'What a marvellous book this is ...de Botton dissects what [Proust] had to say about friendship, reading, looking carefully, paying attention taking your time, being alive and adds his own delicious commentary. The result is an intoxicating as it is wise, amusing as well as stimulating, and presented in so fresh a fashion as to be unique ...I could not stop, and now much start all over again.' Brian Masters, Mail on Sunday 'De Botton not only has a complete understanding of Proust's life ...but what is particularly charming about this small, readable book is its tongue-in-cheek benignity, its lightly held erudition and its generous way of lending itself to what is not only the greatest book of the century but also the darkest and the most eccentric' Edmund White, Observer 'It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction ...de Botton, in emphasizing Proust's healing, advisory aspects, does us the service of rereading him on our behalf, providing of that vast sacred lake a sweet and lucid distillation.' John Updike, New Yorker 'De Botton's little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life.' Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph 'This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while.' Sunday Telegraph 'A very enjoyable book' Sebastian Faulks
About the Author
Alain de Botton is the author of eight bestselling books including The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and Essays in Love. He was born in 1969 and lives in London. For more information, consult: www.alaindebotton.com.
I came to this book after reading Alain de Botton's other books - The Consolations of Philosophy and The Art of Travel, so I was already a fan of his work. While I can't say that this book has helped change my life, it certainly raise some interesting questions and pose some potential answers.
Rather than present a dry account of Proust's work, de Botton weaves parts of Proust's life and his own experiences into his philosophical thoughts. It is this approach which helps the reader readily digest some pretty weighty philosophical concepts, though this is certainly helped by de Botton's wonderfully clear writing and clever use of wit.
So will Proust (and this book) change your life? Perhaps not, but you never know - it's certainly worth a try.
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