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The Architecture of Happiness | [Alain de Botton]

The Architecture of Happiness

One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of chairs, walls, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet, a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.
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Publisher's Summary

The Architecture of Happiness is a dazzling journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.

One of the great, but often unmentioned, causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of chairs, walls, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet, a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

©2006 Alain de Botton; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"De Botton has a marvelous knack for coming at weighty subjects from entertainingly eccentric angles." (Seattle Times)
"With originality, verve, and wit, de Botton explains how we find reflections of our own values in the edifices we make....Altogether satisfying." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Entertaining and stimulating....The strength of his book is that it encourages us to open our eyes and really look at the buildings in which we live and work." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (53 )
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  •  
    Eline 03-30-14
    Eline 03-30-14

    jongedame

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "a bit pompous"
    Would you try another book from Alain de Botton and/or Simon Vance?

    no


    What could Alain de Botton have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    the theories are of interest to me, but it is hard to wade through the pompous language


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Simon Vance?

    Karen Savage


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    annoyment


    Any additional comments?

    Was hoping that listening to the book would help me get through the over-the-top language, but the awful and pretentious reading discouraged that

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Bennington, VT, United States 10-08-12
    Sarah Bennington, VT, United States 10-08-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyed but narrator difficult to listen to."

    I enjoyed the book and loved the subject matter/the author's insights but I found Simon Vance's heavy intellectual voice distracting and difficult to listen to. I would have preferred a different narrator.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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