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Download The Architecture of Happiness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,938 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alain de Botton Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Architecture of Happiness is a dazzling journey through the philosophy and psychology of architecture and the indelible connection between our identities and our locations.

One of the great but often unmentioned causes of both happiness and misery is the quality of our environment: the kinds of walls, chairs, buildings, and streets that surround us. And yet, a concern for architecture is too often described as frivolous, even self-indulgent. Alain de Botton starts from the idea that where we are heavily influences who we can be, and argues that it is architecture’s task to stand as an eloquent reminder of our full potential.

Whereas many architects are wary of openly discussing the word beauty, this book has at its center the large and naïve question: What is a beautiful building?

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Time after time, his descriptions neatly capture the distinctiveness and character of even the most unusual buildings…[The book succeeds] through his quiet intelligence, passionate conviction, and the charm of a personality lightly tinged with melancholy.”

    Washington Post

  • “Narrator Simon Vance proves both professorial and affable as the book explores these fascinating topics, educating the listener with facts and insights…De Botton’s essay holds a mirror to the human spirit as it is expressed in our architecture.”


  • “With originality, verve, and wit, de Botton explains how we find reflections of our own values in the edifices we make…Altogether satisfying.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Elegant…Unusual…full of big ideas.”

    New York Sun

  • “Entertaining and stimulating…The strength of his book is that it encourages us to open our eyes and really look at the buildings in which we live and work.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “De Botton has a marvelous knack for coming at weighty subjects from entertainingly eccentric angles.”

    Seattle Times

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Morgan | 2/20/2014

    " Oh, if only I could be so verbose as to write an entire book about how buildings make me feel all warm inside. De Botton is fantastic. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Teresa | 2/20/2014

    " I probably would've given this 3 to 4 stars if I hadn't already read the "Art of Travel" (which I thought was more interesting). I absolutely love the author's writing style (though some accuse him of being a dilettante. Whatever). I love his insights into the most seemingly mundane things. I actually couldn't finish this book, however, because after the first few chapters it just felt like more of the same. Maybe this summer I'll be inspired to pick it up again... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Sue Silverman | 2/9/2014

    " I don't know why I'm reading this (or rather listening to this). But I am developing a new appreciation for furniture and buildings and I like the idea that I will soon have a new scapegoat on which to blame my dissatisfaction with the world. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Meredith Baird | 2/8/2014

    " Lovely read for the art/architecture theory dork. I really enjoyed this! "

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