The Course of Love – Alain de Botton

This is an entertaining chronicle of a couple’s relationship, starting from the very beginning. There is a lot (a lot) of analysis behind the story, which might sound heavy going but is actually what makes it all so engaging. I am a big fan of Alain de Botton’s “voice” — you can tell that just by looking at my bookshelf.

This book seems superficially similar to de Botton’s earlier novel Essays in Love. It turns out that it is indeed similar, following a man as he meets a woman and their triumphs and disasters as they navigate life together. Somehow these two seem a little more mature, a little more thoughtful and considered than the protagonist of the earlier book, which made me optimistic about their future happiness.

Sprinkled throughout the book at appropriate points are little italicised asides, exploring and explaining the characters’ personalities, foibles and failings. They often widen the scope to talk about people in general. In fact, it seems to me that this book is actually a kind of self-help book about relationships, and the story is just a frame to link up all the bits of advice, explanations and explorations. It’s quite neat – as the characters react to events (mostly to each other), the narrator goes beneath the surface to explain their motivations. Then there will be a passage talking about how people in general behave in such a situation, and why. There is a lot of wisdom in this book – reading it makes me feel wise too, and I like that.

Did you like this? Sharing is good!
This review is about , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *