How Proust Can Change Your Life, Paperback
4 out of 5 (4 ratings)


'What a marvellous book this is 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 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


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224 pages, b&w illustrations
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literary studies: from c 1900 -
  • ISBN: 9780330354912



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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

One of his best books I think - funny, thought provoking, informative, short (!), while also giving a picture of what Proust was like both as a person and a writer. Uplifting stuff mostly too.

Review by

Breezy, quite amusing stuff, a good read if you’ve read Proust or fancy a flavour of his world before dipping in to the full 3,500 page monster novel.

Review by

The best introduction to Proust I can imagine and, yes, distils some useful advice from his vast corpus too. De Botton's lucid and slightly coy style works wonderfully when applied to Proust's labrynthine and elaborate writings.

Review by

I have yet to read Proust, but after de Botton's love letter to the French writer I cannot wait to start. All I have to do is find a good, serviceable copy of his Recherches, and of course the hours to go with it.De Botton is a good writer in his own way, and knows how to present a good book. There are illustrations aplenty, a judicious use of white space, and short paragraphs on every page. De Botton gets out of the way wherever he can, showing Proust through the writer's own words, elaborating when necessary or when it might further interest the reader.All in all a balanced and useful little book, like a fresh madeleine that welcomes you into the day.