BOOKS: A FLOOR PLAN OF THE HEART

ALAIN DE BOTTON'S NEW NOVEL TAKES A RIGHT ANGLE ON LOVE

Alain De Botton won a lot of half-envious attention with his first book, On Love, a tale that seasoned an alan as Gallic as his name with an irony as British as his upbringing. The genius of the book, written when he was 23 and translated into 13 languages, was to chart the parabolic trajectory of a love, while showing that charts tell us nothing we need to know of love. De Botton looked at the sophistries of the heart with a mix of pop psychology and learning that made his novel sing like a Cosmo article ghost-written by Descartes.

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