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Download The Architecture of Happiness Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Architecture of Happiness Audiobook, 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: January 2006 ISBN: 9781455193103
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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.”

    AudioFile

  • “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 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 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 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 Meredith Baird | 2/8/2014

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

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 John | 1/21/2014

    " I wanted to read a book about architecture, but this didn't turn out to be the one I needed. There is some interesting stuff in here, but this is a book more about the appreciation of architecture than about architecture -- in fact, it's a book about de Botton's appreciation of architecture. Which isn't what I really wanted to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/13/2014

    " Remembering the idea of wabi and concepts of beauty and that which we are free to reimagine and change. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 dhanya | 1/7/2014

    " AMAZINGG (((: "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy L. | 1/2/2014

    " Satisfying book on the effects of architecture on the individual. I suspect this bears rereading to capture everything the author intended. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alissa | 12/9/2013

    " If you love architecture, this book talks about design from a different perspective. Very enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nina | 11/2/2013

    " it's been like three months and i'm still not over the hideousness of this cover design. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared Housh | 2/5/2013

    " So far I'm enjoying this book. It really does a good job of exploring the whys of architecture, both good and bad. I love the writing style. It's elegant and accessible. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sav | 9/28/2012

    " A nice deconstruction of why we like some buildings and hate others. Not as simple as you might think but not too complicated either. Even as a graphic designer it gave me a few things to think about. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Keihly | 9/24/2012

    " Excellent. Packed with information on the history of design and so pleasant to read. Quirky perspective - written by a travel writer. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Whitaker | 4/6/2012

    " A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bookworm | 8/22/2011

    " Loved this book, especially some of the photographs. It's all about how architecture has a deep impact on how we live. Beautiful, well designed buildings have the power to make us happy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ben | 6/26/2011

    " good book, makes me want to get back into architecture "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JQ | 6/3/2011

    " This book was beautiful. I had read half of the book about a year ago and just now picked it up again. I liked it then and I like it now. It has made me want to read all of his books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alisa | 4/21/2011

    " Insightful and helped me get closer to articulating what I love about architecture. But sometimes De Botton's style just got obnoxious and repetitive. Hoity toity, for lack of a better way to explain it. Overall, good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thomas | 2/15/2011

    " This is certainly a beautifully written old-fashioned essay. Still, it lacks a thesis to tie everything together. As a result, it seems dull and pointless. de Botton writes for a British audience, so a lot of the names dropped may not be familiar in other lands.

    Well narrated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bryan | 2/9/2011

    " The words and ideas communicated in this book are as elegant and as beautiful as the architecture to which de Botton strives to attune our ears and eyes. Full of fascinating insights and delightful meditations, I highly recommend this book to all who have the sense that spaces and places matter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 12/29/2010

    " 3.5. Quite the interesting read. Really made me think about certain aspects/concepts of architecture I had never considered! I like the idea that there are as many forms of beauty as there are ways of being happy=) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Murat | 12/28/2010

    " This book has been sitting on my shelf for a while. I attempted to read it once, leaving halfway.
    We shall see how it turns out this time.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 lizzie | 12/10/2010

    " This book in indescribably good. The writing is gorgeous...you drink it in rather than read it. I worked in a field closely related to architecture and this book re-ignited my passion! "

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About the Author
Author Alain de Botton

Alain de Botton is the author of numerous nonfiction books, including The Consolations of Philosophy and Status Anxiety. His work has been translated into twenty languages. He lives in Washington, DC, and London, where he is an associate research fellow of the philosophy program of the University of London, School of Advanced Study.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.