Essays in Love by Alain de Botton


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…

  • Rachel J. Shelley

    Hi, I read a few of your articles and it’s great that begginers are interested in the wonderful world of writing. You are not a native english writer, correct? Maybe you should go back a few steps and train a little more in your native tongue, that way your writing will not be as primitive. Before you criticize Alain de Botton, try to study more. I believe you didn’t understood the book. Believe in your potencial, Vinni.

    • Thank you for your comment and feedback, but I’ll respectfully disagree. I never claimed to do anything but primitive writing in this session of the website, considering they are the first things that pop into my mind when I finish a book, I don’t edit and I don’t proofread this section. It’s a lot more raw if you will. I encourage you to read a few other articles published under the “Ask Vinni” category where the level of writing is higher (but still not up to my own standards).

      I still have long ways to go, of course. I’m always looking to improve and hope to never reach the point of being completely happy with my writing; that would cause me to stagnate. Writing in my native language, however, would hardly help. Despite being a native speaker of Portuguese, I live my life between English and German, my thoughts are hardly, if ever, in Portuguese. As an example, my level of writing in German is atrocious, but I’d be hard-pressed to believe that practicing my writing in English or Portuguese helps my writing in German.

      I do hope you stick around as I improve my writing (and everything else, really), and that you get something out of the articles.

      Take care.

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