On Love: A Novel

On Love: A Novel


Written by Alain de Botton

The best-selling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Art of Travel revisits his utterly charming debut novel, On Love. The narrator is smitten by Chloe on a Paris-London flight, and by the time they've reached the luggage carousel he knows he is in love. He loves her chestnut hair, watery green eyes, the gap that makes her teeth Kantian and not Platonic, and her views on Heidegger's Being and Time -- but he hates her taste in shoes. Plotting the course of their affair from the initial delirium of infatuation to the depths of suicidal despair, through a fit of anhedonia -- defined in medical texts as a disease resulting from the terror brought on by the threat of utter happiness -- and finally through the terrorist tactics employed when the beloved begins, inexplicably, to drift away, On Love is filled with profound observations and useful diagrams, examining for all of us the pain and exhilaration of love.



"Smart and ironic . . . The book's success has much to do with its beautifully modeled sentences, its wry humor, and its unwavering deadpan respect for the reader's intelligence . . . full of keen observation and flashes of genuine lyricism, acuity and depth." -- Francine Prose, New Republic

"Imagine, of all impossible things, a young British Woody Allen with the benefit of a classical education and you have the nameless and exquisitely erudite narrator of On Love, a first novel by Alain de Botton, who seems to have been born to write." -- Amanda Heller, Boston Globe

"An intricate deconstruction of a love affair done in an intellectual, Seinfeldian style . . . The commentary hits the nail on the head." -- Amy Sohn, The Week

"Witty, funny, sophisticated, neatly tied up, and full of wise and illuminating insights." -- P. J. Kavanagh, Spectator

 "I doubt if de Botton has written a dull sentence in his life." -- Jan Morris, New Statesman 

"A dazzlingly original, erudite and witty journey through all the vagaries of romantic love. A total delight." -- Josephine Hart, author of Sin and Damage

"The smart and funny On Love is just the strong cup of coffee needed to clear your head after a sticky sweet like The Bridges of Madison County. On Love is romantic reality." -- News & Observer

 "A tour de force pleasure of a first novel . . . A dissertation/novel on romantic narcissism that's both intellectually stimulating and emotionally touching. A very promising debut." -- Kirkus