On Love

On Love

4.6 7
by Alain de Botton
     
 

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On Love is globally bestselling novelist-philosopher Alain De Botton’s iconic debut—the novel that launched his decorated literary career; and a funny, profound, and searingly true-to-life exploration of love.

A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story—from fist kiss to

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Overview


On Love is globally bestselling novelist-philosopher Alain De Botton’s iconic debut—the novel that launched his decorated literary career; and a funny, profound, and searingly true-to-life exploration of love.

A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story—from fist kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with starling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. Now, in tandem with the arrival of The Course of Love–de Botton’s first novel in twenty years and one about mature love— we celebrate the timeless debut about young love that serves as The Course of Love’s precursor and companion.

Reissued with a brilliant introduction by the New York Times bestselling author of How Should a Person Be?, Shelia Heti, On Love is a contemporary classic that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Two words on the cover (``a novel'') are the only hint that this unusual first book is fiction and not autobiography. The unnamed narrator is a London architect who becomes involved with Chloe, a graphic designer. After about a year, Chloe leaves him for an office-mate, and, as a result, the narrator tries (unsuccessfully) to kill himself. Eventually he gets over Chloe and falls in love with someone else. The novel's action is minimal; the balance of the book is given over to the narrator's obsessive analysis of his relationship with Chloe. (There are diagrams--such as the seating chart of the Boeing 767 where they met--that are meant to illustrate various ideas with which the narrator toys.) 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, peppered as it is with such winking turns-of-phrase as ``cartographic fascism.'' The author is clearly intelligent and well- read; perhaps some day he will put those assets to good literary use. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Chloe and Alain meet in a plane flying from Paris to London and fall in love. Their romance lasts only about a year, and after they have parted the narrator/author uses scenes from their time together as illustrations of his philosophical anatomy of romantic love. Chapters are formed of numbered paragraphs so that the book resembles a classical philosophical disquisition, and it's on this level that it reads best. First novelist de Botton writes well--dozens of sentences glisten with aphoristic insight--but neither Chloe nor Alain really engage our interest, and their story seems too slight to support all the heavy philosophizing. Recommended only for sentimental young romantics with a penchant for philosophy, readers who thought Nicholas Baker's Vox ( LJ 11/15/91) was profound, and writing teachers who need an example of what happens when you write a novel before you have much life experience.-- Charles Michaud, Turner Free Lib., Randolph, Mass.
Boston Sunday Globe
Imagine, of all impossible things, 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 News & Observer
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802142405
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
02/09/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
194
Sales rank:
373,687
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 7.38(h) x (d)

What People are saying about this

Josephine Hart
"A dazzlingly original, erudite and worth journey through all the vagaries of romantic love. A total delight."

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On Love 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
SamanthaCopping More than 1 year ago
What a delight! This gem of a novel is like nothing else I've ever read. It shows just how precisely Alain de Botton understands human behavior. I constantly found myself ringing or groaning as I saw my own relationship misteps brilliantly illustrated. Definitely worth your time.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I must say this is a book that I can pick up at different periods of my life and consistently relate to each line De Botton writes. I agree that any person who as ever been in love, or has had the illusion of being in love would very much relate to this novel. It was both inspirational and entertaining to be with this character through such a relization into love....I would say it is a must read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't understand the criticisms that de Botton's book is 'too erudite' or pretentious. Have we all become so stupid that this book is really over our heads? This gem of a maiden-voyage is most certainly not an exaggerated attempt to flaunt the author's classical education. Botton's literary style is quite mature, but one he continues to employ in every subsequent book, as any close reader of his work would acknowledge. De Botton is no Jennifer Weiner...
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have to admit this book is very hard to get into. But once you get past the erudite language, there are some ideas that are amazing in their simplicity, and at the same time, their complexity. For example, he talks about breaking up with his girlfriend over a pair of shoes she bought that he finds hideous. These kind of realistic moments are turned into scholarly statements on life. A truly satirical, lighthearted novel at heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'on love' is a beautifully true novel. if you have ever been in love, you will feel like this is written for you.