I definitely did not expect this book to be what it was. When you come across a title saying “essays in love,” you don’t expect to find the biography of a romance, which is what it was.
I read on and on, knowing that Alain de Botton is against romanticism and believes that love should be seen as a skill rather than something that “just happens” and we should “leave to chance.” He supports a more pragmatic view that sets the individual on the spotlight, being the sole responsible for his love life. Love won’t simply strike us sooner or later.
The book had none of that, though. I read page after page of his story with Chloe, a girl he met on a flight and loved for an entire year. He tells us about their relationship from the very start until the very end.
And yet, I didn’t hate the book. It’s written in a way that manages to throw in a few insights and talks about love with a certain disconnectedness we can learn from. He analyzes his romance objectively and fairly, but still fails to make any convincing points.
I should reread The Symposium…