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The Consolations of Philosophy | [Alain de Botton]

The Consolations of Philosophy

Alain de Botton has performed a stunning feat: He has transformed arcane philosophy into something accessible and entertaining, useful and kind. Drawing on the work of six of the world's most brilliant thinkers, de Botton has arranged a panoply of wisdom to guide us through our most common problems.
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Publisher's Summary

Alain de Botton has performed a stunning feat: He has transformed arcane philosophy into something accessible and entertaining, useful and kind. Drawing on the work of six of the world's most brilliant thinkers, de Botton has arranged a panoply of wisdom to guide us through our most common problems. From the frustration of misplacing your keys to the sadness of losing a loved one, the writings of Seneca can offer consolation. For the particular agony of not having enough money, Epicurus has a solution that everyone can afford. And if your life is beset by difficulty after difficulty, wise advice may be found in the words of Nietzsche, the brilliant philosopher whose own life was riddled with poverty, bad health, and excruciating loneliness. The Consolations of Philosophy is smart, lucid, and pleasing, a rare sort of book that wonderfully fulfills the promise of its title.

©2000 Alain de Botton; (P)2006 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (181 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (60 )
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3 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (60 )
5 star
 (23)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Austin Olathe, KS, USA 11-11-09
    Austin Olathe, KS, USA 11-11-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    63
    ratings
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    37
    6
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    "Cheering, empathic, helpful"

    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.

    10 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Lansing, MI, USA 08-19-08
    Greg Lansing, MI, USA 08-19-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    140
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    49
    24
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    5
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    "Best author ever"

    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.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Acela zapopan, Mexico 06-11-12
    Acela zapopan, Mexico 06-11-12
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    REVIEWS
    2
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "The best about how philosophy can help you"
    What did you love best about The Consolations of Philosophy?

    Style and topic in writting


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Schopenhahuer and Nietzsche; interesting history they will change the way you think


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    What’s an idea from the book that you will remember?

    Thinking in different ways can make you even happier


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Raynham, MA, United States 05-21-12
    John Raynham, MA, United States 05-21-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining overview, good use of material"

    Doesn't dig too deeply, but always entertaining in the info he presents and the way he uses it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarina Santa Rosa, CA 05-07-12
    Sarina Santa Rosa, CA 05-07-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "Loved it! Informative & entertaining."
    What made the experience of listening to The Consolations of Philosophy the most enjoyable?

    The narrator has a most pleasing voice & made it come alive for me.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I learned about the history of several philosophers in a story-like manner.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Yes! He's my favorite. His other books have been equally wonderful.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    Epicurious wasn't a lush, although many think he really was.


    Any additional comments?

    Anyone interested in philosophy will enjoy listening to this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. D. Almada Beltran 01-23-12 Listener Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Intelligent Discourse for the Dissapointed"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Consolations of Philosophy to be better than the print version?

    I do not own the Print Version.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I was very partial to the story of the death of Seneca. His pessimistic philosophy, when fully understood, kind of works in the opposite direction, making you value each and every day. I loved that.


    Have you listened to any of Simon Vance???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No I have not.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It has very distinct chapter that you can spread over a good weekend, in 2 hour chunks.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mica New York, NY, United States 07-24-08
    Mica New York, NY, United States 07-24-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    262
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    424
    15
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    3
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    "insight 4 the insecure"

    a collection of misleading short stories that maul the lives of a few philosophers. Great insights in the book include that a french philosopher farted and was impotent. This was painted as a wonderful gem of wisdom that shows us that even our more unpleasant aspects are only human. Perhaps the author suffers from the delusion that we are not sure if we are? The collection of stories amount to a handful of anecdotes. Some are: Who can know anything? Who cares if people don't like me? No one can know anything anyhow. Happiness comes from the simple things in life. Etc. if you need a self help book get a self help book. If you want philosophy, look elsewhere.

    15 of 36 people found this review helpful
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