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The Course of Love

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  16,127 ratings  ·  1,898 reviews
"An engrossing tale that provides plenty of food for thought" (People, Best New Books pick), this playful, wise, and profoundly moving second novel from the internationally bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership.

The long-awaited and beguiling second novel from Alain de Botton that tracks the be
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 28th 2016 by Hamish Hamilton (first published March 2016)
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A.M. Sommers If this book were required reading for couples, the divorce rate would go down.

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Elyse Walters
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Update: This is a $1.99 Kindle special right now. Personally... I think all young couples would find value in this book. I have the download too ... I still wish to own a physical copy. I've seen the hardcopy. It's beautiful.

Wonderful! Wonderful! *Extraordinary*!!!!!

I sooooo want a copy of this PHYSICAL BOOK!!

I have the hardest time writing reviews for books I love the most.

There are literally dozens and dozens and dozens of passages I want to highlight...but realized that wouldn't be possible
Mar 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I know what I think about The Course of Love, but I'm not sure how I feel about it. I do know that I feel like an outlier because clearly de Botton is loved by many and already many GR friends have responded very positively to this book. The Course of Love focuses on the relationship between Rabih and Kristen from the time they meet to 13 years or so into their marriage. There are two narrative strings. The first is told from Rabih and Kristen's perspective, and takes us through a gamut of event ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'est tellement simple, l'amour.
Jacques Prévert

Profound Truths of Marriage (and Human Nature)

Through a Scottish couple, Rabih and Kirsten, de Botton dissects love and marriage. From the seeds of love planted when we are teens to dating to wedding to kids through adultery and counseling for anxious attachment and avoidant attachment arising from childhoods in which each lost a parent young, de Botton tells their story which he mixes with profound truths about human nature and the mountainous te
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Once, early on in my marriage, my husband and I had a particularly intense fight over a ridiculously trivial matter. I barely remember the topic – something about where to hang some artwork – but I vividly recall that frightening feeling that I had made a ghastly mistake in joining our futures together.

Enter Alain De Botton. I wish I could advise my younger self to have read his book. De Botton employs an everyman and everywoman – in this case, Rahib, a non-religious budding architect from Beiru
Narges Salmanizadeh
دیدگاه رمانتیک نسبت به ازدواج، بر اهمیتِ یافتن شخص ”مناسب و درست” پافشاری می کند، که یعنی شخصی همدل با علایق و ارزش های فراوان ما. چنین شخصی اصلا وجود نخواهد داشت. ما بیش از حد متفاوت و منحصر به فردیم. تناسب و همخوانی همیشگی غیر ممکن است. شخص مناسب کسیست که بتواند با فراست و کلام خوش راجع به اختلاف سلایق گفت و گو کند

خوب من بعد از خوندن این کتاب فهمیدم که پروسه ی ازدواج خیلی پیچیده تر از اونی هست که دارم دور و اطرافم می بینم.. و اصلا اینجوری که راحت و بدون شناخت عاقلانه و درک درست از زندگی مشترک
Holly Bourne
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book should be compulsory reading before ANYONE gets married. I adored it. The last two chapters in particular were just astounding and beautiful and poignant and WISE. I wasn't a huge fan of 'Essays' - although it was still a remarkable achievement for a twenty-something's debut. But in The Course Of Love, Alain's life experience and wisdom really shines through. It's perfect.

The perfect antidote to what we're told Love *is* from the movies. And yet, never cynical. Truly remarkable.
Maria Bikaki
«Ο έρωτας φτάνει σε μια κορύφωση στις στιγμές που ο αγαπημένος μας καταλήγει να κατανοεί, πιο καθαρά από όσο μπόρεσαν ποτέ οι άλλοι και ίσως καλύτερα και από εμάς τους ίδιους, τα χαοτικά, αμήχανα και ενοχικά κομμάτια του εαυτού μας. Το γεγονός ότι κάποιος άλλος καταλαβαίνει ποιοι είμαστε, συμπάσχει μαζί μας και ταυτόχρονα μας συγχωρεί για όσα βλέπει, ενισχύει συνολικά την ικανότητα μας να εμπιστευόμαστε και να προσφέρουμε. Ο έρωτας είναι ένα δώρο ευγνωμοσύνης για την οξυδέρκεια του ερωτικού μας ...more
Leo Robertson
Dec 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

Still wonderfully insightful and I can still recommend it. It's as searingly honest as anything, but doesn't feel the need to see the negative of life in a negative light. Nor a positive one. Like shining all colours on life so it looks all washed out and white. But true.

This is as patently revealing of a novel's intent and structure as any work can be, and so it's no surprise that it directs its characters towards more disaster and conflict than might be necessarily realistic, bec
May 23, 2016 rated it really liked it

Alain de Botton maneuvers the reader through time, using a fictionalized couple, Rabih and Kirsten, a perfectly average, normal, couple living mediocre lives from the time before they meet, and after. Interspersed are de Botton’s philosophies that are relevant to this particular point in their lives, going through the years, from the beginning, growing attraction through those early years of parenting young children to reflecting back through the years, where they’ve fallen off course, where the
Dec 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley for this copy. I LOVE Alain de Botton. I wonder what it would be like to have a relationship with someone with that much insight into the human condition?! In this book he examines the flaws of Romanticism in love. He does this through observing the emergence of a couple ,Rabih and Kirstin.
All the way through the book I completely agreed with all his observations, so astute they made me squirm..
One of the main problems with romanticism is that often only the beginning of a r
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
رمان فلسفی، راهنمایی بسیار عالی برای پرورش و مراقبت از عشق
همیشه داستان ها در بزنگاه عاشقی تمام میشوند. هیچوقت در ادامه حرفی زده نمیشود. سرنوشت این عشق چیست? همیشه به همان زیبایی اول میماند?

از متن:
(تنها زمانی میتوانیم ادعا کنیم به تدریج در حال شناخت یک نفر هستیم که آن شخص سخت ما را مأیوس کرده باشد.)
(قدر و منزلت غریزه، میراثی است از واکنش جمعی ناشی از آسیب روانی علیه چندین قرن "دلیل منطقیٍ" بی منطق.)

Description: Rabih and Kirsten meet, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact, it is only the beginning. Over the years this ordinary couple will miscommunicate and misunderstand each other, will worry about money, will have first a girl and then a boy. One of them will have an affair, one will think about it. Both will have doubts. This will be the real love story. Twenty-first century depictions of love and marriage are shaped by a set of Romantic myth
Lyn Elliott
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
I felt at the end of this that I hadn't read a novel at all, but an extended hypothetical case study on what couples need to consider once the first fine flush of Romantic Love has faded. The story of Rabih and Kirsten seems constructed to provide opportunities to present the reader with careful reflections, mostly cautionary in nature, on the traps that beset the best intentioned couples.
It does seem a bit odd to me that the characters could be in their early thirties and still not know about s
Nazanin Moshiri
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(...و آن دو سال های سال به خوبی و خوشی و عاشقانه در کنار هم زندگی کردند...)
این جمله ، پایان آشنای اکثر قصه ها و افسانه های عاشقانه ست. این که دو نفر بعد از کشمکش های فراوان در نهایت به هم رسیدند و همه چیز ختم به خیر شد. ولی آیا واقعا این ختم ماجراست که به خیر انجامید؟به نظر من (و البته نویسنده ی محترم)، این تازه آغاز ماجراست.
این که آن زوج چطور تونستن تا سال های سال زندگی عاشقانه و شادی داشته باشند ؟  چطور گرفتار روزمرگی نشدند و یا این که لحظه ای فکر نکردند انتخابشان اشتباه بوده و باید به گزینه
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
کتاب خوبی بود. این مشخصه.
اما به نسبت حجمی که داشت، انتظار مطالب مفیدتری داشتم. یعنی اگر بخوایم چگالیِ مفید بودن را محاسبه کنیم طبق فرمول زیر
مطالب خوب و مفید تفسیم بر تعداد صفحات، این کتاب چگالی کمتری نسبت به کتابهای دیگه ای که ازش خوندم داشت. این به این معنی نیست که مطالب خوبی نداشت، حرف من اینه که مطالب خوب بیشتری باید میداشت بر اساس انتظاراتم از آلن دو باتن.

مورد بعدی اینه که اول این کتاب نوشته شده که کتاب جستارهایی در باب عشق رو ایشون توی ۲۳ سالگی نوشته. حالا بیایم مقایسه کنیم لاو لایفمونو توی
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ناتمام
اوایل کتاب جذاب تر و قابل درک تر بود، یک سوم نهایی کتاب رو نتونستم بخونم و تمومش کنم چون واقعا از صبر و حوصله ام خارج شده بود!
Jul 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
How can a book be enlightening and, at the same time, irritating? That must be a feat in itself, so I guess that's something.

I've been aware of Alain de Botton for years. I've watched most of his documentaries, TED talks, I even follow him on Twitter. So when I saw that there was a new book, a novel, I immediately requested it.

This book is definitely different. It's penned as a fiction novel, but is it really? The fiction part, the story of Rabih and Kirsten, was more of a conduit for the author
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Την κριτική μπορείτε να τη διαβάσετε και στο Agapi Reads.

Δεν είχα ιδέα ποιος είναι ο Alain de Botton, μέχρι που πριν 2 χρόνια διάβασα ένα εξαιρετικά ενδιαφέρον άρθρο του με τίτλο “Why you’ll marry the wrong person”. Με εντυπωσίασε πολύ η νηφαλιότητα με την οποία αντιμετωπίζει τις ανθρώπινες σχέσεις, χωρίς να γίνει κυνικός ή να προσπαθήσει να απλοποιήσει τα πράγματα σε εξευτελιστικό βαθμό. Έκτοτε, πολλά από τα βιβλία του βρίσκονταν στην to-read λίστα μου και επιτέλους το πήρα απόφαση να ξεκινήσω
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
سیر عشق شباهت زیادی به کتاب قبلی آلن دوباتن، «جستارهایی در باب عشق» داره، منتهی تحلیل ها و موشکافی ها بیشترند و در کل بعد روانشناسی داستان وسیع تره.
تو این کتاب شروع یک رابطه از ابتدا تا سال ها پس از ازدواج دو شخصیت اصلی داستان بررسی میشه. من تمامی بخش ها جز "بی وفایی" رو دوست داشتم و بنظرم میشه به نکاتش برگردیم و ازشون تو رابطههامون استفاده کنیم، و البته درک کنیم عشق واقعی چیزی فراتر از اونیه که هنر به ما معرفی کرده... پر چالش تر، رنج آورتر و دوست داشتنی تر...
بخشی از فصل اول کتاب:
«هنوز اول راه
Sep 25, 2017 rated it liked it

در بحث رهایی جنسی، حقیقت این است که همیشه رازداری و مقداری خجالت راجع به هم آغوشی وجود داشته است. هنوز نمی توانیم به طور کلی بگوییم خواسته مان چیست و از چه کسی. شرم و سرکوب امیال چیزهایی نیستند که فقط اجدادمان به دلایلی مبهم و نالازم دو دستی بهشان چسبیده باشند:مقدر شده که آنها در تمامی اعصار حضور داشته باشند. همین است که وقتی غریبه ای از ما می خواهد حفاظ خود را کنار بزنیم و دقیقا چیزی را طلب می کند که ما در خفا و با عذاب وجدان آرزویش راداشته ایم لحظات نابی برایمان رغم می خورد.
اوایل اصلا جذب ک
Sep 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who has/had relationships
This book is like an applied lesson of psychology: it has great insights about how to make a couple survive and how our childhoods determine patterns of behaviour in our adult lives. However, Alain de Botton has a great article on closeness that I happened to read before and this book is just the extended version of it. Also, although the information you get from it is priceless, from a literary point of view this book is not very good. Hence, the 3 stars.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
يك داستان پر از تحليل رفتارها با واقعيت نگرى بسيار بالا كه باعث ميشه ازدواج و روابط رو اونقدر جدى نگيريد و از كسى توقع بالايى نداشته باشيد . هيچ كسى نميتونه به اندازه ى كافى شما رو بشناسه جز خودتون .. و يك هشدار بدم به كسايى كه مثل من به ازدواج كردن اعتقادى ندارن ، بعد از خوندن اين كتاب به احتمال زياد اون يه درصدى هم كه واسه موقعيت هاى بسيار نادر گذاشته بوديد كنار از بين ميره :))
اوايل كتاب، جذابيت خيلى بيشترى داشت، ولى هرچى رفت جلو تكرارى و كش دار شد! شايد هم افراد متأهل كتاب رو بيشتر درك كنن، جستارهايى در باب عشق كتاب بهترى بود به نظرم(:
Somayeh Pourtalari
در جايي از كتاب نوشته شده: " با توجه به اينكه ازدواج درس هاي مهمش را تنها به كساني ارائه مي دهد كه براي آموزش ثبت نام مرده اند، طبيعي است كع آمادگي بجاي اينكه قبل از مراسم به وجود بيايد بعد از آن بوجود ميايد، شايد يك يا دو دهه بعد."

و من با وجود نداشتن چنين تجربه اي ، چقدر با اين جملات موافقم .
كلام آلن دوباتن باعث اعجابه كه شخصي تا اين اندازه درك درست و منطقي از روابط دارد .

مثل جستارهايي در باب عشق ، به همه افراد توصيه اش ميكنم.

١٠ مهر ١٣٩٧
Laura Spira
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
The idea behind this book - to invent a pair of characters and to consider the nature of love by tracing their experience from first meeting through the first sixteen years of their marriage - is an interesting conceit. De Botton conducts a forensic analysis of their relationship, principally through the eyes of the husband, interjecting further thoughts on the nature of love at frequent points in the narrative (I found that the authorial voice became very irritating by the middle of the book.)

Jaclyn Day
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I’m still not sure if de Botton was trying to write an indictment or an endorsement for the institution of marriage and I think that was basically the point. This book is incredibly good. Sickeningly good. I highlighted so many passages that it basically became one long highlight and I’m still thinking about it and working through some of the deceptively simple but thought-provoking passages on the life and marriage of Rabih and Kirsten. It’s not an intimate text but tells their story at an inte ...more
Moujan Taghavi
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
داستان کتاب: داستان زن و شوهری از مراحل اول آشنایی و چگونگی تشکیل خانواده، دارای بچه شدن، از هم فاصله گرفتن و دوباره گرمای خانوادهشان برگشتن را نقل میکند. در این میان موارد روانشناسانه نقل میشود.

نظر من: خواندنش پیشنهاد میشود. مطالب بسیار خوبی بیان شده است. نویسنده کتاب #جستار_هایی_در_باب_عشق نیز همین شخص است.
I love Alain de Botton. How Proust Can Change Your Life is one of my all-time favorite books. I could list his other books that I also love but that would be just about all of them, all that I've read so far, anyway. But his newest work, a novel, The Course of Love, is about as lovely as a book can be.

Ribah and Kirsten meet (in Scotland), fall in love, and get married. That's just the beginning, though. What The Course of Love is really about is what happens after after the "I do," when the "hap
Jderu Marius
“Viziunea romantică despre căsătorie subliniază cât de important e să găsești “persoana potrivită”, adică pe cineva care manifestă înțelegere pentru multitudinea noastră de interese și valori. Nu există o asemeanea persoană pe termen lung. Suntem prea diverși și prea ciudați. Nu poate exista congruență durabilă. Partenerul cu adevărat cel mai potrivit nu e cel care are, întâmplător și miraculos, aceleași gusturi ca noi, ci cel care poate să trateze diferențele de gust cu inteligență și amabilit ...more
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
"The important books should be those that leave us wondering, with relief and gratitude, how the author could possibly have known so much about our lives."
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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

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
“ is a skill, not just an enthusiasm.” 70 likes
“We should add that it is a privilege to be the recipient of a sulk: it means the other person respects and trusts us enough to think we should understand their unspoken hurt. It is one of the odder gifts of love. Eventually” 56 likes
More quotes…