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On Love
Cover of On Love
On Love
A Novel
Borrow Borrow

On Love is globally bestselling novelist-philosopher Alain De Botton's iconic debut—the novel that launched his decorated literary career; and a funny, profound, and searingly true-to-life exploration of love.
A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story—from fist kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with starling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. Now, in tandem with the arrival of The Course of Love—de Botton's first novel in twenty years and one about mature love—we celebrate the timeless debut about young love that serves as The Course of Love's precursor and companion.
Reissued with a brilliant introduction by the New York Times bestselling author of How Should a Person Be?, Shelia Heti, On Love is a contemporary classic that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.

On Love is globally bestselling novelist-philosopher Alain De Botton's iconic debut—the novel that launched his decorated literary career; and a funny, profound, and searingly true-to-life exploration of love.
A man and a woman meet over casual conversation on a flight from Paris to London, and so begins a love story—from fist kiss to first argument, elation to heartbreak, and everything in between. Each stage of the relationship is illuminated with starling clarity, as de Botton explores emotions often felt but rarely understood. Now, in tandem with the arrival of The Course of Love—de Botton's first novel in twenty years and one about mature love—we celebrate the timeless debut about young love that serves as The Course of Love's precursor and companion.
Reissued with a brilliant introduction by the New York Times bestselling author of How Should a Person Be?, Shelia Heti, On Love is a contemporary classic that should be read by anyone who has ever fallen in love.

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Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 4, 1993
    Two words on the cover (``a novel'') are the only hint that this unusual first book is fiction and not autobiography. The unnamed narrator is a London architect who becomes involved with Chloe, a graphic designer. After about a year, Chloe leaves him for an office-mate, and, as a result, the narrator tries (unsuccessfully) to kill himself. Eventually he gets over Chloe and falls in love with someone else. The novel's action is minimal; the balance of the book is given over to the narrator's obsessive analysis of his relationship with Chloe. (There are diagrams--such as the seating chart of the Boeing 767 where they met--that are meant to illustrate various ideas with which the narrator toys.) The book was likely intended as a Barthesian look at that peculiar heart condition called love, but the overblown and pretentious writing obliterates any comparison, peppered as it is with such winking turns-of-phrase as ``cartographic fascism.'' The author is clearly intelligent and well- read; perhaps some day he will put those assets to good literary use.

  • Francine Prose, New Republic

    “Smart and ironic . . . The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modeled sentences, its wry humor, and its unwavering deadpan respect for the reader's intelligence . . . full of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth."

  • Amanda Heller, Boston Globe “Imagine, of all impossible things, a young British Woody Allen with the benefit of a classical education and you have the nameless and exquisitely erudite narrator of On Love, a first novel by Alain de Botton, who seems to have been born to write."
  • Amy Sohn, The Week “An intricate deconstruction of a love affair done in an intellectual, Seinfeldian style . . . The commentary hits the nail on the head."
  • P. J. Kavanagh, Spectator “Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights."
  • Jan Morris, New Statesman “I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life."
  • Josephine Hart, author of Sin and Damage “A dazzlingly original, erudite and witty journey through all the vagaries of romantic love. A total delight."
  • News & Observer “The smart and funny On Love is just the strong cup of coffee needed to clear your head after a sticky sweet like The Bridges of Madison County. On Love is romantic reality."
  • Kirkus Reviews “A tour de force pleasure of a first novel . . . A dissertation/novel on romantic narcissism that's both intellectually stimulating and emotionally touching. A very promising debut."
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On Love
A Novel
Alain de Botton
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