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Thread: Julian Barnes

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    They would be relevant to the reader if s/he wants to read award winning books.

    What is your "relevancy" while picking books to read?
    With all due respect, Ms./Mr. S, I find it fairly typical of our literalistic age for someone to respond with a tautology that completely misses the point. Of course, it would be relevant if your mechanism for selection is, by definition, also your criterion for relevancy. A book beginning with an "A" is probably relevant if your criterion is alphabetic, but then you'd just be an absurd caricature in Sartre's Nausea.

    Your first statement is of variety I often encounter, and, thus, I am led to believe that it is what passes for wit or humor in the age of Twitter, which will perhaps sound rude, but is not meant to. However, the statement strikes me as more likely to be the sort of deflection common to public school teachers, for whom ideas are interchangeable, so long as one really, really believes them. Of course, to me, the aforementioned phenomenon sounds about as false as reading all the books designated by this or that committee as being Culturally Important or King Book of 1995, which might not be so bad if the committee's track record wasn't so dismal as that of the Pulitzer or Man Booker. Still, I'm sure you can dazzle the attendees at some fabulous party with your impressions of Olive Kitteridge, which will likely seem as unimportant to an American living in 2060 as Guard of Honor seems to me now.
    Last edited by stuntpickle; 10-25-2011 at 08:51 AM.

  2. #17
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post
    With all due respect, Ms./Mr. S,
    "Scher" will do.

    What I find typical, Mr Pickle, is the tendency to disregard the authors or books because they happen to receive an approving nod or awards... Or manage to be best sellers or, God forbid, be popular among "common" reader. Even more typical is to assume that someone who happens to read award winning books would do so to impress others during parties (I have other party tricks for that purpose... Like typing a cherry stem into a knot... Or reciting the alphabet backwards).

    If you happen to look at my very first post in the thread, you will, of course, realise that I am not a reader who has turned starry eyed because Barnes's won an award (incidentally happened two months after this thread was started). I was simply hoping to find out others' impressions of Barnes and his books.

    Now, would you like to share your opinions on Barnes with us?
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    "Scher" will do.

    What I find typical, Mr Pickle, is the tendency to disregard the authors or books because they happen to receive an approving nod or awards... Or manage to be best sellers or, God forbid, be popular among "common" reader. Even more typical is to assume that someone who happens to read award winning books would do so to impress others during parties (I have other party tricks for that purpose... Like typing a cherry stem into a knot... Or reciting the alphabet backwards).

    If you happen to look at my very first post in the thread, you will, of course, realise that I am not a reader who has turned starry eyed because Barnes's won an award (incidentally happened two months after this thread was started). I was simply hoping to find out others' impressions of Barnes and his books.

    Now, would you like to share your opinions on Barnes with us?
    Look, Scher, I find it a bit odd that you have understood my post to mean that one should disregard a book that wins an award, rather than that one should not read a book simply because it has won an award, which I did not, by the way, suggest you were guilty of. Let me be clear here: advising a particular course of action is hardly the same thing as making an accusation. Saying "don't touch that" doesn't mean "I know you touched that." Moreover, I can't imagine how "common readers" and best sellers concern our conversation, and so I'm a bit confused as to why you have brought them up. But the most ridiculous part of your post is when you ask me to share my opinions on Barnes, as I have already given them in my first response, which amounted to a hearty recommendation. So I have to ask: did you actually read my entire first post? More importantly: did you understand any of it?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    Thank you, everyone!

    The Sense of Ending was not available at my local branch but I have placed a reservation (52 reservations in the county!) Not sure when it will be my turn.

    Is it available at your library by any chance, Wessexgirl?

    Will you know when I am reading it.

    *edit*

    Just realised Arthur and George is available digitally. Maybe I will read that one once I am done with the books waiting on my nightstand.
    I'm afraid our copy is on loan at the moment Scher . It is however very short, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. If you don't get hold of a copy soon, I can put ours on reservation for you .

  5. #20
    Registered User Brett Cottrell's Avatar
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    A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters is great. Loved it.
    http://brettcottrell.blogspot.com/

  6. #21
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    I'm afraid our copy is on loan at the moment Scher . It is however very short, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. If you don't get hold of a copy soon, I can put ours on reservation for you .
    I will let you know if I don't hear from them soon.

    It is good to know the librarian!

    Brett ~ Thank you. I will see if that one is available at the library.
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    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    "Scher" will do.

    What I find typical, Mr Pickle, is the tendency to disregard the authors or books because they happen to receive an approving nod or awards... Or manage to be best sellers or, God forbid, be popular among "common" reader. Even more typical is to assume that someone who happens to read award winning books would do so to impress others during parties (I have other party tricks for that purpose... Like typing a cherry stem into a knot... Or reciting the alphabet backwards).

    If you happen to look at my very first post in the thread, you will, of course, realise that I am not a reader who has turned starry eyed because Barnes's won an award (incidentally happened two months after this thread was started). I was simply hoping to find out others' impressions of Barnes and his books.

    Now, would you like to share your opinions on Barnes with us?
    I was looking up Julian Barnes and saw this chirpy exchange!- LOL

  8. #23
    Registered User kev67's Avatar
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    I see this is quite an old thread. I read Arthur and George several years ago and thought it was very good. I was outraged on the behalf of George Edalji.
    According to Aldous Huxley, D.H. Lawrence once said that Balzac was 'a gigantic dwarf', and in a sense the same is true of Dickens.
    Charles Dickens, by George Orwell

  9. #24
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    I thought his The Sense of an Ending was very good. I read it because it was an award winner. He's an author I'd need to feel in the mood for - he had quite a relaxed easy going style in this one.

  10. #25
    A User, but Registered! tonywalt's Avatar
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    Just reading "The Only Story" by Julian Barnes. Loving it, close to end. A brilliant, introspective moving piece of literature. Interesting use of 2nd person POV in much of it

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