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On Love: A Novelby Alain de Botton
Synopses & Reviews
The best-selling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Art of Travel revisits his utterly charming debut novel, On Love.
The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a Paris-London flight, and by the time they've reached the luggage carousel he knows he is in love. He loves her chestnut hair, watery green eyes, the gap that makes her teeth Kantian and not Platonic, and her views on Heidegger's Being and Time — but he hates her taste in shoes.
Plotting the course of their affair from the initial delirium of infatuation to the depths of suicidal despair, through a fit of anhedonia — defined in medical texts as a disease resulting from the terror brought on by the threat of utter happiness — and finally through the terrorist tactics employed when the beloved begins, inexplicably, to drift away, On Love is filled with profound observations and useful diagrams, examining for all of us the pain and exhilaration of love.
"A tour-de-force pleasure of a first novel....A dissertation/novel on romantic narcissism that's both intellectually stimulating and emotionally touching. A very promising debut." Kirkus Reviews
"Imagine...a young British Woody Allen with the benefit of a classical education and you have the nameless and exquisitely erudite narrator of On Love, a first novel by Alain de Botton, who seems to have been born to write." The Boston Globe
"The book was likely intended as a Barthesian look at that peculiar heart condition called love, but the overblown and pretentious writing obliterates any comparison....The author is clearly intelligent and well-read; perhaps someday he will put those assets to good literary use." Publishers Weekly
"The smart and funny On Love is just the strong cup of coffee needed to clear your head after a sticky sweat like The Bridges of Madison County. On Love is romantic reality." The News and Observer
"First novelist de Botton writes well...but neither Chloe nor Alain really engage our interest, and their story seems too slight to support all the heavy philosophizing." Library Journal
"A dazzlingly original, erudite and witty journey through all the vagaries of romantic love. A total delight." Josephine Hart, author of Sin and Damage
In this dazzlingly original first novel, Alain de Botton tells of a young man smitten by a woman on a Paris-London flight. On Love plots the course of their affair from the initial delirium of infatuation to the depths of suicidal despair, as the beloved, inexplicably, begins to drift away.
About the Author
Alain de Botton is the author of three works of fiction and five of nonfiction, including How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, and The Art of Travel. He lives in London.
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