Get Your Free Audiobook

Listen with a free trial

1 credit a month to use on any title, yours to keep (you’ll use your first credit on this title).
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
Access to exclusive deals and discounts.
$16.45 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy Now for $39.50

Buy Now for $39.50

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions Of Use and Privacy Notice and authorise Audible to charge your designated credit card or another available credit card on file.

Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Introduction narrated by Alain de Botton

The Sunday Times best seller. 

The essential guide to how to live wisely and well in the 21st century - from Alain de Botton, the best-selling author of The Consolations of Philosophy, The Art of Travel and The Course of Love.

This is an audiobook about everything you were never taught at school. It's about how to understand your emotions, find and sustain love, succeed in your career, fail well and overcome shame and guilt. It's also about letting go of the myth of a perfect life in order to achieve genuine emotional maturity. Written in a hugely accessible, warm and humane style, The School of Life is the ultimate guide to the emotionally fulfilled lives we all long for - and deserve. 

This audiobook brings together 10 years of essential and transformative research on emotional intelligence, with practical topics including: 

  • how to understand yourself
  • how to master the dilemmas of relationships
  • how to become more effective at work 
  • how to endure failure
  • how to grow more serene and resilient
©2019 Alain de Botton (P)2019 Penguin Random House UK

Critic Reviews

"What he has managed to do is remarkable: to help us think better so that we may live better lives." (Irish Times

"A serious and optimistic set of practical ideas that could improve and alter the way we live." (Jeanette Winterson, The Times)

"Alain de Botton likes to take big, complex subjects and write about them with thoughtful and deceptive innocence." (Observer

What listeners say about The School of Life

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    137
  • 4 Stars
    26
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    113
  • 4 Stars
    22
  • 3 Stars
    6
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    107
  • 4 Stars
    23
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    1

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Shockingly dreary, shallow

This is a terribly repetitious, boring, vapid book. The worst release yet from The School of Life. It has as much wisdom as a 5 minute School of Life YouTube video, but repeats itself on loop.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

not read by the author

not read by the author. not read by the author.not read by the author. not read by the author

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Middle Class English Advice for Life

Has some good advice for " life." But the style of presentation is so very middle class English, and seems to be directed at the Worried Well which became dull in places. There are also some quite strong pronouncements made throughout the book, but with no sources offered to substantiate them. Are they evidence - based, or written just from the author's perspective? But the book contains lots of great food for thought and is well worth the read/listen.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Thought provoking and a call to action

I really enjoyed the journey that this book took me on. Regardless if you agree with everything it is an excellent thought experiment and challenges some of our preconceptions

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Highly recommend

Everyone should read/listen to this book to gain perspective and understanding of the lives we lead

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional

This book is relentlessly practical and valuable, and some is something to be cherished. This will help you in making life a richer, deeper, and more meaningful experience. Please pass it on to anyone you know.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

top 10

loved this book. Learnt a number of new le
I've lessons while other concepts are covered in a different view point.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed it!

It was a little heavy and slow in the beginning, but some great take-aways on human psychology once it got into the meat of it. I think the second time around would be even better!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I feel so much better now.

What an amazing, amusing and must read book. Thank you Allain for letting me know that my silliness, craziness and strangeness is, in fact, ok and very normal. I feel whole for the first time in a long time. I highly recommend this book for its wonderful insights into normal human behaviour - the why’s and how’s - that, until now, I thought was shameful and broken.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars

Full of life lessons

I learned a lot about myself, my baby and my life after reading this book.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jamil
  • Jamil
  • 06-08-2021

awesome! life-changing

quite harsh but bittersweet pill to take. lots of moments of shocking realizations and reflections. thanks a lot!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 19-06-2021

Best thing I’ve read since becoming an adult

I am astonishingly richer in my ways of thinking about #humanlife and better for it from the hours I spent completing #TheSchoolOfLife audio book. My life is so richer for it! Restored to a familiar level of appreciation.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for lucas9309
  • lucas9309
  • 27-03-2021

every one should read this book

this is one of this books everyone should read and the world would be a better place. I will recommend it to everyone I know

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-08-2020

Required listening

I loved this book. The content is very enlightening and the delivery entertaining. Highly recommended

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 03-05-2020

A wonderfully smart and understated read

This is essentially like sitting down to somebody really lovely warm charming and interesting at a dinner party and simply wanting to listen. There is no need to say or add anything, – it is all good sense, and quite warm and wonderful. There is lots of the development of thoughts and themes in Mr de Botton’s various other titles, but good to hear them revisited and explained again.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for M.Inés Bustamante
  • M.Inés Bustamante
  • 16-01-2020

Descubrimiento

Excelente obra. Me ha dado una vision renovada para comprender la vida de una manera mas humana. Quisiera seguir de cerca al autor.
Espero pronto este disponible en español

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for milene
  • milene
  • 10-10-2019

amazing

best book I've ever read about life, Button is a genius at showing reality in simple, clear ways

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Amazon Customer
  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-2019

More Alain needed....

I bought this as I love the works of Alain, but in particular I adore his voice, which is on the sample recording. I was therefore wholly disappointed that this was not actually narrated by him, as his voice is utterly charming and reassuring. Should have just bought the book and imagined it. :-(

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for david
  • david
  • 29-01-2020

The most imporant book ever written

---

I realise what a statement that is. Some people may even take offence, but none is intended. Alain de Botton and The School of Life have managed to produce a work that explains "How our minds work". It is titled "Emotional Intelligence". Reading this has laid my mind at peace on so many levels it is simply wondrous. Our knowledge of our emotional inner selves is so poor it beggars belief.
How come the contents of this book have not been openly, publically taught to us before? It's simple; we still don't talk about our deepest fears and issues. Our emotional wellbeing is not a topic for open discussion; the stigma is still too much for most of us, as they point out.
" it remains markedly strange to imagine that it might be possible - or even necessary - to be educated in our own emotional functioning, for example, that we might need to learn(rather than just know) how to avoid sulking or how to interpret our griefs, how to choose a partner or make oneself understood by a colleague."
The book is simply brilliant at breaking down how WE ALL work. This is not a self-help book in my view; it is The self-help book!
It is the first time I have ever come across a book that clearly explains how to think about YOUR personal life, how similar we all are and how to make sense of the myriad thoughts, fears, concerns, obsessions and failings with which we are all preoccupied.
"Our emotions, if left unexamined and unschooled, are liable to lead us into some profoundly counter-productive situations in regard to our love choices, our careers, our friendships and the management of our own moods."
Everyone should read this.
To understand your parents.
To understand why you are the way you are.
To understand everyone else
To help children have a better life
To make the world a better place.


I wish I had been taught this in school.
Why isn't this taught in school?


Being honest I didn't read the book, I listened to it on Audible, which I recommend as having it read to you makes most complex texts a lot easier to digest I find.


---

#schooloflife #emotionalintelligence #importantbooks #education

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lars Hansen
  • Lars Hansen
  • 03-01-2020

Why???

My first question when reading this book was, why on earth has no one told me this before?
This is all the more bewildering as I am a trained psychiatrist.
This book deals head-on with the most complex and universal issues of our lives, such as love, disappointment, expectations. It is truly amazing that these things do not figure on our school curriculum.
At the end there is perhaps an over-reliance on finding wisdom in the arts, especially the visual arts. I think that can feel alienating to some, but this book remains, by far and away, the best attempt I have read on guidance to living a wise life. I’m grateful for what it has added to my life, and perhaps even to my patients’ lives.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sam Cassidy
  • Sam Cassidy
  • 19-09-2020

It's okay

A book aimed at improving the emotional intelligence and self-knowledge of the already materially comfortable (which is no bad thing, as even when our basic needs are met we still seem to be miserable). The early chapters on self gave me stuff to reflect on. The conservative politics of the Work chapter didn't do it for me. His answer to crap jobs and inequality is not to unionize and demand better. Instead, he wants moreart that lionizes the poor, so that the culture will start to afford the poor more dignity.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chris Bledsoe
  • Chris Bledsoe
  • 26-11-2019

No emotional education

This book on emotional education comes down to this: pessimism and the valuing of accepting your lot in a life of misery.

Some message.

This book does what liberal 20th/21st century thinkers all do: it knows that life is dissatisfaction, makes no attempt to really, deeply understand why, and then offers absolutely no message of hope or optimism or betterment. It simply offers a limp, stagnant, toothless acceptance of a nihilistic worldview. This isn’t emotional or philosophical or religious, this is simply banality wrapped as profundity.

A hugely disappointing and pessimistic take on what it is to be human. There is also nothing profound, original or deep here either. It is just what you’d expect from an atomised, extremely rich and rootless member of the liberal intelligentsia.

For a REAL emotional education I’d recommend the work of B Alan Wallace, Matthieu Ricard, Osho and others who combine respect for western science with Buddhism and Buddhist mindfulness meditation.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Jonny Sykes
  • Jonny Sykes
  • 21-01-2020

Well explained and well referenced!

This book will help the listener accept, at least in part, some of the chaos we live within. We’re all a bit of a nitwit, and Alain de Botton explains how that’s a good thing.
10/10 would listen again.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Derek J
  • Derek J
  • 17-09-2021

Loved it

This is a very well written book.
De Botton is a wise and intelligent man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Vyron
  • Vyron
  • 07-09-2021

Must read for anyone who is living on this planet.

Truly eye opening.
The complexities of our mind will take forever to be understood. This book gives tools needed to hwlp that process.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Sarah
  • Sarah
  • 12-08-2021

I fell asleep twice

I was really looking forward to this book as I've heard such good things. But it's nothing new, and I fell asleep listening to it twice.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for dianalewis
  • dianalewis
  • 07-08-2021

What a wonderful and life changing book

I really cannot over-emphasise how well thought out and insightful this book is. It made a massive difference in my marriage almost immediately because I suddenly had much more insight about the human condition and my perhaps maladaptive approaches at times. I have bought the book as a gift for others as I feel everyone should read this book! I also love the narrator's voice which is much like Alain's (which is of course fabulous as many have noted)! If you want to stay sane in this life read this book!

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.