suprising given the authors distance and analysis of the condition. The argument for 'biological urge' would have upset the romantic element of the authors passion.
2. It is very english, proper and dignified. The protaginists are wealthy, successful and cute. Neither of them have any faults, doubts or problems and this creates a distance to the characters and aids in the philosophical discussion without getting to close to the 'people' concerned. Thus as a novel it fails.
Despite the above, the book is highly readable and I will no doubt read it again, you should too.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sam Quigley on April 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
So utterly relatable, it's more than a little disturbing. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone currently giddy with new love, but for everyone else, this is a surprisingly hilarious gem of a book.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 5, 1996
Format: Paperback
This is the English edition of what in the US was published as ON LOVE: it is quite the funniest, most intelligent book I have ever read on love. Please buy it, and you will see what I mean
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Liang Qiao on December 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
To be honest, I checked out this book from library after I watched the film based on the book: My Last 5 Girlfriends. The film was interesting, but the book itself was much better!
Very readable book on love and the relationship among lovers. I enjoyed reading it and Mr. De Botton was truly a talented writer.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M S Hardley on April 27, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book. End of story. So insightful, funny too, all round can't-put-it-down type read. Great first book for my Kindle!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By elizabete cardoso on October 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Botton takes us on a journey so familiar you can't help but be gripped by the book. But then he substantializes the reasoning and the feelings anyone goes through in the challenge of love, and it just feels like he's reading you and not the other way around. Wonderful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Artemis on October 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ohhh what a delightful book! For people like me, who overanalyse the simple stuff in life and love it when other people do the same, this is intellectual heaven. It's such a good mixture of good ol' entertaining and light writing, with a touch of sarcasm and loads of really smart and to the point psycho-philosophical analytical thoughts. It feels like indulging in a classic and simple chocolate cake but oh wait, there is a surprise, it has a touch of sophistication, like say an aroma of good cognac, AND you also know that it is made of organic chocolate and has very little calories. Damn now i need chocolate cake.
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