©2000 Alain de Botton; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks
"De Botton, genial, accurate, humane guide to the thinkers at hand, has written a rich and useful book." (Washington Post Book World)
"The quietly ironic style and eclectic approach will gratify many postmodern readers....An enjoyable read with 'a few consoling and practical things' to say." (Publishers Weekly)
Sometimes our opinion of a book indicates what we are, moreso than the book. Alain de Botton's reflections are for those people who are in touch with their pain, great and small, and who are inclined to solve their problems by understanding them. Frankly, philosophy's greatest value might be to raise the heads of the downtrodden--to console them, not to allow them to look down their noses at others. Forget what snobs are saying about the use of "Philosophy" in the title, both here and on bookstore sites. If you're a person who examines his or her life seriously, then you will find helpful and invigorating ideas about your existence by an articulate, sensitive author. Botton even addresses snobbery. Oh, and the narration is great; Vance at his best.
I focus mainly on History, Endurance Sports and Science/Speculative Fiction books.
This book got mixed reviews in its print version, and I understand why. If you were a philosophy major in college or a hard core philosopher this overview of the giants in philosophy might appear watered down. Not for me. As someone who was exposed to these thinkers years ago, but felt a need to return to their ideas, I thought this overview was accessible and contextual. It provided a thread of philosophical thought through the ages than console a person on a variety of subjects. I truly enjoyed it.
Hard to say. Because I am an amateur athlete I was drawn to his assessment of Nietzsche and overcoming difficulty, but all of the chapters were of equal interest.
I have, and he always does a very good job. For this material his European accent helps with describing the paintings and cities cited in the text.
I rarely do that, but I did listen to in short period of time. This is not a long book. I enjoy shorter books between longer books I usually listen to, it breaks things up a bit.
I enjoy books about Non-Fiction a bit more than The Great Courses Series. This book is a good example of a great presentation on a weighty subject that is handled is an way that is accessible to all readers. I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to revisit Philosophy but doesn't want to wade through a complex discussion of a sometimes dense topic. Well done Audible!
I have read 3 or 4 books by De Botton and I intend to read every last thing this guy writes. The narrator is a perfect fit as well. For my money there is no better combination on Audible. I can't imagine anyone not liking this (or any other book by De Botton). Other than my wife perhaps - who refuses to read it because there are no vampires. ugh.
Style and topic in writting
Schopenhahuer and Nietzsche; interesting history they will change the way you think
Thinking in different ways can make you even happier
Doesn't dig too deeply, but always entertaining in the info he presents and the way he uses it.
A brilliant piece of work of course. Alain's own storytelling and voice is so great and soulful. Nothing wrong with Vance but would have loved it if Alain read his own stories.
Rationalist, economist and transhumanist, interested in tech, science and entrepreneurship. Works in politics.
Bought this expecting to listen to philisophy. All I heard was incredibly tedious and longwinded descriptions of completely uninteresting parts of some philosophers lives. To make matters worse, the strongest voice in this text is the writer, who is so evidently satisfied with his metaphors and references. Best read as forced middle school texts if you're a simple minded and pretentious teacher.
This book had a strong start, I felt. I'm new to the study of philosophers, just for some context. I found the story of Epicurus enlightening, inspiring and helpful, and was excited to become just as inspired by the stories and thoughts of the other great philosophers in this book, but...something seemed to go awry. Rather than telling us how we might be able to apply the rest of the philosophies to our modern daily lives, the stories seemed to become a ramble, one after the next, without any real purpose. I really enjoyed the story about Schopenhauer, but it was more of a brief biography of how the man lived his life, rather than any sort of consolation of any practical use to the modern day reader. It's really a shame.
I didn't especially enjoy the narrator, either. Dry and a bit stuffy and monotone. Would much have preferred Alain de Botton's own voice, which is sensitive and quite comforting just to listen to!
De Botton gives amusing anecdotes about each philosopher while delivering their teachings in a simple and digestible form. I have often found reading philosophy impossible as I need concrete examples to understand things - plus sometimes the teachings just seem too obvious. I learnt a lot from this book though and found it incredibly funny quite a lot of the time. It made me think (as it should) and made me laugh!
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