Talking It Over Books In Publication Order
- Talking It Over (1991)
- Love, Etc. (1992)
Standalone Novels In Publication Order
- Metroland (1980)
- Before She Met Me (1982)
- Flaubert’s Parrot (1984)
- Staring at the Sun (1986)
- A History of the World in 10½Chapters (1989)
- The Porcupine (1992)
- England, England (1998)
- Arthur & George (2005)
- The Sense of an Ending (2011)
- The Noise of Time (2016)
- The Only Story (2018)
Standalone Plays In Publication Order
- Arthur and George: Stage Version (1986)
Short Stories/Novellas In Publication Order
- Cross Channel (1996)
- Evermore (1996)
- Explaining the Explicit (2013)
- Homage to Hemingway (2015)
Non-Fiction Books In Publication Order
- Letters From London (1995)
- Something to Declare (2002)
- The Pedant in the Kitchen (2003)
- Nothing to be Frightened Of (2008)
- Keeping an Eye Open (2011)
- A Life with Books (2012)
- Through the Window (2012)
- Levels of Life (2013)
- Death (2017)
- The Man in the Red Coat (2019)
Short Story Collections In Publication Order
- The Lemon Table (2004)
- Pulse (2011)
Anthologies In Publication Order
- Birds of Prey (2010)
- The Library Book (2012)
Talking It Over Book Covers
Standalone Novels Book Covers
Standalone Plays Book Covers
Short Stories/Novellas Book Covers
Non-Fiction Book Covers
Short Story Collections Book Covers
Anthologies Book Covers
Julian Barnes Books Overview
In this powerfully affecting Flaubert’s Parrot gives readers a brilliant take on the deceptions that make up the quivering substrata of erotic love. ‘An interplay of serious thought and dazzling wit…
. It’s moving, it’s funny, it’s frightening…
fiction at its best.’ New York Times Book Review.
In matters of love and friendship, how much can be endured? What might be forgiven? And who given the inevitable, knotty complications is desirable still?From such questions, and using all the surprising, sophisticated ingredients of a delightful farce, Julian Barnes has created a tragicomedy of human frailties and needs. Love, Etc. stars three characters introduced a decade ago in Talking It Over to which this novel has an eerie, freestanding relation. Which is precisely how Stuart feels toward Gillian, his wife before his witty, feckless, former best friend Oliver stole her away. True, he did make a fuss at their subsequent wedding, and spied on them in their French village; but he was agreeable about the divorce, moved to America, remarried briefly, prospered, then returned to London shortly after Oliver and Gillian, avec les enfants, did. Meanwhile, Oliver’s artistic ambitions have turned to ashes in his mouth, so it s Gillian supporting the household until Stuart rejoins them. What transpires to further complicate the situation doesn t bear repeating, especially as the three principals along with many others are allowed to speak directly to the reader, to whisper their secrets and argue their own particular versions of what actually happened, and why. Indeed, emerging from this crux are a number of truths we all live by: faith and generosity, trust and commitment, toward ourselves and our loved ones; or, absent those, banality and even brutality. Every bit as funny and intelligent as anything Julian Barnes has written, Love, Etc. is also fabulously engaging, powerfully dramatic, and profoundly unsettling.
As adolescents, Christopher and Toni sneered at the stifling ennui of Metroland, their patch of suburbia on the Metropolitan Line. They longed for life to begin with sex and freedom, and the ability to make their own decisions. Now thirty, Chris starts to settle comfortably into bourgeois contentment himself. Luckily, Toni is still around to challenge such backsliding…
Graham was an historian: he was meant to be an expert on the past. But there were aspects of it, he discovered, that couldn’t be subdued, that simply carried on, lively and painful, as if they were the present. He began to mind. He minded very much indeed. While those around him look on with concern, with contempt, with amuseme*nt Graham’s meticulous passion gradually begins to run out of control. Julian Barnes presents an unnerving version of sexual jealousy and shows it to be not just living, but reasonable, ordinary, funny, dangerous and consuming.
Which of two stuffed parrots was the inspiration for one of Flaubert’s greatest stories? Why did the master keep changing the colour of Emma Bovary’s eyes? And why should it matter so much to Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired doctor haunted by a private secret? In ‘Flaubert’s Parrot‘, Julian Barnes spins out a multiple mystery of obsession and betrayal both scholarly and romantic and creates an exuberant enquiry into the ways in which art mirrors life and then turns around to shape it. ‘A gem: an unashamed literary novel that is also unashamed to be readable, and broadly entertaining. Bravo!’ John Irving. ‘Endless food for thought, beautifully written…
A tour de force’ Germaine Greer. ‘Delightful and enriching…
A book to read’ Joseph Heller. ‘A dazzling achievement…
remarkably inventive as well as audacious’ Walter Abish. ‘A delight…
Handsomely the best novel published in England in 1984′ John Fowles.
A fighter pilot, high above the English Channel in 1941, watches the sun rise; he descends 10,000 feet and then, to his amazement, finds the sun beginning to rise again. With this haunting image Julian Barnes’ novel begins. It charts the life of Jean Serjeant, from her beginnings as a naive, carefree country girl before the war through to her wry and trenchant old age in the year 2020. We follow her bruising experience in marriage, her questioning of male truths, her adventures in motherhood and in China; we learn the questions she asks of life and the often unsatisfactory answers it provides.
A stowaway aboard Noah’s Ark gives us his account of the Voyage a surprising, subversive one, quite unlike the official version which explains a lot about how the human race has subsequently developed. A guest lecturer on a cruise ship in the Aegean has his work interrupted by a group of mysterious visitors who place him in a cruel dilemma. An ecclesiastical court in medieval France hears a bizarre case…
Barnes creates a kaleidoscope of narrative voices from fiction and fact, painting and snatches of autobiography that comes slowly and compellingly into focus.’You will want to read it again and again, and why not? There’s nothing around to touch it’ Anne Smith, ‘Literary Review.’ ‘There is more moral and intellectual fodder, and more jokes, here than you will read in a month of Sundays…
storytelling and teaching which captivate, liberate, and above all, enchant’ ‘Financial Times.’ ‘Funny, ironic, erudite, surprising, and not afraid to take a dive overboard into the depths of sorrow and loss. My novel of the year’ Nadine Gordimer.
In his latest novel, Julian Barnes, author of Talking It Over and A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters, trains his laser bright prose on the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Stoyo Petkanov, the deposed Party leader, is placed on trial for crimes that range from corruption to political murder. Petkanov’s guilt and the righteousness of his opponents would seem to be self evident. But, as brilliantly imagined by Barnes, the trial of this cunning and unrepentant dictator illuminates the shadowy frontier between the rusted myths of the Communist past and a capitalist future in which everything is up for grabs.
Booker Prize Finalist’Wickedly funny.’ The New York TimesImagine an England where all the pubs are quaint, where the Windsors behave themselves mostly, where the cliffs of Dover are actually white, and where Robin Hood and his merry men really are merry. This is precisely what visionary tycoon, Sir Jack Pitman, seeks to accomplish on the Isle of Wight, a ‘destination’ where tourists can find replicas of Big Ben half size, Princess Di’s grave, and even Harrod’s conveniently located inside the tower of London. Martha Cochrane, hired as one of Sir Jack’s resident ‘no people,’ ably assists him in realizing his dream. But when this land of make believe gradually gets horribly and hilariously out of hand, Martha develops her own vision of the perfect England. Julian Barnes delights us with a novel that is at once a philosophical inquiry, a burst of mischief, and a moving elegy about authenticity and nationality.
Brilliantly imagined and irresistibly readable, Arthur & George is a major new novel from Julian Barnes, a wonderful combination of playfulness, pathos and wisdom. Searching for clues, no one would ever guess that the lives of Arthur and George might intersect. Growing up in shabby genteel nineteenth century Edinburgh, Arthur is saddled with a dad who is a disgrace and a mum he wishes to protect, and is propelled into a life of action. To his astonishment, his career as a self made man of letters brings him riches and fame and, in the world at large, he becomes the perfect picture of the honourable English gentlemen. George is irredeemably an outsider, and has no hope of becoming such a picture. Though he’s dogged and logical, a vicar s son from rural Staffordshire, he is set apart, and he and his family are targeted in his boyhood by a poison pen campaign. George finds safe harbour in the reliability of rules, and grows up to become a solicitor, putting his faith in the insulating value of British justice. Then crisis upsets the uneasy equilibrium of both men s lives. Arthur is knocked for a loop by guilt and other dishonourable emotions. George is put to the sorest test, accused of a horrible crime. And from that point on their lives weave together in the most profound and surprising way, as each man becomes the other s salvation. Arthur & George is a masterful novel about low crime and high spirituality, guilt and innocence, identity, nationality and race. Most of all, it s a profound and witty meditation on the fateful differences between what we believe, what we know and what we can prove. George and his father pray together, kneeling side by side on the scrubbed boards. Then George climbs into bed while his father locks the door and turns out the light. As he falls asleep, George sometimes thinks of the floor, and how his soul must be scrubbed just as the boards are scrubbed. Father is not an easy sleeper, and has a tendency to groan and wheeze. Sometimes, in the early morning, when dawn is beginning to show at the edges of the curtains, Father will catechize him.’George, where do you live?”The Vicarage, Great Wyrley.”And where is that?”Staffordshire, Father.”And where is that?”The centre of England.”And what is England, George?”England is the beating heart of the Empire, Father.”Good. And what is the blood that flows through the arteries and veins of the Empire to reach even its farthest shore?”The Church of England.”Good, George.’And after a while Father will begin to groan and wheeze again. George watches the outline of the curtain harden. He lies there thinking of arteries and veins making red lines on the map of the world, linking Britain to all the places coloured pink: Australia and India and Canada and islands dotted everywhere. He thinks of blood bubbling though these tubes and emerging in Sydney, Bombay, the St. Lawrence Waterway. Bloodlines, that is a word he has heard somewhere. With the pulse of blood in his ears, he begins to fall asleep again. excerpt from Arthur & George
Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011 The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian Barnes’s new novel is laced with his trademark precision, dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world’s most distinguished writers. Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex hungry and book hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends forever. Until Adrian’s life took a turn into tragedy, and all of them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget. Now Tony is in middle age. He’s had a career and a marriage, a calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child, a daughter, and even with his ex wife. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted truths?
The gripping story of the sensational, real life case. In 1903, Birmingham solicitor George Edalji was found guilty of a crime and sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment. Desperate to prove his innocence, he recruited Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes, to help solve his case and win him a pardon.
In his first collection of short stories, Barnes explores the narrow body of water containing the vast sea of prejudice and misapprehension which lies between England and France with acuity humor, and compassion. For whether Barnes’s English characters come to France as conquerors or hostages, laborers, athletes, or aesthetes, what they discover, alongside rich food and barbarous sexual and religious practices, is their own ineradicable Englishness. The ten stories that make up Cross Channel introduce us to a plethora of intriguing, original, and sometimes ill fated characters. Elegantly conceived and seductively written, Cross Channel is further evidence of Barnes’s wizardry.
Since 1990 Julian Barnes has written a regular ‘Letter from London’ for the ‘New Yorker’ magazine. These already celebrated pieces cover subjects as diverse as the Lloyd’s insurance disaster, the rise and fall of Margaret Thatcher, the troubles of the Royal Family and the hapless Nigel Short in his battle with Gary Kasparov in the 1993 World Chess Finals. With an incisive as*sessment of Salman Rushdie’s plight and an analysis of the implications of being linked to the Continent via the Channel Tunnel, ‘Letters From London‘ provides a vivid and telling portrait of Britain in the Nineties.
Anyone who loves France or just feels strongly about it, or has succumbed to the spell of Julian Barnes’s previous books, will be enraptured by this collection of essays on the country and its culture.
Barnes s appreciation extends from France s vanishing peasantry to its hyper literate pop singers, from the gleeful iconoclasm of nouvelle vague cinema to the orgy of drugs and suffering that is the Tour de France. Above all, Barnes is an unparalleled connoisseur of French writing and writers. Here are the prolific and priapic Simenon, Baudelaire, Sand and Sartre, and several dazzling excursions on the prickly genius of Flaubert. Lively yet discriminating in its enthusiasm, seemingly infinite in its range of reference, and written in prose as stylish as haute couture, Something to Declare is an unadulterated joy.
This work is an elegant account of Julian Barnes’ search for gastronomic precision. It is a quest that leaves him seduced by Jane Grigson, infuriated by Nigel slater and reassured by Mrs Beeton’s Victorian virtues. For anyone who has ever been defeated by a cookbook.
Two years after the best selling Arthur & George, Julian Barnes gives us a memoir on mortality that touches on faith and science and family as well as a rich array of exemplary figures who over the centuries have confronted the same questions he now poses about the most basic fact of life: its inevitable extinction. If the fear of death is the most rational thing in the world, how does one contend with it? An atheist at twenty, an agnostic at sixty, Barnes looks into the various arguments for and against and with God, and at the bloodline whose archivist, following his parents death, he has become another realm of mystery, wherein a drawer of mementos and his own memories not to mention those of his philosopher brother often fail to connect. There are other ancestors, too: the writers most of them dead, and quite a few of them French who are his daily companions, supplemented by composers and theologians and scientists whose similar explorations are woven into this account with an exhilarating breadth of intellect and felicity of spirit. Deadly serious, masterfully playful, and surprisingly hilarious, Nothing to be Frightened Of is a riveting display of how this supremely gifted writer goes about his business and a highly personal tour of the human condition and what might follow the final diagnosis.
Audio CD, Whole Story Audio Books
Master prose stylist Julian Barnes presents a collection of stories whose characters are growing old and facing the end of their lives some with bitterness, some with resignation and others with raging defiance. Life is just a premature reaction to death, was what Viv’s husband used to say. Once her lover and friend, he is now Viv s semi helpless charge, who is daily sinking ever deeper into dementia. In Appetite, Viv has found a way to reach her husband: by reading aloud snippets of recipe books until he calls out indelible and sometimes unfortunate scenes locked away in his brain. In The Things You Know, two elderly friends enjoy their monthly breakfast meetings that neither would ever think of missing. Of course, all they really have in common is a fondness for flat suede shoes and a propensity for thinking spiteful, unspoken thoughts about one another s dead husbands. The Fruit Cage is narrated by a middle aged man whose seemingly orderly upbringing is harrowingly undone when he discovers that his parents old age is not necessarily a time of serenity but actually an age of aroused, perhaps violent, passions. In these stories, Julian Barnes displays the erudition, wit and uncanny insight into the human mind that mark him as one of today s great writers, one whose intellect and humour never obscure a genuine affection for his characters.
The stories in Julian Barnes’ long awaited third collection are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. Each character is bent to a Pulse, propelled on by success and loss, by new beginnings and endings. In ‘East Wind’ a divorced estate agent falls in love with a European waitress, but is tempted, despite his happiness, to investigate her past; in ‘The Limner’ a deaf painter discovers his patron’s likeness after spending time among his staff. Anchored off the coast of Brazil, Garibaldi spies his future wife through a telescope, and in ‘Marriage Lines’, a widower returns to a remote Scottish Island to relive a favourite holiday. These are also lives in flux in the ‘stages, transitions, arguments; incompatibilities which grow’ as in the title story, where a man reflects on the break up of his marriage, brought into new perspective by the actions of his parents; two writers, a ‘good team’, return from an event rehearsing familiar arguments; in ‘Gardener’s World’, a couple bond, fall out and bond again over flowers and vegetable patches. Positioned in between are a series of evenings at ‘Phil & Joanna’s’, where among the topics of conversation the environment, politics, the Britishness of marmalade, toilet graffiti and the perils of smoking we witness the guests’ lives shift in sections over the course of a year. Ranging from the domestic to the extraordinary, from the vineyards of Italy to the English seaside in winter, the stories in Pulse resonate and spark, each imbued with the humour, poignancy and perception that marks all Julian Barnes’ work. This is an imaginative and expertly constructed new collection from a master of the form.
‘Hill provides us with a reading list the equal of any degree course.’ The Times LondonIn pursuit of a book on her shelves, Susan Hill encountered dozens of others that she had never read, forgotten she owned, or wanted to read for a second time. The discovery inspired her to embark on a year long voyage through her books in order to get to know her own collection again. Susan Hill is the winner of numerous prestigious literary awards. She is the author of a highly successful crime series as well as the famous The Woman in Black.