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ESSAYS IN LOVE Paperback – 2010

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 2010
CDN$ 100.52 CDN$ 16.11

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Picador (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330440780
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330440783
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #255,674 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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By JK on Aug. 14 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d7b8f0c) out of 5 stars 29 reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ee4cca8) out of 5 stars A Brilliant Study Nov. 28 2001
By Lleu Christopher - Published on
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.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ee4c810) out of 5 stars Brilliantly insightful. April 29 2011
By Sam Quigley - Published on
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.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d745210) out of 5 stars Good Read Dec 29 2010
By Liang Qiao - Published on
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.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9dc5e00c) out of 5 stars Honest, educational, and easily (sometimes scarily so) relatable book. June 14 2015
By Ilya Grigorik - Published on
Format: Paperback
"The unexamined life is not worth living" - Socrates. If that rings true, then "Essays in Love" is a book with your name on it: part love story, part self-study, part philosophical examination of both. Alain De Botton is, as usual, witty, insightful, and thought-provoking, as he takes us on a tour of all the highs, lows, and paradoxes of falling in love. For example, why do we fall for and appreciate the flaws (we all have them) of the other, but then fight about minutia that we're happy to overlook in others? An honest, educational, and easily (sometimes scarily so) relatable book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f09b90c) out of 5 stars Did he like Chocolate? Nov. 24 2015
By Mr. D. James - Published on
Format: Paperback
De Botton, Alaine. Essays in Love

In her introduction to de Botton’s book (Picador Classics) Sheila Heti begins, ‘Essays in Love has been classified as a novel, but it’s a very strange novel.’ It is, she says, ‘a guide through the landscape of contemporary romance.’ In the book de Botton makes a habit of reflecting on a previous paragraph telling the story of (presumably his) love affair with Chloe, a woman whom he meets by chance sitting next to him on a Paris-London flight. Thus the novel-memoir seems at times to be a mere jumping of point to a profound analysis of the trite business of falling in love - and of course inevitably the disillusion inherent in that commonplace but unique event.

I must confess that I am often puzzled by the memoir genre - how much is ‘true’ and how much falsified for the sake of art? In books about love affairs, which this absolutely is, how constant is the point of view? How can the reader believe in the ‘facts’ as retailed by the narrator? Well, de Botton (who wrote this book in his early twenties) does a masterly job of analysing the ebb and flow of desire, beginning with rapture over finding that the lovers have so much in common that some supernatural agency must have pre-determined their meeting. ‘I love chocolate, don’t you?’ asked Chloe. ‘I can’t understand people who don’t like chocolate.’ Well, the narrator, the ‘I’ in the story, de Botton or a version of him, hates chocolate: ‘I had been more or less allergic to chocolate all my life.’ So of course in the ‘story’ the narrator has to lie, or else run the risk of losing the ‘angel’ as Chloe is soon to become. This is the key to the novel, focusing on a mundane preference and lying about one’s true feelings. It’s what we all would do in the circumstances. It’s both true to life, and perfect for art. Now, whether the ‘real’ de Botton likes or hates chocolate is a moot point, one which the reader should not, according to convention at least, ask.

What I liked about the story (I almost said ‘loved’ but then recalled de Botton’s complex of analyses of the word) and about the philosophical commentary that accompanies it is its lucidity, its honesty about feeling and beliefs, those transient markers we cling to - and eventually are obliged to release from our grasp. But the book is not all Freudian or Marxian analysis (Marx is the term confusingly used in the book to refer to Marx the comedian) but a moving and totally convincing ‘love story,’ telling it like it is, a rare thing in fiction.

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