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Twenty years after his bestselling debut Essays in Love, internationally acclaimed author Alain de Botton returns to fiction with a brilliant new novel about modern relationships What does it mean to live happily ever after? At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten's friends always ask them the same question: how did you meet? The answer comes easily -- it's a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask: what happened next? Rabih and Kirsten find each other, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. From the first thrill of lust, to the joys and fears of real commitment, to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is the story of modern relationships and how to survive them. Playful, wise and profoundly moving, The Course of Love is a delightful return to the novel by Alain de Botton, twenty years after his debut Essays in Love.
“An engrossing tale [that] provides plenty of food for thought” (People, Best New Books pick), this playful, wise, and profoundly moving second novel from the internationally bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership. We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” The Course of Love explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. We see, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy—an annotation and a guide to what we are reading. As The New York Times says, “The Course of Love is a return to the form that made Mr. de Botton’s name in the mid-1990s….love is the subject best suited to his obsessive aphorizing, and in this novel he again shows off his ability to pin our hopes, methods, and insecurities to the page.” This is a Romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term. The result is a sensory experience—fictional, philosophical, psychological—that urges us to identify deeply with these characters and to reflect on his and her own experiences in love. Fresh, visceral, and utterly compelling, The Course of Love is a provocative and life-affirming novel for everyone who believes in love. “There’s no writer alive like de Botton, and his latest ambitious undertaking is as enlightening and humanizing as his previous works” (Chicago Tribune).
"What does it mean to live happily ever after? At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten's friends always ask them the same question- how did you meet? The answer comes easily - it's a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask- what happened next? Rabih and Kirsten find each other, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. From the first thrill of lust, to the joys and fears of real commitment, to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is the story of modern relationships and how to survive them. Playful, wise and profoundly moving, The Course of Loveis a delightful return to the novel by Alain de Botton, twenty years after his debut Essays 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.
‘What a marvellous book this is . . . de Botton dissects what [Proust] had to say about friendship, reading, looking carefully, paying attention taking your time, being alive and adds his own delicious commentary. The result is an intoxicating as it is wise, amusing as well as stimulating, and presented in so fresh a fashion as to be unique . . . I could not stop, and now much start all over again.’ Brian Masters, Mail on Sunday ‘De Botton not only has a complete understanding of Proust’s life . . . but what is particularly charming about this small, readable book is its tongue-in-cheek benignity, its lightly held erudition and its generous way of lending itself to what is not only the greatest book of the century but also the darkest and the most eccentric’ Edmund White, Observer ‘It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction . . . de Botton, in emphasizing Proust’s healing, advisory aspects, does us the service of rereading him on our behalf, providing of that vast sacred lake a sweet and lucid distillation.’ John Updike, New Yorker ‘De Botton’s little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life.’ Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph ‘This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while.’ Sunday Telegraph ‘A very enjoyable book’ Sebastian Faulks
This book, first published in 1998, takes a psychological approach to human love.
Leo Gursky is a man who fell in love at the age of ten and has been in love ever since. These days he is just about surviving life in America, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbour know he's still alive, drawing attention to himself at the milk counter of Starbucks. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago in the Polish village where he was born Leo fell in love with a young girl called Alma and wrote a book in honour of his love. These days he assumes that the book, and his dreams, are irretrievably lost, until one day they return to him in the form of a brown envelope. Meanwhile, a young girl, hoping to find a cure for her mother's loneliness, stumbles across a book that changed her mother's life and she goes in search of the author. Soon these and other worlds collide in The History of Love, a captivating story of the power of love, of loneliness and of survival.

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