Essays in Love- Alain de Botton
Set up in an essay style, this philosophical novel follows a love affair from beginning to end.
I loved this book. No seriously, I loved this book on love. It's highly prone to digressions and tangents but that's kind of what I love about philosophical novels. The writing takes itself too seriously while mocking itself. It's clever and intelligent elevating the thoughts and observations above the banal plot.
I think what makes this book work overall is the networking of ideas de Botton sprinkles throughout. There's definite Stendhal influences in there combined with folks like Wilde which overall creates a sense of wit and control over the poetry. There are bits where I immediately thought, “oh goodness that's me”. I was told it was a flawed book but I think the flaws might be what made it relatable. It wasn't a history of /my/ love affairs (that to me would be quite dull) but there were enough glimpses of wisdom and shared experience that made me like the book all the more.
If you like philosophical novels that are more about the thoughts and poetic analysis than plot-this would be right up your alley!
“Living day to day with her was like acclimatizing myself to a foreign country, and being prey therefore to occasional xenophobia at departures from my own traditions and history. It implied a geographic and cultural dislocation, forcing us to cross an exposed period between two habits,”
P.S. the amount of times I accidentally called this guy de bottom is unreal