The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work

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  1. The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - Alain de Botton
  2. Labours without love
  3. Bestselling Series

Many of us are without a place to go five days a week, with nothing to produce, no service to provide — identity temporarily vanished.


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What de Botton captures so artfully is how important work is to our lives. The paychecks pass through our fingers; where the money goes we can't remember. But we remember all of our jobs. Maybe the dates get a little fuzzy when a sprucing of the resume is required, but customers, bosses, and coworkers are all unforgettable. In interviews the author admits he's never held a "proper job. But de Botton doesn't have to worry about selling books.

In almost I, Pencil fashion the author traces the journeys of tuna and electricity.


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  • He understands the sense of urgency that the eventual customer demands — the round-the-world, clockwork precession that's required. The author spends time at United Biscuits to chronicle the trip from idea stage to the grocery shelf of the "glutinous, chocolate-coated Moments. But the comely and utterly self-absorbed Hong Kong television reporter that proved "it might be possible to feel jealous of a rocket" was much more interesting than the science. De Botton observes an obsessive painter, and notes, "There is an impractical side of human nature particularly open to making sacrifices for the sake of creating objects that are more graceful and intelligent than we normally manage to be.

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    The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work - Alain de Botton

    And for those who believe accountants are just boring fuddy-duddies, the author sees them differently:. In the wider view of the public, accountancy may be synonymous with bureaucratic tedium, but from close up, this particular conglomeration of numerical talents presents the observer with a case-study of the discrete charms of offices, with their intriguing blend of camaraderie, intelligence and futility.


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    • Once I had The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work in my hands, I immediately skipped to read de Botton's chapter entitled "Entrepreneurship," which centered around a convention where small business people meet potential investors:. The range of offerings suggested that capitalism as currently developed remains in its infancy. Alain de Botton is not an economist by training, but he clearly understands the division of labor he even uses the term! Every paragraph he writes is memorable. But not everyone loves de Botton's latest work.

      Labours without love

      The workplace brings out the best in his writing' Sunday Times. De Botton has pretty much got to the bottom of the subject' Spectator. He lives in London and founded The School of Life www. For more information, consult www.

      Bestselling Series

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      Alain de Botton - The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work