The book has some interesting points to make and it is fairly well written (if, like me, you only read books that have plots involving subway terrorism and the kidnapping of the President's only daughter) He introduces the works of Baudelaire, Flaubert, Wordsworth, Ruskin and the like to people who may not have come across them before and incorporates it to his own life to give it a semi-personal feel. On the down side one can't help but shake the feeling that Alain De Botton is a cocksucker of the highest magnitude. Now, it may be possible that my conviction that Mr De Botton enjoys the flavour of penis may be completely unfounded. Perhaps it has something to do with his French-sounding name (He's Swiss) that brings out the hatred deeply encoded in our DNA of all things French. But for my defence I'll quote a passage of his work.
"The building was architecturally miserable, it smelt of frying oil and lemon-scented floor polish, the food was glutinous and the tables were doted with islands of dried ketchup from the meals of long-departed travellers, and yet something about the scene moved me. There was poetry in this forsaken service station, perched on the ridge of the motorway far from all habitation."
Poetry in this forsaken service station? Wanker.
The other book I'm reading at the moment is 'You Shall Know Our Velocity!' by Dave Eggers, the current fave of the lit circuit. Editor of McSweeny's and author of 'A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius', Eggers is actually a delight to read. 'Velocity' is a fun book full of interesting characters as well as the boring people we meet on our journeys. Starting from somewhere in the beginning, it tells the story of Will and Hand, who have recently lost a friend of theirs, and their attempt at travelling the world in order to give away $32,000 to absolute strangers.
I have a misshapen head,