Friday, July 27, 2007

The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton

When I first heard of this title from a fellow book club member, I thought we were talking about Boethius’ medieval work on philosophy. When the book was described, I made that low, throttling sound in my throat, because it sounded boring. But, I had more than my share of books picked for the club, so, I swallowed and said okay.
The first chapter was about Socrates, and that was enough – I was bound, hooked, and bundled up for the complete ride. The chapters were uneven (I didn’t care for the chapter on Nietzsche, and mildly dissatisfied with Schopenhauer), but on the whole the book was lively and well-written.
The illustrations – most unusual for a philosophy book – were entertaining. I especially liked the picture of a large, clunky sports watch the author has a character in an anecdote wearing. I will let you get a copy and discover the significance of that!
My favorite chapter, however, was the one on Montaigne. I had read some of his essays in grad school, but I had no idea what an interesting character he was. I am going to dig out my copy of Montaigne’s complete essays. Four & 1/2 stars
--Chiron, 7/25/07

1 comment:

Bibliolatrist said...

ooh! I am adding this one to the list!