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An experienced traveler and the author of five books, including How Proust Can Change Your Life, De Botton here offers nine essays concerning the art of travel. Divided into five sections "Departure," "Motives," "Landscape," "Art," and "Return" the essays start with one of the author's travel experiences, meander through artists or writers related to it, and then intertwine the two. De Botton's style is very thoughtful and dense; he considers events of the moment and relates them to his internal dialog, showing how experiences from the past affect the present. In "On Curiosity," for example, which describes a weekend in Madrid, De Botton compares his reliance on a very detailed guidebook to the numerous systematic measurements Alexander von Humboldt made during his 1799 travels in South America. De Botton compares Humboldt's insatiable desire for detail with his own ennui and wish that he were home. There are also details about a fight over dessert, the van Gogh trail in Provence, and Wordsworth's vision of nature. Although well written and interesting, this volume will have limited popular appeal. Recommended for larger public libraries. Alison Hopkins, Brantford P.L., ON
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Rather than lavishing pages on the sumptuous taste of a sun-ripened olive in Provence, philosopher de Botton examines what inspires us to escape the humdrum and purchase tickets to Tahiti, tromp through the countryside, or wander Rome. Left to one voice, such an inquiry might grow dull, but de Botton uses the lives and works of artists and writers to explore the premise. With each chapter, the author dissects our motivation to depart normality and go (he quotes Baudelaire) "anywhere, anywhere!" De Botton's anecdotal accounts of his own travels illustrate the theme of each chapter, such as exoticism or escapism, showing the unexpected (but all too common) disappointments inherent in getting away. Then, using the interior and artistic lives of others, de Botton probes the psychological underpinnings of why we go. The book shines when discussing Flaubert's lifelong urge for Egypt and painter Edward Hopper's affinity for the desolation of fuel stops and Automats. This literary travelogue feeds hungry readers seeking self-insight. Nicole Waller
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you have a well worn copy of 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' on the shelf, then you will want to add this one to the collection. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christian Coughlan
This book will expand and explode your experiences of travel weather abroad or walking down your street in your own neighborhood.
Saw a review in a magazine about this book and it was stated that it would pump me up for travel. I love to travel so I got this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by dawson
Excellent book for travellers. Clear, concise writing that puts you "there" Full of insight and feel for the pleasures of travelPublished 4 months ago by spot-on
Beautifully written exploration of what makes a journey intrinsically such. Love this composition.Published 4 months ago by Nicole George
De Botton tries to balance worlds that really don't mix. His reflections are arcane, his subjects are effete, and his conclusions almost non-existent. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jeff Thomas
Travel is an escape. It breaks the daily routine and dangles a promise of happiness, where we can let go, re-examine, and gain the much-needed perspective. Sounds familiar? Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ilya Grigorik