Dnevnik s Heathrowa
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Dnevnik s Heathrowa

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  1,740 ratings  ·  276 reviews
In the summer of 2009, Alain de Botton will be invited by the owners of Heathrow airport to become their first ever Writer in Residence. He will be installed in the middle of Terminal 5 on a raised platform with a laptop connected to screens, enabling passengers to see what he is writing and to come and share their stories. He will meet travellers from around the world, an...more
Paperback, 111 pages
Published 2010 by Naklada Ljevak (first published 2009)
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Petra X
This is a slight book, enlivened by some excellent reportage-style photography. It doesn't say much and it doesn't go anywhere unlike the people who surrounded de Botton while he was writing it. The book was written at the behest of the BAA boss for the new terminal 5 at Heathrow airport. I hope he thinks he got value for money.

That said, it was quite an enjoyable mix of philosophical musings about the life of an airport, of travel generally. I would think it would actually be the ideal book to...more
David
I am unduly fascinated by airports. The architecture and design of the better ones seem to allude to a 1960s sci-fi fantasia. A cut-rate 2001, perhaps, with occasional, not-entirely-unwelcome excursions toward the kaleidoscopic realm of Barbarella. Chicago O'Hare, for example, features a long hallway connecting estranged terminals, uninterrupted by shops, restaurants, or shoe shine stands. Its flanks are comprised of large, opaque, convex tiles which mute the jewel-tone colors they sheath into a...more
Kathrina
Written by anyone other than de Botton, and I would skim over this title, thinking, there's a cute gimmick, but what can you really do with it? But de Botton owns my heart, and if he says stay a while in this glass-cased human conveyor belt, I will.
Do not expect a narrative to transport you from point A to B; that is the study, not the practice. Expect instead a quixotic meditation on both the architecture of the building that sends you off and the state of mind that desires it. We are offered...more
Grace
Alain de Botton's "A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary" is the intriguing story of his week as writer in residence at Terminal 5 in London's Heathrow Airport. He takes us on a journey into the airport - arrivals, departures, and the shoe shine guy - and into the hidden parts of the airport - the detainment room in customs, the assembly line that puts together in flight meals, and to a meeting with the CEO of British Airways. Even more captivating than his words, the colored pictures that acc...more
Jim
Alain de Botton has joined Malcolm Gladwell and several other contemporary writers as a lite philosopher/essayist. I do not intend this in a pejorative sense, as I do believe that there is room in an era of decreasing literacy for writers who can serve as a bridge. I have now read four of de Botton's books and regard all of them as excellent. A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary is, to my mind, a follow-on essay to his excellent The Art of Travel.

The author was invited by one of the executi...more
Eric
De Botton's nonfiction books are always a singularly special treat, and especially after the delights of The Art of Travel I was very excited to learn that he had written a book about his experience of having spent a week, at the invitation of British Airways, in Terminal 5 of Heathrow airport. I'm not sure I can imagine a more fertile location for generating narrative and philosophical richness, and it's no wonder de Botton describes his notebooks growing "thick with anecdotes of loss, desire a...more
David
So begins the last paragraph: "We forget everything: the books we read …" That is certainly true in my case and, I regret, increasingly so.

I was recently asked to contribute a text about ZeitRaum as an imagined space that binds together all the world’s airports, and was delighted to accept the provocation. I have spent such a large percentage of the past ten years of my life in airports and yet I've never written seriously about them.

Not that the temptation hasn't arisen. Several years ago (I c...more
ann
Alain, I love you, but you disappointed me. I've read most of your books and had high expectations for this one because I've spent so much of my time in airports. This book seems at best the beginnings of perhaps a really interesting look into airports and at worst a re-hashing of highlights from his other books. I would recommend this book to people who want an introduction to de Botton's work...but wouldn't recommend it for the people who have come to love his other books.

Perhaps because this...more
Mark
De Botton does it again. This essay describes the week he spent living at Heathrow's Terminal 5. But really it's about why we travel, why we come home and why we immediately start making plans to leave again. He's brilliant. One of the best travel writers alive today.
Heather
This short but satisfying book, which features (really pleasing) photographs by Richard Baker, is the story of de Botton's week as "writer-in-residence" at Heathrow's Terminal 5. He explores the airport and its environs, from the Sofitel hotel where he's staying for the week to the office of the CEO of British Airways, and talks to people along the way, travelers and employees alike. I like how this book is about looking/noticing/listening, how the photographs are of details you might either nev...more
Lize
Why don't I ever get the really plummy assignments like this? I was olive drab with envy from the first page, which may have biased me a bit. The author was hired by the owners of Heathrow to be a 'writer in residence' at the glorious new Terminal 5--essentially to hang out at the airport for a week, observing people, listening to their conversations and exploring what happens behind the scenes. The result is an erudite, thoughtful, highly philosophical take on travel and writing and what it all...more
Joe Petri
i own a used bookshop and see few Alain de Botton books pass through. My copy of "how Proust can change your life" moved quickly in and out of my shop with several customers ranting about how good it was at the counter while making the purchase for their apparently unknowing friend. When a week at the airport came through i decided not to make the same mistake.

Perhaps my expectations were too high. Or perhaps this just isn't "the" book. Either way, de Botton's charm and clever witticism's weren...more
Jessica-Robyn
Oct 06, 2011 Jessica-Robyn rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: airport frequenters
Shelves: non-fiction
I have mixed feeling about this one. I came into it expected A Week At The Airport to be a quirky, personable look into how an airport not only works but is the pinnacle of everywhere all at once. Instead although the book is very much a quirky, personable look into an airport I found myself extremely disappointed. What I expected was in theory achieved, except I expected to like it, where as I did not.

Alain de Botton does give us an insightful look into the depths of the new terminal 5 but for...more
Ellen Herbert
The airport has always represented a 'free-zone' for me - a 'dmz' that that is my entry to or return from an adventure of some sort. As 'writer-in-residence' at the famed Terminal 5 at Heathrow for a week and given unlimited access, the author delights the reader with his wanderings, interactions, conversations with travelers, employees and CEOs. Read this on a recent flight to New York and enjoyed it more than I thought, especially paired with the images by Richard Baker. A treat for travelers...more
Elle
A short little book that was a delight to read as I waited for a flight and then flew to San Francisco. Botton's observations into the world of air travel and the ecosystem that is the airport are astute and compelling, and I thought his description of the arrivals area particularly poignant. Upon my return from my trip I found myself scanning the waiting people, picking out many of the same types of scenes Botton had seen in his time at Heathrow.

A worthy read, regardless of how often you trave...more
Rita De oliveira
Ouvi pela primeira vez Alain de Botton numa TED Talk, onde, em cerca de 20 minutos, falou de sucesso e de falhanço profissional, e de como isso acaba por nos definir unilateralmente perante a sociedade, e não devia. Depois pesquisei um pouco e descobri que Alain de Botton é um filósofo dos tempos modernos, alguém que fala a nossa linguagem e que nos consegue atingir, sempre na perspetiva de ajudar cada um a ser mais feliz.

Por isso não hesitei em comprar este pequeno livrinho, escrito durante uma...more
Jill
What a weird little book. A very quick and quirky read, though I wish Botton had gone into more detail about things like failed prototypes and flight food preparation. I especially liked the personal crisis he let us glimpse in the part about the airport lounge. Solid, descriptive writing.
Eliatan
It amuses me that this slim volume celebrating an airport terminal and the meaning of travel for business or pleasure should take the exact time to read as my train commute from Richmond to Refern, while to write the review should adequately occupy my time while waiting for my transfer to Newtown.

This book reminded me of the Pleasures and Sorrows of work as it addressed similar themes of how little we know of the thousands of processes and workers who so contribute to ensuring such uneventful pa...more
Alastair Brown


A powerful insight into the psyche of the common traveller. He is able to recite emotions which many can only ever feel on a sub conscious level. A fantastic take on modernity and culture
Brice
A concise aesthetic pleasure, Botton's insights into the rituals of travel express a surprisingly vulnerable truth on the nature of both human achievement and loneliness.
Liz
Witty, touching, ironic, beautiful and insightful. A short book that everyone who has ever been to an airport should read. And no, nothing to do with the Tom Hanks movie
samira
آژانس هاى مسافرتى اگر عاقل تر بودند به جاى اين كه بپرسند مى خواهيم كجا برويم مى پرسيدند اميدواريم چه چيزى را در زندگى مان تغيير دهيم.
Noor Titan
Alain de Botton perfectly captures the atmosphere in Heathrow, and I like how the book chapters are divided into the travelling process itself: from departure to arrival.

Being a traveler myself, I feel deeply connected to Alain's observations of the airport. This book answers some of my questions about what is behind the check-in desk, or where my in-flight breakfast omelette comes from.

I have read it three times, and still feel astonished by how it is written. I will keep reading it, although I...more
Pardis Parto
فرودگاه ها براي بي صبري آدمهاست كه به وجود آمده اند، وگرنه همان بندرها و كشتي ها مي توانست جوابگوي رفت و آمد آدمها باشد. و البته فرودگاه جاي عجيبي است، چون ناخودآگاه سبب قليان احساسات مي شود و احتمالاً اين بهترين كاري است كه مي توان در فرودگاه انجام داد. ميزان عاطفه سيالي را كه در جهان بروز پيدا مي كند مي توان در فرودگاه ها سنجيد. در لحظه پرواز حالي روحاني به مسافر و همراهانش دست مي دهد، انگار كه او براي لحظه اي به مرگ بينديشد. كساني كه سال هاي سال است ازدواج كرده اند و زندگي بدون عشق را پشت سر...more
Allan Leonard
Perhaps poignantly after just returning from a long and splendid transatlantic Christmastime holiday, and getting back into routine in the return to work, I finished Alain de Botton's book, A Week at the Airport .

A Week at the Airport is a short and compact book ("Slender enough to pack in your carry-on", Daily Mail). It can be considered an addendum of sorts of his previous book, The Art of Travel (from which one learns that de Botton is a home bird, really; see my separate review).

I've always...more
Kinga
Alain de Botton is perhaps the only person who can make the M4 sound even remotely poetic.

"Having avoided the earth for so long, wheels that had last touched ground in San Francisco or Mumbai hesitated and slowed almost to a standstill as they arched and prepared to greet the rubber-stained English tarmac with a burst of smoke that made manifest their planes' speed and weight. With the aggressive whistling of their engines, the airborne visitors appeared to be rebuking this domestic English mor
...more
Edward
De Botton writes that the management of Heathrow Airport in London asked him to spend a week at the airport, observing whatever he wanted. Why? So a writer could put a “human face” on the airport. De Botton spent his week there and wrote this slender (107 pages, with pictures) volume about what he found. At first, he is skeptical, and “yet to refuse to be awed at all might in the end be merely another kind of foolishness. In a world full of chaos and irregularity, the terminal seemed a worthy a...more
Margherita Dolcevita
Sono molto dispiaciuta di non aver acquistato questo libro ma di averlo semplicemente preso in prestito in biblioteca, credo sia uno di quei libri da avere (se piace, ovviamente!), rimedierò.
Intanto è graficamente uno spettacolo: è proprio costruito bene, la carta è bella spessa e bianca, le foto sono ben inserite, il progetto grafico è indubbiamente notevole.
Passando ai contenuti, è stato il mio primo di de Botton e posso scommettere che non sarà l'ultimo. All'inizio temevo che fosse troppo fil...more
Elizabeth
I had high hopes for this slim little volume. The concept of a writer-in-residence at Heathrow filled me with all sorts of anticipation. However, if I would have taken a few minutes to consider the front cover - to really ponder it - I would have to admit that a week is not long enough for the kind of depth that I was hoping for. A month would have been better and six months or a year...perfect. I'm not certain that Heathrow got what it paid for by commissioning de Botton to write this book. In...more
Daniel G.
Anyone who has flown has passed through an airport, but few people approach airports with the curiosity de Botton does.

Asked to be the inaugural writer-in-residence at Heathrow Airport, de Botton spends seven days exploring the stories that unfold each day. For most of us, airports are only places we pass through to get onto a plane or to get home. The way de Botton freshens our perspective is to link Seneca's essay "On Anger" to a passenger turned down from boarding because he arrived with less...more
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Alain de Botton is a writer and television producer who lives in London and aims to make philosophy relevant to everyday life. He can be contacted by email directly via www.alaindebotton.com

He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas- and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday lif...more
More about Alain de Botton...
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“Out of the millions of people we live among, most of whom we habitually ignore and are ignored by in turn, there are always a few that hold hostage our capacity for happiness, whom we could recognize by their smell alone and whom we would rather die than be without.” 64 likes
“Travel agents would be wiser to ask us what we hope to change about our lives rather than simply where we wish to go.” 21 likes
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