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Thread: Julian Barnes

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Julian Barnes

    I am not familiar with this author but my library has so many of books digitally available that I am beginning to wonder if I am missing out on something grand and excellent.

    Anyone read his books? Opinions, suggestions?
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


  2. #2
    I've read a couple (as part of my popular literature module). He's not bad, but nothing to get too excited about. Authur and George is OK. Metroland his first novel is weak. Flaubert's Parrot is supposed to be not bad, but to be honest I wouldn't go out of your way to read him.
    Last edited by LitNetIsGreat; 08-16-2010 at 06:42 PM.

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    Used Register David Lurie's Avatar
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    I have read Arthur & George and I think it is a very good novel with an interesting narrative structure and it is rich of layers of meaning, but not exciting enough to make me desire a further exploration of Barnes' work.

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    "Nothing to be Frightened Of" was an interesting, if not very deep, ramble around the subject of death. I quite liked the essays in "History of the World in 10½ Chapters". But I prefer the work of his brother - check out Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction by Jonathan Barnes - just as readable and certainly deeper!

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    Registered User de Renal's Avatar
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    I have read "The Lemon Table", stories about getting old.
    Some of them made me cry, so I can say - a good book! Very emotional!

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Thank you very much for all your replies and comments.

    The feedback does not make me rush to the library to check out his books somehow.

    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
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    Registered User de Renal's Avatar
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    Can you please tell me more about your digital library? Is that strictly private, or reachable over the Internet? I am a book collector, digitally or paperly, all the same
    Thanks in advance!

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  9. #9
    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by de Renal View Post
    Can you please tell me more about your digital library? Is that strictly private, or reachable over the Internet? I am a book collector, digitally or paperly, all the same
    Thanks in advance!
    My local library has a digital collection as well so the library members (those who live in this area) can log in to borrow books, which you can keep for two weeks.
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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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    Registered User de Renal's Avatar
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    mal4mac, thank you so much for the reference, the site is great! I think I'll start a thread on this topic too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheherazade View Post
    My local library has a digital collection as well so the library members (those who live in this area) can log in to borrow books, which you can keep for two weeks.
    well, nothing for me. but thanks though!

  11. #11
    Used Register David Lurie's Avatar
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    The sense of an ending - the latest novel from Julian Barnes - was awarded last week the Booker Prize: has anyone read it?
    "He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favour of two."

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    Yes, I have, and it's excellent. I have also read Arthur and George and thought it was a shame it did not win the Booker too. It was a beautifully structured book based on a true story concerning Arthur Conan Doyle and a real case he got involved in. He has been shortlisted on a few occasions, and I'm glad he 's finally won. TSOAE is a very short book, so it wouldn't take you long to read it Scher, and I highly recommend it. I would suggest Barnes is one of our greatest contemporary writers and well worth reading.

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    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.
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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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    I understand the sudden interest in Barnes is a result of his having just won the Booker. The history of literary prizes is generally laughable, as the the prizes are most often given to the wrong authors, or the right ones for the wrong books. Barnes's Booker is best described as belonging to that variety of "long overdue."

    Barnes is a formidable stylist, genuinely clever, and in possession of that rare faculty so thoroughly detested by readers of "serious literature:" a sense of humor. I'd tell you to read Flaubert's Parrot, The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, or Before She Met Me, but really you could just pick one of his novels at random and not be disappointed, so consistent is he in his craft.

    I would, however, advise against devising a reading list strictly around the winners of various prizes, as all you'll accomplish is compiling a list of books destined for irrelevancy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuntpickle View Post

    I would, however, advise against devising a reading list strictly around the winners of various prizes, as all you'll accomplish is compiling a list of books destined for irrelevancy.
    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?
    ~
    "It is not that I am mad; it is only that my head is different from yours.”
    ~


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