We spend most of our waking lives at work—in occupations most often chosen by our inexperienced younger selves. And yet we rarely ask ourselves how we got there or what our jobs mean to us.
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work is an exploration of the joys and perils of the modern workplace, beautifully exploring what other people wake up to do each day—and night—to make our frenzied world function. With a philosophical eye and his signature combination of wit and wisdom, Alain de Botton leads us on a journey around an eclectic range of occupations, from rocket scientist to biscuit manufacturer, from accountant to artist—in search of what makes jobs either soul-destroying or fulfilling.
Veteran narrator David Colacci delivers an evenhanded, workmanlike performance of De Botton's philosophical exploration of the joys, pains and meaning of work. The erudite and frequently amusing meditation on vocation is accompanied by profiles of a broad spectrum of workers employed in everything from biscuit manufacturing to rocket science, fishing to career counseling with Colacci deftly capturing the text's perfect mix of sly humor and gravity and allowing listeners an opportunity to reflect on and question his or her own working life. A Pantheon hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 13).