All about Alain de Botton’s book: A Week at the Airport

Aaron Britt, the senior editor over at Dwell Magazine has been reading Alain de Botton’s book, A Week at the Airport: A Heathrow Diary, and was pretty sure fans of Stuck at the Airport would be interested in his two-part review.


He’s right. de Botton’s book is all about the time he spent as writer-in-residence at the British Airways terminal in London’s Heathrow Airport.

If you haven’t got your own copy of the book yet, you can read an excerpt in the New York Times and then wing your way over to Britt’s review.

Here’s an excerpt from that:

My favorite bit comes when he gets to Richard Roger’s eye-goggling architecture itself. He lucidly declares that the building’s soaring supports “were endowed with a subcategory of beauty we might refer to as elegance, present whenever architecture has the mnodest not to draw attention to the difficulties it has surmounted. On top of their tapered necks, the columns balanced the 400-metre [sic] roof as if they were holding up a canopy made of linen, offering a metaphor for how we too might like to stand in relation to our burdens.” Nice stuff.

Britt plans to post the second part of his review on Thursday and says:

I think that the second half, dominated by an assessment of what’s beyond the security gate is far more fruitful for de Botton. His natural position of informed ruminator gets going as he takes us on more of a guided tour of the security zone, shopping area, and first class lounge. He’s best when making connection between physical spaces and desire then when focusing on individual people. The space itself, and more importantly, our rituals in it show through better in the second half, the throat-clearing of the early pages now nicely laid to rest.

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