The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton
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Synopsis

We spend most of our waking lives at work—in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us.

The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully exploring what other people wake up to do each day—and night—to make our frenzied world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around an eclectic range of occupations, from rocket scientist to biscuit manufacturer, from accountant to artist—in search of what makes jobs either soul-destroying or fulfilling.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Alain de Botton

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Alain de Botton is the bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life, as well as numerous other works of fiction and essays. He is well-known for making complex philosophical and artistic subjects accessible for a wider audience. De Botton founded the School of Life, a series of lectures in London that aim to make academic learning applicable to real life. With the success of the school, this concept was adapted into The School of Life book series. De Botton lives and works in London.
 
Published June 2, 2009 by Vintage. 336 pages
Genres: Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

Kirkus Reviews

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For many of us, writes the author, the “unreasonable banality” of work requires “daily submission at the altars of prudence and order,” typically housed in drab, soulless workplaces.

Apr 01 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

The New York Times

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Describing a manager who feeds him lunch, de Botton writes that “years of working around noisy machinery had left my host mildly deaf in one ear and given him a concomitant habit of leaning in uncomfortably close during discussions, so close that I began to dread his enunciation of a word with a ...

Jun 24 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

The Guardian

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From How Proust Can Change Your Life (1997) and The Consolations of Philosophy (2000) to The Architecture of Happiness (2006), Alain de Botton has informed, upset, annoyed, surprised and generally entertained readers.

Apr 04 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

The Telegraph

Artists of contemporary labour – one thinks of Michael Glawogger, the director of Workingman’s Death (2005), or the photographer Sebastião Salgado – are confronted with the same challenge: how to render the act of toil striking and of interest to a general public without reducing it to ...

Mar 30 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

Christian Science Monitor

Moreover, as Alain de Botton observes in The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, this conversational icebreaker at cocktail parties illustrates how closely we align our identities – indeed, the very meaning of our lives – with our choice of vocation.

Jun 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

Oregon Live

In his elegant, philosophically oriented works, Alain de Botton has explored the worlds of architecture, travel and self-help.

Jun 26 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

Review (Barnes & Noble)

Although de Botton does consider people who are passionate about their work -- including some hopeful inventors and an artist who spends years painting the same oak tree over and over again in an East Anglia wheat field -- his primary focus is the more obscure, prosaic "limbs of industry."

Jun 05 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

PopMatters

Having written books on Proust, travel and architecture, Alain de Botton has now turned his hand to work.

Aug 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

Open Salon

The response will be either falsely positive reviews, bland and non-committal reviews, or no reviews at all.

Jun 29 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

The Blurb

There are observations which seem to be there only for the purpose of winking at the reader – such as a man whose hobby is tracing the routes of electricity pylons, who tells de Botton that his marriage broke down because of “a lack of shared interests,” or an ...

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Spectator Book Club

Alain de Botton recently said that he’d been congratulated on his prescience for writing a book about the nature of work in these times of economic woe.

Apr 25 2009 | Read Full Review of The Pleasures and Sorrows of ...

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