“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.

We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” The Course of Love explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. We see, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy—an annotation and a guide to what we are reading. As The New York Times says, “The Course of Love is a return to the form that made Mr. de Botton’s name in the mid-1990s….love is the subject best suited to his obsessive aphorizing, and in this novel he again shows off his ability to pin our hopes, methods, and insecurities to the page.”

This is a Romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term. The result is a sensory experience—fictional, philosophical, psychological—that urges us to identify deeply with these characters and to reflect on his and her own experiences in love. Fresh, visceral, and utterly compelling, The Course of Love is a provocative and life-affirming novel for everyone who believes in love. “There’s no writer alive like de Botton, and his latest ambitious undertaking is as enlightening and humanizing as his previous works” (Chicago Tribune).
◎全球暢銷200萬本,狄波頓23歲一鳴驚人之作。

◎一本赤裸裸的戀愛全紀錄,見證戀人的天真與算計,以及愛情的幻滅與重生。

不可避免的是遇見愛情,而不是你遇見的這個人。

從巴黎往倫敦的飛機上,一場機率只有5840.82分之1的戀愛發生了。他80分之1的人生,將由一位名叫珂蘿葉的女孩所掠奪。從第一個吻、第一場爭執、心碎醒悟到下一場戀愛,他也終將發現一個永恆不朽的真理:戀愛使人癱瘓。

都說戀人是面鏡子,但要做對方的鏡子並不容易,理智問:你看上他哪一點?情感問:你想在他身上看到什麼?狄波頓融合理性與感性,細膩生動地呈現戀人的內心小劇場。說穿了,把愛情的虛幻看得再透徹並沒有多大幫助,畢竟了解自己可能是傻子,也不能變成智者。因為我們每次信誓旦旦地說再也不要愛了,卻總是自打嘴巴地陷入一場又一場的戀愛。

關於戀愛,狄波頓這麼說∼

「我再打給你。」電話在沒有回電的愛人魔掌中,變成折磨人的刑具。

當愛人給的信號曖昧不明時,害羞是最好的解釋:愛人對我有意思,但不好意思說?

被愛者尊、愛人者卑,愛情宣告我無法做自己。我不會問:「我是誰?」而是問:「我是她的誰?」

說謊有兩種:為了開脫而說謊、為了被愛而說謊。

她對鞋子的特殊品味,讓我忍不住自問:她怎能同時喜歡這雙鞋和我呢?

◆各界推薦

《我談的那場戀愛》是人人必讀的當代愛情經典。──美國作家 雪莉兒•海蒂

字字珠璣、笑中帶淚,精準的觀察與犀利的見解,難怪大家讀了又讀、傳了又傳。──英國作家 法蘭辛•普斯

狄波頓是國家寶藏。──英國作家 蘇珊•希爾

我真懷疑狄波頓這輩子有沒有寫過一句乏味的句子。──英國作家 珍•莫里斯

你若能想像出一個受過古典教育薰陶的伍迪•艾倫,就知道本書敘述者的風格。這是狄波頓初試啼聲的作品,他好像是為了寫作而來到這個世界的。──《波士頓週日環球報》

本書又睿智又好笑,正如一杯濃烈的咖啡,令看膩庸俗愛情故事的讀者猛然驚醒,神清氣朗。──《新聞與觀察家》

狄波頓以既嘲諷又嚴肅的哲學問題,探討激情。這是一本詭異的小說,戲而不謔,驚奇連連。本書成功之處是它精簡深刻的文字、純然的幽默,以及對於讀者領悟力的尊重與信任。──《新共和》

好像法國哲學家笛卡兒為美國《大都會雜誌》寫的文章 ──《時代週刊》

鄭重推薦給那些年輕浪漫、喜愛哲學的讀者。如果你的人生經驗不足,卻想寫一本好小說,讀本書也必有益。──《圖書館期刊》

愛情的書寫裡從不缺作家,缺的是從積壓如山、堆疊似海的作品裡,怎麼殺出重圍,高舉出一塊新招牌。狄波頓採用小說的形式,綜合了米蘭•昆德拉愛議論的深度,羅蘭•巴特很解構的氣質,當然你若讀過西班牙學者荷西•奧特加•加塞特的《愛》,一定覺得狄波頓的滔滔雄辯,完全不輸一場哲學式的思維。──蔡詩萍 導讀推薦

作者簡介
艾倫•狄波頓

英國最具特色的才子作家、哲學家、製作人。狄波頓寫愛情、聊旅遊、談建築、說文學,才氣橫溢,文章智趣兼備,不僅風靡英倫,全球各國更爭相出版他的作品,目前已有三十多國語言的譯本。創辦「生活建築」與「人生學校」,將有趣的哲學帶入日常,為生活增加更多元的面向。

暢銷全球200萬本的《我談的那場戀愛》是他23歲的作品,在暌違近二十年後,狄波頓已為人夫人父,再度寫下《愛的進化論》,探討婚姻與愛情並存的可能性。

狄波頓近期作品:《愛的進化論》《新聞的騷動》《無聊的魅力》《機場裡的小旅行》《工作!工作!》《宗教的慰藉》。

個人網頁:www.alaindebotton.com

譯者簡介

林說俐 

台大外文系、外文研究所畢業,從事英、法文翻譯及新聞編譯工作。譯有《我在雨中等你》《吸引力法則》《我談的那場戀愛》。

“The Course of Love is a return to the form that made Mr. de Botton’s name in the mid-1990s….love is the subject best suited to his obsessive aphorizing, and in this novel he again shows off his ability to pin our hopes, methods and insecurities to the page.” —The New York Times

The long-awaited and beguiling second novel from Alain de Botton that tracks the beautifully complicated arc of a romantic partnership, from the internationally bestselling author of How Proust Can Change Your Life. De Botton’s essay “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” (The New York Times, May 28, 2016), which draws from The Course of Love, was the #1 most emailed article for days.

We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married, they have children—but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” The Course of Love is a novel that explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. You experience, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy—an annotation and a guide to what we are reading.

This is a Romantic novel in the true sense, one interested in exploring how love can survive and thrive in the long term. The result is a sensory experience—fictional, philosophical, psychological—that urges us to identify deeply with these characters and to reflect on his and her own experiences in love. Fresh, visceral, and utterly compelling, The Course of Love is a provocative and life-affirming novel for everyone who believes in love.
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