By Alain de Botton
(Grove Press, Paperback, 9780802142405, 240pp.)
Publication Date: January 2006
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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 ParisLondon 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.