- Paperback: 112 pages
- Publisher: Profile Books; First Printing edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1846683599
- ISBN-13: 978-1846683596
- Product Dimensions: 4.9 x 0.3 x 7.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,910,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Week At The Airport: A Heathrow Diary Paperback – 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I'm probably a little unusual in that I love airports and attempt to arrive much earlier than is really necessary so I can get airside as soon as possible and begin to immerse myself in the world of the terminal. I've never been to terminal 5 but the world that de Botton describes could be any large airport terminal; it feels very familiar.
I loved de Botton's perceptive writing and his incisive and insightful look at the lifeblood of the airport. The book is funny, interesting and very engaging. He meets a variety of people and captures their essence in a few short words; impressive observational writing. The photographs by Richard Baker make the book and it wouldn't be as good or feel as complete without them.
This little book is thoroughly enjoyable for the high quality writing and high quality photography. It's one of my favourite books read this year and I'll be getting The Art of Travel soon!
This man has something worthwhile to say and a piercing intellect with which to say it. The executive who chose him to profile the airport should be promoted. Fine writing is like a journey and as Mr. De Botton has taught us, travel is an art. Obviously the author leaves traces of his biases and interests in any work and reading this work only serves to increase my envy of those travelers who, having encountered the man at the table, were able to engage him in a two-sided conversation.
However, a one-sided conversation with this author quite suffices. Lest your powers of perception be dim, this is a book about an airport--nothing more, nothing less. We need, sometimes, to be reminded of the successes of our culture and the example of a Ghanian family leaving London with a prized new possession sums it up nicely. The airport may contain a posh and comfortable retreat for the wealthy, but as a whole represents the strivings of an entire civilization to explore and do business to the limits of the globe itself.
An airport is an enterprise worth describing and this book does credit to the concept of turning a trained observer loose on what may otherwise escape our attention.
His assignment as Writer in Residence gave him full privileges to wander the airport, night and day, and he doesn't miss a thing from security, loneliness, behind-the-scenes workers, and mechanical marvels. de Botton writes with a conversational tone as though he is thinking aloud, as in his other books, and he invites us in to look into the lives of travelers.
I look forward to seeing the airport through de Botton's eyes the next time I pack a bag and travel. And, with great anticipation, I will also await Alain de Botton's next book, wherever the world takes him.
Helen Gallagher Release Your Writing: Book Publishing, Your Way
In this wonderful little book, the author spent a week wandering around the new terminal at London's Heathrow Airport, talking to passengers and employees alike and observing everything going on. He talks to everyone, from the head of British Airways to someone who cleans the restrooms.
This is a terrific behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of an airport. You might think it sounds dull but it's not that at all.
"If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world."
These days, truth be told, “the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world” don’t sound quite as suffocating as they did then, and whether the book has resonated in quite the same way with those to whom I’ve since loaned my copy, I can’t say. Regardless, I recall my early readings of the book with fond memories.
It was a delight, then, to discover that the author had revisited some of the same themes in a subsequent, book called A Week at the Airport, a slim volume featuring stunning full-color photos by Richard Baker and arranged in four sections: Approach, Departures, Airside, and Arrivals.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is just OK. Status Anxiety was more interesting and innovative. I understand the books have different aims and subjects but I expected more from this one. Read morePublished 13 days ago by Macaroni Penguin
I heard about this book on an NPR interview a long while back, and it sounded interesting. I only wish there was more here. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ray
An interesting behind-the-scenes look at the function of an airport. I was hoping for a little more detail on the complicated processes he began to describe.Published 9 months ago by Anna
In 2009, Alain de Botton, who has fashioned a career out of helping the average non-philosopher think more philosophically about life, spent a week at the new (2008) Terminal 5 of... Read morePublished 17 months ago by MoseyOn
an insightful and entertaining look into the profiles of people traveling. you'll never go to an airport again without thinking about this book.Published 18 months ago by K. Long