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A Week at the Airport

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eBook published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
From the bestselling author of The Art of Travel comes a wittily intriguing exploration of the strange "non-place" that he believes is the imaginative center of our civilization.

Given unprecedented access to one of the world’s busiest airports as a “writer-in-residence,” Alain de Botton found it to be a showcase for many of the major crosscurrents of the modern world—from our faith in technology to our destruction of nature, from our global interconnectedness to our romanticizing of the exotic. He met travelers from all over and spoke with everyone from baggage handlers to pilots to the airport chaplain. Weaving together these conversations and his own observations—of everything from the poetry of room service menus to the eerie silence in the middle of the runway at midnight—de Botton has produced an extraordinary meditation on a place that most of us never slow down enough to see clearly. Lavishly illustrated in color by renowned photographer Richard Baker, A Week at the Airport reveals the airport in all its turbulence and soullessness and—yes—even beauty.
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From the bestselling author of The Art of Travel comes a wittily intriguing exploration of the strange "non-place" that he believes is the imaginative center of our civilization.

Given unprecedented access to one of the world’s busiest airports as a “writer-in-residence,” Alain de Botton found it to be a showcase for many of the major crosscurrents of the modern world—from our faith in technology to our destruction of nature, from our global interconnectedness to our romanticizing of the exotic. He met travelers from all over and spoke with everyone from baggage handlers to pilots to the airport chaplain. Weaving together these conversations and his own observations—of everything from the poetry of room service menus to the eerie silence in the middle of the runway at midnight—de Botton has produced an extraordinary meditation on a place that most of us never slow down enough to see clearly. Lavishly illustrated in color by renowned photographer Richard Baker, A Week at the Airport reveals the airport in all its turbulence and soullessness and—yes—even beauty.
Product Details
eBook (120 pages)
Published: September 21, 2010
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307742698
Other books byAlain De Botton
  • The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work
    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.

    The Architecture of Happiness

    The Architecture of Happiness
    The Achitecture of Happiness is a dazzling and generously illustrated journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture's task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

    Status Anxiety

    Status Anxiety
    Anyone who’s ever lost sleep over an unreturned phone call or the neighbor’s Lexus had better read Alain de Botton’s irresistibly clear-headed new book, immediately. For in its pages, a master explicator of our civilization and its discontents turns his attention to the insatiable quest for status, a quest that has less to do with material comfort than with love. To demonstrate his thesis, de Botton ranges through Western history and thought from St. Augustine to Andrew Carnegie and Machiavelli to Anthony Robbins. Whether it’s assessing the class-consciousness of Christianity or the convulsions of consumer capitalism, dueling or home-furnishing, Status Anxiety is infallibly entertaining. And when it examines the virtues of informed misanthropy, art appreciation, or walking a lobster on a leash, it is not only wise but helpful.

    The Consolations of Philosophy

    The Consolations of Philosophy
    From the internationally heralded author of How Proust Can Change Your Life comes this remarkable new book that presents the wisdom of some of the greatest thinkers of the ages as advice for our day to day struggles. Solace for the broken heart can be found in the words of Schopenhauer. The ancient Greek Epicurus has the wisest, and most affordable, solution to cash flow problems. A remedy for impotence lies in Montaigne. Seneca offers advice upon losing a job. And Nietzsche has shrewd counsel for everything from loneliness to illness. The Consolations of Philosophy is a book as accessibly erudite as it is useful and entertaining.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • While punctuality lies at the heart of what we typically understand by a good trip, I have often longed for my plane to be delayed-- so that I might be forced to spend a bit more time at...

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  • We will need to go back and learn the important lessons of the airport all over again soon.

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