"Having stuck with this one-joke plot that is, like its narrator, amusing and tedious by turns, readers will understand her fond impatience all too well."
A young, self-centered British swain vows to get to know the next woman he meets better than she knows herself, in de Botton's self-consciously coy follow-up to On Love (1993) and The Romantic Movement (1995). ``It took me a long time to . . . understand how someone could have been so un-self-aware and at the same time so self-obsessed,'' reads the narrator's most recent Dear John letter. ``You said you loved me, but a narcissist can't love anyone but himself.'' Miffed by the accusation, de Botton's intellectual hero determines not just to pay more attention to the next woman he meets but to immerse himself in her life as assiduously as a biographer studies his subject.
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