The Art of Travel
By (author) Alain De Botton
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Art of Travel by Alain De Botton
'Lucid, fluid, uplifting' Sunday TimesISBN: 9780140276626
Classification: Travel writing , Western philosophy, from c 1900 -
Format: Paperback (181mm x 134mm x 17mm)
Imprint: Penguin Books Ltd
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 29-May-2003
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
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UK Kirkus Review » The bestselling author of The Consolations of Philosophy now journeys into the world of travel, focusing on how many of us look forward to 'getting away from it all' yet often feel wildly disappointed when we get there. To take a closer look at why this happens Alain de Botton jets off from winter-grim Hammersmith to Barbados, noting how even the most cynical among us is a sucker for a holiday brochure. Drawing our attention to daily aspects of life that miraculously don't make it into the glossy pages, he takes us in a grubby taxi past the stray howling dogs, to the hotels where ugly air-conditioning units growl and rumble in the shadows - before informing us of the impact we ourselves have on that little slice of heaven we've just invaded. Next we visit a service station between Manchester and London, where de Botton's ability to find 'poetry' in such grim surrounds is both impressive and thought-provoking. Amsterdam, the Lake District, Madrid and the Sinai Desert are discussed with gently humorous observations, as are airports, mobile phone junkies and hotel mini-bars. De Botton's companions are well chosen: Wordsworth, Baudelaire, Job and van Gogh to name but a few. Combining their observations and experiences with his own, he eschews the glut of patronising travel guides that tell us what they think we should do when we get there, and concentrates on why we wanted to go there in the first place, even suggesting how we could have a better time. He's been acclaimed for taking philosophy back to 'its simplest and most important purpose: helping us to live our lives', and here he's done it again. Next time you're thinking of travelling, forget the guides and read this instead; chances are you'll enjoy your trip all the more. (Kirkus UK)
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Alain de Botton was born in 1969. He is the author of ESSAYS IN LOVE, THE ROMANTIC MOVEMENT, KISS AND TELL, HOW PROUST CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE and THE CONSOLATIONS OF PHILOSOPHY.
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