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The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work (Englisch) MP3 CD – 2. Juni 2009

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MP3 CD, 2. Juni 2009
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-- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.
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To some degree, what the reader takes way from Alain de Botton's The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work will be influenced by what that particular reader brings to it. If you are looking for a serious and exhaustive analysis of work and how it affects both our psychological equilibrium and general sense of well-being, you may be disappointed; although de Botton draws on a variety of examples (some straightforward and illuminating, others eccentric and whimsical), his strategy here is more subtle and allusive, not something which can be demonstrated by adducing a carefully marshalled tranche of facts. Secondly, of course, anyone familiar with the author's approach will hardly be expecting a linear demonstration of a thesis, as might be gathered from his delightful How Proust Can Change Your Life. Alain de Botton is offering something at once insightful and idiosyncratic: a practical guide to a better quality of life through an off-kilter approach to the subject of work. In the earlier book, we were offered a (not entirely serious) method of extrapolating from the brilliant (and famously difficult) French writer a host of unconventional insights into dealing with our own personal emotional and intellectual fulfilment. Here, the notion of work is addressed with a similarly light/serious touch, following a variety of processes (such as the trajectory of a fish from the ocean to its final destination on the shelves of a supermarket) to examine the multiplicity of possible approaches to work.

The real insights here, however, relate to the way in which work (as de Botton sees it) is both a validation of the true purpose of our existence – and the most assertive way to 'rage against the dying of the light' – in other words, to keep at bay the daunting realisation of what a brief flicker of existence we have. It's a book that is both affirmative and (in its eccentric fashion) quietly persuasive. --Barry Forshaw -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


Clever, provocative and fresh as a daisy (Literary Review on The Architecture of Happiness )

Full of splendid ideas, often happily and beautifully expressed . . . an engaging and intelligent book (Independent on The Architecture of Happiness ) -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Amazon.com: 3.9 von 5 Sternen 74 Rezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beyond Beyond Work 10. März 2013
Von V. Lovelace - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
de Botton's treatment of ten occupational sectors ranging from factory floor to rocket science is a poingant, thought-provoking, often funny and sometimes downright depressing glimpse into the lives of working people, what they do, how they see themselves, and most importantly, offering a way for readers to see them too. At times hopeful and at others cynical, the author observes the work of many during the course of a routine day at the symbolic or actual office, examining both the work being done and those doing it. He artfully describes in poetic detail the nuances of daily life at work, capturing snap-shot after snap-shot of moments in time and labor, which permits the reader to pause and wonder about what may seem to be trivial: who ARE the people involved in the products and services we in the modern world must have?

Just when one thinks he has gone over the top with what sounds like a jaded view, he enters a softer, more philosophical place in which he asks himself AND us: do we really even notice those who work so hard, earn so little, work late hours, or in the case of rocket science, really even understand? As I read, I thought to myself, "I've learned a lot about what rocket science isn't...but I never really stopped to consider what it IS."

His writing style and skillful weaving in and out of the working world and the lives of others is compelling. Just how many hands have played a role in a fish one buys at market? How many of us turn our lights on and off all day and night without ever thinking even once about the men and women who make that magical thing called electricity possible with a simple flip of a switch? Who are the ones who make certain the cookies I buy are neatly arranged in a perfect package at the grocery store--and who are the ones that got it there?

As an artist, I paricularly appreciated that he included a chapter about a painter whose career mostly centered around painting the same grand tree in any number of conditions from seasonal to weather variations, in morning light, late light, and high noon. I could not help but wonder about the richness of such a collection of paintings--a single tree with a thousand-thousand faces (not unlike a single person with a thousand-thousand faces).

I recommend you not read the book in a hurry. Go slowly, Savor it. Ponder it. Turn in over in your mind and heart. Wonder why YOU do what you do, day in and day out, ask if your work brings you joy. If you don't like the answer, perhaps this book will give you the courage to go on and find something more in tune with your soul's purpose in this short life.

Reminds me of Mary Oliver's line: "What will you do with your one wild and precious life?"
85 von 88 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen The observations of a tourist 8. Juni 2009
Von JG - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
This is an enjoyable book that accurately captures the day-to-day aspects of everyday working life that most of us ignore as we go along our daily grind. Each chapter focuses on a different occupation from accountant to artist to cargo ship spotter and takes the reader through a day in the life of each profession all the while examining the pleasures and frustrations that each job entails. This book's greatest strengh (and at the same time the source of its biggest weakness) is that it's written from the perspective of a tourist who briefly visits a new occupation for a day and then moves on.

This tourist's eye view is a great strength because unlike the subjects he examines under his microscope De Botton is able to look at each occupation and see it with fresh eyes as a choice made by each person who picked that career from the countless other possibilities. Most of us entered our chosen field by way of decisions made when we were unthinking undergrads or teenagers looking for something to earn us a buck without really giving it much thought. Our careers chose us by paying well or being conveniently located to our homes, we didn't choose our careers. This pathology (and it is a pathology that stems from laziness) is wonderfully illustrated in the chapter devoted to accountancy by showcasing fresh faced recruits straight from college who bury themselves in the busy work of his job rather than examine why they are doing what they do for a living. This is that rare book that forces us to think about why we are devoting so much of our waking lives to do our jobs while we never invested nearly as much time into deciding which job to choose.

The tourist perspective is also a weakness for De Botton because he never sticks around long enough to examine the motivations of his subjects. De Botton has done the impossible, he has written a book about work without discussing money. That's like writing a book about dating without ever mentioning the topic of sex. The tourist that he is visits an occupation as if it were some foreign city, he notices and appreciates the details of the landscape in a way that the locals ignore. However, his insights are superficial and shallow in the same way that a tourist's understanding of a new land is limited to what can be observed immediately. He doesn't explore the motivations for people to stay in jobs that may have been poorly chosen. He doesn't really investigate the 'why' and instead chooses to simply describe the 'what'.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable read. Especially as I found the author's description of my profession to be spot on. If your profession is the focus of one of the chapters in this book then you will enjoy this book immensely. If you don't toil in one of the occupations described in this book you may still find it enjoyable but you probably won't appreciate it as much as I did.
5.0 von 5 Sternen A great meditation on the modern day office 27. März 2016
Von The Craftsman - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
A great success from modern day philosopher Alain de Botton. I read this book while between jobs, and it was incredibly insightful and thought provoking. It makes its readers ask the question "What am I working for, what is the point of work, what do I enjoy and what don't I enjoy?"

While at times the author's viewpoints seem to be a bit... condescending towards the types of modern work that many of us must endure, and perhaps even *enjoy* (accounting, data entry, and other "non-creative" fields), he does a good job of dissecting the modern day job and its place in our lives.

A great read for anyone trying to search for some meaning in their careers and figure out "why am I doing this every day?"
1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining and helpful 8. Januar 2013
Von Britney - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
One of the best-written books I've ever read. Alain approaches ordinary professions--accounting, engineering, fishing--including the most menial work possible (factory work), with a child's curiosity and a philosopher's depth.

As someone who has complained (almost every single day) at the menial office-work I currently do, his observations about meaning of modern life are entertaining and helpful. Mostly, I've just enjoyed what he's written; but I also feel like I've gained a more clear idea of how the modern consumer world works and what my place is within it.

That others in this machine of modern economics are also reading this book--thinking about why they do what they do and what it all means--gives me more optimism about humanity in general; there are more thoughtful people out there like me, reading this book on their lunch breaks and thinking about the meaning of work, that unfortunate thing that steals a third of our lives and half of our conversations.
5.0 von 5 Sternen This was one of the most pleasurable books I have ... 8. Mai 2016
Von Liming Han - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
This was one of the most pleasurable books I have read in the past several years. The author uses prose in profoundly interesting ways to illumine some of the underlying motivations and circumstances of the modern worker by giving 10 case studies of various occupations. His choice of format presents a high risk of banal overgeneralization, but he avoids this and each of the profiles is humorous and unsettling, casting light on some of the most fundamental questions we face (or choose not to face).
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