Customer Reviews for

Politics

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2003

    An unkept promise

    The beginning is brilliant. Looks like a pamphlet,a satire of chic erotic novels,whit Moshe the Woody Allen of this story of a modern Menage a Trois. But soon all collapses in a minimalist chronicle, whit the Author constantly interposing himself and his patronizing comments between the reader and his story. 'You should (or shouldn't)think this or that' about his characters is a refrain that becomes frankly annoying, what's more he conveys his often obvious observations like he's talking to a not very bright child. Alain de Botton is far better in this philosophizing about a love story. He intersperses his not very interesting story of a menage a trois (the novel 'Jules and Jim',here cited, is far better)whit zany anecdotes of the life of celebrities and totalitarian dictators, who he incongrously compares whit some moment in the love and sex story of the menage a trois. Very often, the similitude is forced, fatuous and outright silly.Some notations of his are simply pointless. A Vaclav Havel's noble gesture in the sixties had underlying selfish motives. So what? Moreover,the Author seems to have a fondness for totalitarian dictators, observing how gentle Stalin was at the telephone (subtly menacing Bulgakov, falsely reassuring Bucharin), how pathetic was Hitler at sex (he apparently liked to be humiliated in the pauses between an invasion and a massacre) how generous was Mao in bestowing his painless (for him) sexually transmitted disease to the daughters of Chinese Revolution he deflowered. He arrives at the point of questioning the rightness of Eichmann's trial and execution, saying they should try Simon Wiesenthal instead. This is too much. In one of his rambling the Author says that 'reality can't be surreal, only surreal is surreal'. Surely the fact that this pretentious first work won the awed admiration of many learned critics is a proof that reality CAN in fact be surreal.

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    Posted December 30, 2009

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    Posted April 17, 2010

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    Posted February 2, 2012

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    Posted June 28, 2010

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    Posted December 27, 2009

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