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What was stunning about the Proust book was de Botton's brazen annexing of a hallowed novelist to address lite emotional problems. That format is less arresting when applied to the philosophers, since which earnest philosophy major has not, from time to time, tried to apply the alpine heights of thought to his own humble worries? Usually, sophomoric attempts to turn to, say, Kant for advice on love tend to be unmitigated disasters. In de Botton's case, however, he is able to find consolation for a broken heart in Schopenhauer, consolation for inadequacy in Montaigne. Epicurus, usually associated with a love of luxury, is a solace for those of us without much money--and de Botton learns from him that "objects mimic in a material dimension what we require in a psychological one. We need to rearrange our minds but are lured towards new shelves. We buy a cashmere cardigan as a substitute for the counsel of friends."
Lest the reader become burdened by all this philosophizing, the book is peppered with illustrations--the section on Nietzsche of course includes a DC Comics drawing of Superman. And it's further leavened by the author's personal anecdotes and winning confessional tone. Early on, for instance, he admits his own gnawing need for popularity: "A desire to please led me to laugh at modest jokes like a parent on the opening night of a school play." Before he became a medicine man for the soul, de Botton was a first-rate novelist, and it shows in his writing. --Claire Dederer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I enjoyed it very much. Perfect intro work with great humor and insight.Published 3 days ago by ammamother
I have a hard time rating this book because it was really hard for me to read and hard for me to enjoy. I think I just didn't understand the authors style of writing. Read morePublished 16 days ago by AngelFace
The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton is is listed as "Self Help" first, and "Philosophy" second. That is reflected perfectly in the writing (1). Read morePublished 26 days ago by Zach Augustine
I truly enjoyed reading this book. Very easy, and I enjoyed reading about the six philosophers. I was very happy to be introduced to them from the eye of Alain. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ninos
I like his clear succinct explanations of philosophical concepts. I would recommend this book to people interested in ways to live their life to the full.Published 1 month ago by Helen Ogilbee
Perhaps one of the best, approachable, and imminently practical introductions to Socrates, Epicurus, Seneca, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ilya Grigorik