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ESSAYS IN LOVE [Paperback]

ALAIN DE BOTTON
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
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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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The english edition of a wonderful book Nov. 5 1996
By A Customer
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Study Nov. 28 2001
By Lleu Christopher - Published on Amazon.com
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.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Why do birds suddenly appear, any time you are near..." Aug. 12 2002
By K. A. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
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.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly insightful. April 29 2011
By Sam Quigley - Published on Amazon.com
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.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The english edition of a wonderful book Nov. 5 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
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
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read Dec 29 2010
By Liang Qiao - Published on Amazon.com
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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