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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.
“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
“[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
“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
“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