How Proust Can Change Your Life

Author(s): Alain de Botton

Culture & Ideas

With an introduction by comedian and novelist David Baddiel


A novel in seven volumes, Marcel Proust's In Search of Lost Time is considered a major literary work of the twentieth century. And even more crucially, one that you should have read by now. However, as one of its most distinguishing features is its staggering length, many of us feel intimidated and perhaps, even, fatigued at the thought of diving in. Alain de Botton's hilarious and unexpected Proustian manual, is then, the perfect antidote to this problem.


In How Proust Can Change Your Life, de Botton masterfully distils what Proust says about friendship, reading, being alive and taking your time, and mixes it with his own, no less nourishing commentary. As de Botton rereads Proust for our collective benefit, we see the continued relevance of his work and the rich and varied insights he can offer us, from how to reinvigorate your relationship to being a good host. This is Proust as you've never seen him before. He may even change your life.


Product Information

'What a marvellous book this is ...de Botton dissects what [Proust] had to say about friendship, reading, looking carefully, paying attention taking your time, being alive and adds his own delicious commentary. The result is an intoxicating as it is wise, amusing as well as stimulating, and presented in so fresh a fashion as to be unique ...I could not stop, and now much start all over again.' Brian Masters, Mail on Sunday

'De Botton not only has a complete understanding of Proust's life ...but what is particularly charming about this small, readable book is its tongue-in-cheek benignity, its lightly held erudition and its generous way of lending itself to what is not only the greatest book of the century but also the darkest and the most eccentric' Edmund White, Observer

'It contains more human interest and play of fancy than most fiction ...de Botton, in emphasizing Proust's healing, advisory aspects, does us the service of rereading him on our behalf, providing of that vast sacred lake a sweet and lucid distillation.' John Updike, New Yorker

'De Botton's little book is so charming, amusing and sensible that it may even itself change your life.' Allan Massie, Daily Telegraph

'This engaging book is one of the most entertaining pieces of literary criticism I have read in a long while.' Sunday Telegraph

'A very enjoyable book' Sebastian Faulks

Alain de Botton is the author of eight bestselling books including The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and Essays in Love. He was born in 1969 and lives in London.

General Fields

  • : 9780330354912
  • : Pan Macmillan
  • : Picador
  • : April 1998
  • : 197mm X 130mm X 15mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : April 2005
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 224
  • : Abridged edition
  • : Paperback
  • : Alain de Botton