The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

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9780141027913: The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton's lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives

Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it?

Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves.

Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire?

The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it.

'De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing' Sunday Times

'Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject' Spectator

'Terribly funny, touches us all' Daily Mail

'Brilliant, enormously engaging' Guardian

Alain de Botton was born in 1969 and is the author of non-fiction essays on themes ranging from love and travel to architecture and philosophy. His bestselling books include Essays in Love; The Romantic Movement; Kiss and Tell; Status Anxiety; How Proust Can Change Your Life; The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work; The Art of Travel; The Architecture of Happiness and Religion for Atheists. He lives in London and founded The School of Life (www.theschooloflife.com) and Living Architecture (www.living-architecture.co.uk). For more information, consult www.alaindebotton.com.

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Review:

To some degree, what the reader takes way from Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work will be influenced by what that particular reader brings to it. If you are looking for a serious and exhaustive analysis of work and how it affects both our psychological equilibrium and general sense of well-being, you may be disappointed; although de Botton draws on a variety of examples (some straightforward and illuminating, others eccentric and whimsical), his strategy here is more subtle and allusive, not something which can be demonstrated by adducing a carefully marshalled tranche of facts. Secondly, of course, anyone familiar with the author's approach will hardly be expecting a linear demonstration of a thesis, as might be gathered from his delightful How Proust Can Change Your Life. Alain de Botton is offering something at once insightful and idiosyncratic: a practical guide to a better quality of life through an off-kilter approach to the subject of work. In the earlier book, we were offered a (not entirely serious) method of extrapolating from the brilliant (and famously difficult) French writer a host of unconventional insights into dealing with our own personal emotional and intellectual fulfilment. Here, the notion of work is addressed with a similarly light/serious touch, following a variety of processes (such as the trajectory of a fish from the ocean to its final destination on the shelves of a supermarket) to examine the multiplicity of possible approaches to work.

The real insights here, however, relate to the way in which work (as de Botton sees it) is both a validation of the true purpose of our existence – and the most assertive way to 'rage against the dying of the light' – in other words, to keep at bay the daunting realisation of what a brief flicker of existence we have. It's a book that is both affirmative and (in its eccentric fashion) quietly persuasive. --Barry Forshaw

Review:

De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing ( Sunday Times)

Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject ( Spectator)

Terribly funny, touches us all ( Mail on Sunday)

Brilliant, enormously engaging ( Guardian)

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de Botton, Alain
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton s lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. De Botton s wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing. (Sunday Times). Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject. (Spectator). Terribly funny, touches us all. (Daily Mail). Brilliant, enormously engaging. (Guardian). Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141027913

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton s lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. De Botton s wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing Sunday Times Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject Spectator Terribly funny, touches us all Daily Mail Brilliant, enormously engaging Guardian. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141027913

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton, The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is Alain de Botton's lucid exploration of a subject key to most of our lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? Work makes us. Without it we are at a loss; in work we hope to have a measure of control over our lives. Yet for many of us, work is a straitjacket from which we cannot free ourselves. Criss-crossing the world to visit workplaces and workers both ordinary and extraordinary, and drawing on the wit and wisdom of great artists, writers and thinkers, Alain de Botton here explores our love-hate relationship with our jobs. He poses and answers little and big questions: from what should I do with my life? to what will I have achieved when I retire? The Pleasure and Sorrows of Work will not only explain why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. "De Botton's wit and powers of ironic observation are on display throughout what is a stylish and original book. The workplace brings out the best in his writing." (Sunday Times). "Timely, wonderfully readable. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject." (Spectator). "Terribly funny, touches us all." (Daily Mail). "Brilliant, enormously engaging." (Guardian). Bookseller Inventory # B9780141027913

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Book Description 2010. Book Condition: New. 128mm x 196mm x 26mm. all too often ignored and yet as central to us as our love lives. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? What should I do w.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 336 pages. 0.364. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141027913

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Book Description Penguin Books, 2010. Book Condition: New. 2010. Paperback. Why do so many of us love or hate our work? How has it come to dominate our lives? And what should we do about it? What should I do with my life? What will I have achieved when I retire? This book explains why it is we do what we do all day, but its sympathy, humour and insight seeks to help us make the most of it. Num Pages: 336 pages. BIC Classification: HPX. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 130 x 20. Weight in Grams: 362. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141027913

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