The news is everywhere. We can’t stop constantly checking it on our computer screens, but what is this doing to our minds?
We are never really taught how to make sense of the torrent of news we face every day, writes Alain de Botton (author of the best-selling The Architecture of Happiness), but this has a huge impact on our sense of what matters and of how we should lead our lives. In his dazzling new book, de Botton takes twenty-five archetypal news stories—including an airplane crash, a murder, a celebrity interview and a political scandal—and submits them to unusually intense analysis with a view to helping us navigate our news-soaked age. He raises such questions as Why are disaster stories often so uplifting? What makes the love lives of celebrities so interesting? Why do we enjoy watching politicians being brought down? Why are upheavals in far-off lands often so boring?
In The News: A User’s Manual, de Botton has written the ultimate guide for our frenzied era, certain to bring calm, understanding and a measure of sanity to our daily (perhaps even hourly) interactions with the news machine.
(With black-and-white illustrations throughout.)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Alain de Botton—author of The Art of Travel and The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work—excels at bringing a fresh perspective to everyday experiences and modern dilemmas. Written with clarity, humor, and compassion, The News: A User’s Manual scrutinizes our reliance on the media. Examining the impulses that draw us to certain stories and the power of headlines to form our understanding of the world around us, de Botton urges us to use our heightened awareness to foster kindness and deepen our enjoyment in life.
In his latest, de Botton places 25 types of news stories under the microscope in an attempt to gain an understanding of how the news affects our everyday lives. Narrator Bell delivers a solid performance, with delivery as professional and direct as that of the most seasoned news broadcaster. Bell's tone is ideally suited to de Botton's writing: matter of fact and heavily critical of the media. Bell's reading informs as much as it entertains, with listeners fully engaged from beginning to end. Studying the stories that dominate the headlines on any given day including political misdoings, questionable deaths, and celebrity gossip de Botton and Bell take listeners on a journey inside a world they think they know and explain why they've got it all wrong. A Pantheon hardcover.