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Alain de Botton meticulously dissects that bizarre and complex creature: the Love Affair. He takes every emotion felt, and every action taken, and - through the magnifying glass of philosophy - analyses the whole process of falling in love. From the moment of the lovers’ first contact, through the heat of their passion, the rage of their arguments and the ridiculousness of their sulks, we hear what the philosophers - ancient and modern - have made of love.
As with everything of Alain de Botton’s that I’ve read, 'Essays in Love' is rich with ideas and beautifully written: he manages to put heart into what could otherwise be rather abstract intellectual concepts. The narrator is somewhat neurotic but in a necessary and likeable way, and I was with him through all of his trials. A wonderful book - brilliantly narrated, too - that is going to stay with me for a long time.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
It wasn't what I expected, but it was a brilliant balance between being a novel and a psychological analysis of feelings of love.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
I wouldn't recommend this book to all my friends but I know that some of them would enjoy it as much as I did. It's for romantics that think too much sometimes. It's for realists that love to fall in love nevertheless.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Essays in Love?
There are many memorable moments...but perhaps what stands out now after a couple weeks is the way intimacy in the couple is revealed and lost. The fight scenes are funny in a "oh yeah, I've been there" kinda way.
Have you listened to any of James Wilby’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
It was my first James Wilby book and I enjoyed his reading very much.
Who was the most memorable character of Essays in Love and why?
I guess it was the main male character because he's so introspective to the point of absurdity but also insightful.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you love best about Essays in Love?
The story is engaging. There are really good points made, great references, and de Botton analyzes the nuances of falling in and out of love with the perspective and depth of someone who's lived a thousand lives. The narrator's voice is very attractive.
What does James Wilby bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Great voice. Very warm and theatrical (not in an exaggerated way) at the same time.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes. It was so hard to even go to sleep. I had my Audible on sleep timer several times but didn't want to miss anything to grogginess. So I would relisten the same parts the next day. This book is so wise.
Any additional comments?
Definitely listen to this.