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The Course of Love

Narrated by: Julian Rhind-Tutt
Length: 7 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (435 ratings)

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Summary

So many romances are focused on how two people come together and the hurdles they overcome, but what happens after you ride off into the sunset?

Penguin presents, the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of The Course of Love by Alain de Botton, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt.

Twenty years after his best-selling debut, Essays in Love, internationally acclaimed author Alain de Botton returns to fiction with a brilliant new novel about modern relationships.

What does it mean to live happily ever after?

At dinner parties and over coffee, Rabih and Kirsten's friends always ask them the same question: how did you meet? The answer comes easily - it's a happy story, one they both love to tell. But there is a second part to this story, the answer to a question their friends never ask: what happened next?

Rabih and Kirsten find each other, fall in love, get married. Society tells us this is the end of the story. In fact it is only the beginning. From the first thrill of lust to the joys and fears of real commitment to the deep problems that surface slowly over two shared lifetimes, this is the story of a marriage. It is the story of modern relationships and how to survive them.

Playful, wise and profoundly moving, The Course of Love is a delightful return to the novel by Alain de Botton, 20 years after his debut, Essays in Love.

©2016 Alain de Botton (P)2016 Penguin Books Limited

What members say

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Sublime

A beautiful, gentle, deeply insightful telling of love and its complications which left me feeling hopeful about relationships and the possibilities of understanding (and forgiving) ourselves and others. A must to all who want to have eyes open when committing to another.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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You wont regret reading this!

Any additional comments?
I found this book beautifully written and narrated. Eloquent, poetic, light hearted and also enlightening! One of the most interesting things I took away from this book was reminder that each of us have deep rooted behaviours and ideals that we may not know we have, and may not have thought about where they came from but of which can start as reasons we love/like/are drawn to a person, and then also turn into reasons we feel disconnected from that same person. Our behaviours and ideals may be very different from that of others', even those closest to us (who understand us the most). The book reminded me to show compassion at time when I understand others' behaviour the least.

I have sent copied of this book to a number of good friends. A wonderful entertaining and thought provoking read!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Great lessons

Great story. Only bad point is that some parts are whispered really soft followed by loud narrative

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • oliver
  • Wallingford, United Kingdom
  • 02-09-16

A sublime little book.

This book can in my mind, be considered as a bright light in the darkness.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Everyone should listen to this book

This book is wonderfully written and a real insight to the highs and lows of relationships. so much information presented in a heartwarming story made even better by the narrators beautiful voice

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant

As a man, 38, who has experienced some mid marriage frustrations and awakenings, this may well be the best book I've ever read. If not the best it could be the most important.
As usual, de botton de bunks and makes accessible lots of philosophical and pyschological theory and lays it out in a very listenable, fun and enjoyable story format resembling mostly attenborough's trials of life.
It is possibly a little leant towards the male protagonist, but I would assume this book would be an eye opener for females and males alike.
The reader never appears pompous and delivers the text with at times the mearest wry smile.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • PJN
  • UK
  • 16-01-17

Should be compulsory reading for anyone in a relationship!

I absolutely loved this book. Botton has a skill for stating things that we all struggle to put into words. I felt like I learned so much from this book, I loved the characters, but even more I loved the helpful passages about relationships and the parts that nobody seems to talk about. Brilliant book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant insights into love

Best relationship themed book I've picked up in years and so well told, lots of laugh out loud moments

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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sensitive and wonderful, if a little male-biased

I'm a little biased as, for me, De Botton can do no wrong, but I loved this little book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Invigorating and grounding all at once

I'm extremely grateful for this humbling narrative, I feel educated, inspired and hopeful. A comedically astute text.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Paula Nilsson
  • 14-03-19

Direct, straight to the POINT

Alain de Botton is with this novel dissecting the most fundamental midnight thoughts of life. And God bless he has a solution and thesis for them. Very appropriate to read before/after/during a life crisis... Just saying, this novel is simple, eloquent and penetrating to our primitive notion of life.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ninell
  • 27-04-17

Honest and insightful

Really enjoyed every moment. A brutally honest but empathetic view on being human. Living life through the characters i gained perspective on my own relationships, and changed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lap
  • 23-03-19

Life changing

I really enjoyed listening to this one. Such a good lesson to learn. Love is constantly learned and not intuitive as we are expected to think.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 30-01-19

A sober and realistic look at Romanticism.

Would have preferred if de Botton had narrated it himself, but this book is a life changing one for those of us socialised into Romanticism and provides much needed insights into the underbelly of what happens in relationships and life. An absolute must read.

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  • Robert
  • 30-11-18

A must read for everyone. Truly everyone.

Would have changed my life years ago. Will change my life nevertheless, making it easier. Alain de Botton really is a genius and his work (also the school of life) essential in a modern society.

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  • G.K.
  • 05-04-18

page Turner

thoughtful, informative, well researched good read. highly recommended. a helpful start for struggling couples. easy read

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  • Anene Britz
  • 21-08-17

Romantic cynicism at its best.

If you have seen any talks by Alan de Botton, the book will summarize his views. In a sense it is a fictional version of his study. A little depressing at times but well written.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • jeido
  • 07-06-17

A.must read

I wish I had read it before. I gave it to my best friends. "love is a skill, not just an entusiasm"

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  • Amazon Kunde
  • 24-04-17

Just amazing!

The insights and the way the author captured the sublime thought process of the characters left me speechless.

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  • Ben
  • 27-09-16

Every couple should read/listen to this book.

Want to stay together? Have a listen and have a look at yourself. Unlock the skill of love.