First published in The Guardian, 28 May, 2014.
Alain de Botton is a mix of philosopher and self-help guru. A clever, busy guy, he has written books like “How Proust Can Change Your Life”, “The Consolations of Philosophy” and ‘Status Anxiety”; made TV shows based on his books and is a founder of The School of Life, an institution which aims to “offer instruction on how to lead a fulfilled life”. I have been struck by the strength of anti Alain de Botton feeling a number of readers have expressed to me. If you’re pretty happy with your life I guess you might be liable to find someone telling you there’s a better way to lead it really annoying. I’m full of self-loathing so I’m not bothered.