How Proust Can Change Your Life

  • by Alain de Botton
  • Narrated by Nicholas Bell
  • 5 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

For anyone who ever wondered what Marcel Proust had in mind when he wrote the one-and-a-quarter-million words of In Search of Lost Time (while bedridden no less), Alain de Botton has the answer. For, in this stylish, erudite and frequently hilarious book, de Botton dips deeply into Proust's life and work - his fiction, letters, and conversations - and distils from them that rare self-help manual: one that is actually helpful.
Here, tendered in prose almost as luminous as its subject's, is advice on cultivating friendships, suffering successfully, recognising love, and understanding why you should never sleep with someone on the first date. And here, too, is a generously perceptive literary biography that suggests that the master is as relevant today as he was in fin de siècle Paris.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Life before finishing Proust

An entertaining adjunct to my current extended soirée into all things Combray. With some time to kill when not able to hunker down and give it my all, I decided to get to bottom out de Botton in more or less one sitting of just over five hours.

This seems to be self-help with a helping hand from a wide ranging reading of Proust and the ancillary of luminaries who enlighten as to what it all might mean. Great fun to be in the book looking out at someone looking in.

Will Proust change my life? He has....certainly to the extent that I got a trouble free holiday out of it. Will this? No.
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- Stephen "Classics,contemporary fiction, Politics, Philosophy, Economics - a weekly eye on The New Yorker & The Guardian and dense word style/play."

Prose at its most elegant, beautifully performed

If you could sum up How Proust Can Change Your Life in three words, what would they be?

Witty, elegant, affecting


What did you like best about this story?

Of all the audiobooks I have downloaded, this is the one I return to again and again. It's a clever book, written by a master of supremely elegant yet unnaffected prose, enhanced by its competent and non-irritating narrator. It isn't a self-help book in the true sense, thank goodness, although it encourages one to reflect on how one lives. I also learnt a lot about Proust the writer and the man, and I wish that I could go back in time and spend an evening in his evidently delightful company. Bravo Mr de Botton.


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- Lord Copper

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-11-2010
  • Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd