The Art of Travel
By Alain De Botton
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375725340, 272pp.)
Publication Date: May 11, 2004
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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Any Baedeker will tell us where we ought to travel, but only Alain de Botton will tell us how and why. With the same intelligence and insouciant charm he brought to How Proust Can Save Your Life, de Botton considers the pleasures of anticipation; the allure of the exotic, and the value of noticing everything from a seascape in Barbados to the takeoffs at Heathrow.
Even as de Botton takes the reader along on his own peregrinations, he also cites such distinguished fellow-travelers as Baudelaire, Wordsworth, Van Gogh, the biologist Alexander von Humboldt, and the 18th-century eccentric Xavier de Maistre, who catalogued the wonders of his bedroom. The Art of Travel is a wise and utterly original book. Don’t leave home without it.
Alain de Botton is the author of On Love, The Romantic Movement, Kiss and Tell, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy and, most recently, Status Anxiety. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He lives in London. More information can be found at www.alaindebotton.com.
“A jewel of civility, wit and insight; de Botton has produced wondrous essays. An invitation to hyperbole . . . a volume to give one an expansive sense of wonder.”—The Baltimore Sun
“Illuminating. . .a lovely combination of enthusiasm, sensitivity, a care for the large and small, and the local and the foreign. . . reading de Botton’s book will help a person discover something fabulous in everyday.— Chicago Tribune
“There is something Proustian in The Art of Travel, in the best sense, for Mr. de Botton is a kind of flaneur, strolling through his subject thoughtfully and offering nuanced truths based on his reading, experience and philosophical temperament.”—The Wall Street Journal
“It would be difficult to name a writer as erudite and yet as reader friendly. . .With a wry, self-deprecating charm, he passes his enthusiasms along in such manner that you can’t help being delighted by them.” – The Seattle Times
“[R]efreshing and profoundly readable. . . . Thanks to de Botton’s detailed and thoughtful writing, coupled with his clever curiosity, The Art of Travel has the potential to enrich not only our journeys, but also our lives.” –The Philadelphia Inquirer
“[De Botton] relates even the most disappointing experiences with delightful wit, graceful prose and surprising insight..” –The Los Angeles Times
“Wickedly funny . . . De Botton travels like the rest of us, but he brings with him the amazing erudition, crisp, lovely prose, and entertaining intellect that made How Proust Can Change Your Life and The Consolations of Philosophy such phenomenal successes.” –The Boston Globe
“[E]xudes erudition and artfulness. . . . Delightful.” –Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“[A] wonderful book: inventive, witty, intelligent, and beautifully written. At its best, its prose achieves the intensity of aphorism . . . provocative and insightful . . . teeming with tantalizing detail.” –The Boston Phoenix
“Charmingly and capably convinces us how unaware most of us are as we move about in the world . . . will leave the reader mentally reaching for a pencil to check off the graceful, witty turns of Mr. de Botton’s mind.” –The Washington Times
“A thoughtful and anecdote-rich meditation on how trips can alter us in unexpected ways.” –Elle Magazine
“An erudite, funny brand of philosophy . . . will make you think and laugh and want to plan a trip to test out some of de Botton’s ideas for yourself.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“[A] quirky, delightful meditation on why we go where we go . . . What makes his book so much fun and so utterly unique is the way his mind works as he contemplates his (and our) responses to museums, airports, landscapes, hotels–even to a gas station. Read just a few pages of de Botton and you’ll follow him anywhere.” –O Magazine
“Quietly terrific . . . It says a great deal about his ability that no matter whom he might invoke he does not pale by comparison.” –The NewYork Sun
“De Botton . . . gives voice and meaning to the thousands of epiphanies great and small brought about by voyaging.” –Esquire
“Alain de Botton piques curiosity not only about where we go but why and how–questions worth considering even if our destination is no farther than the nearest cabana.” –Vogue
“Journeys of the de Botton kind . . . expand our perspective, they broaden our mind, they enrich the intellect. We travel, this precocious young man reminds us, to find ourselves.” –The Dallas Morning News
“Delicious writing . . . pure, unalloyed pleasure . . . [De Botton’s] thoughts are original, startling, and what is more, feel true.” –The Arizona Republic
“Utterly charming. . . . De Botton notices the details, and as we grow accustomed to seeing the world through his eyes, perhaps we will notice more too. . . . [A] fine writer.” –The Times Picayune
“An elegant and subtle work, unlike any other. Beguiling.” –The Times (London)
“One of the very best contemporary travel writers–an artist in the genre.” —Jan Morris, The New Statesman