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The Art of Travel

(2002)
A non fiction book by

 
The urge to be somewhere else is one of the abiding traits of human nature; in The Art of Travel author Alain de Botton (The Consolations of Philosophy, How Proust Can Change Your Life) sets out to discover why in his own inimitably witty and discursive way.

Of course, the proximate reasons we travel are many and various: as de Botton explains. Using the travel experiences of great writers and artists, like Van Gogh, Ruskin, Huysmans and Wordsworth (in Provence, Venice, Belgium and the Lake District respectively), de Botton shows that men will travel to see beautiful buildings, or climb beautiful mountains, or make love to beautiful (and comparatively amoral) women. But, using the same artists, de Botton also shows that there is an underlying theme to all travel: the urge for difference, for the rhapsody of change. That this is an urge more often disappointed than gratified only makes the condition more poignant. One of de Botton's best chapters, on Flaubert, amplifies this tragicomic point: the French novelist spent enervating years in genteel Normandy longing for the sensual splendours of Egypt, then, when he finally reached the pyramids, he promptly lapsed into maudlin nostalgia for rainy, bourgeois Rouen.

If there are flaws in this, de Botton's latest and perhaps most readable book, they are the usual suspects: just occasionally the author comes across as a bit long-winded and self-regarding. However, this is such a pleasant and effortless read even these flaws can be taken as endearing characteristics--like the lizards who kip in the bath in your otherwise idyllic holiday villa.--Sean Thomas

 
Used availability for Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

July 2002 : USA Hardback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-375-42082-7 / 978-0-375-42082-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pantheon
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

May 2002 : UK Hardback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-241-14010-2 / 978-0-241-14010-9 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 2014 : UK Paperback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-241-97006-7 / 978-0-241-97006-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

May 2004 : USA Paperback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain De Botton
ISBN: 0-375-72534-2 / 978-0-375-72534-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

April 2003 : UK Paperback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-14-027662-9 / 978-0-14-027662-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

February 2003 : UK Perfect Paperback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-14-101334-6 / 978-0-14-101334-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon CA   

May 2002 : UK Paperback
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-241-14012-9 / 978-0-241-14012-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Audio Editions

February 2013 : USA Audio edition
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Availability: Amazon   

February 2013 : UK Audio edition
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   

June 2005 : USA Audio edition
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon   

June 2005 : UK Audio edition
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   

May 2002 : UK Audio Cassette
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 0-14-086793-7 / 978-0-14-086793-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

2002 : UK Audio Cassette
Title: The Art of Travel [Complete & Unabridged]
Author(s): Alain de Botton
ISBN: 1-84197-493-5 / 978-1-84197-493-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Clipper Audio
Availability: Amazon UK   

2002 : USA Audio CD
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain De Botton
ISBN: 1-4025-4509-6 / 978-1-4025-4509-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Availability: Amazon   

Kindle Editions

November 2008 : USA Kindle edition
Title: The Art of Travel (Vintage International)
Author(s): Alain De Botton
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   

May 2003 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
Title: The Art of Travel
Author(s): Alain De Botton
Publisher: Penguin
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


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