From the bestselling author of How to Live, an enthralling and original new book about a group of young thinkers, the birth of existentialism and some of the biggest questions of allShortlisted for the PEN Hessell-Tiltman PrizeParis, near the turn of 1932-3. Three young friends meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and their friend Raymond Aron, who opens their eyes to a radical new way of thinking…‘It’s not often that you miss your bus stop because you’re so engrossed in reading a book about existentialism, but I did exactly that... The story of Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus, Heidegger et al is strange, fun and compelling reading. If it doesn’t win awards, I will eat my copy’ Independent on Sunday‘Bakewell shows how fascinating were some of the existentialists’ ideas and how fascinating, often frightful, were their lives. Vivid, humorous anecdotes are interwoven with a lucid and unpatronising exposition of their complex philosophy… Tender, incisive and fair’ Daily Telegraph‘Quirky, funny, clear and passionate… Few writers are as good as Bakewell at explaining complicated ideas in a way that makes them easy to understand’ Mail on Sunday
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