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Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction
Flaubert's Parrot deals with Flaubert, parrots, bears and railways; with our sense of the past and our sense of abroad; with France and England, life and art, sex and death, George Sand and Louise Colet, aesthetics and redcurrant jam; and with its enigmatic narrator, a retired English doctor, whose life and secrets are slowly revealed.
A compelling weave of fiction and imaginatively ordered fact, Flaubert's Parrot is by turns moving and entertaining, witty and scholarly, and a tour de force of seductive originality.
Beginning with an unlikely stowaway's account of life on board Noah's Ark, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters presents a surprising, subversive, fictional history of earth told from several kaleidoscopic perspectives. Noah disembarks from his ark but he and his Voyage are not forgotten: they are revisited in on other centuries and other climes - by a Victorian spinster mourning her father, by an American astronaut on an obsessive personal mission. We journey to the Titanic, to the Amazon, to the raft of the Medusa, and to an ecclesiastical court in medieval France where a bizarre case is about to begin...
This is no ordinary history, but something stranger, a challenge and a delight for the reader's imagination. Ambitious yet accessible, witty and playfully serious, this is the work of a brilliant novelist.
'A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read ' Daily Telegraph
**Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011**
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.
Now Tony is retired. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. 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.
Now a major film
'BARNES'S MASTERPIECE' - OBSERVER
In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return.
‘Stunning’ Sunday Times
‘A profound meditation on power and the relationship of art and power… It is a masterpiece of sympathetic understanding… I don’t think Barnes has written a finer, more truthful or more profound book’ Scotsman
‘A tour de force by a master novelist at the top of his game’ Daily Express
*SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA BOOK AWARDS 2020*
'A bravura performance, highly entertaining' Evening Standard
The Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending takes us on a rich, witty tour of Belle Epoque Paris, via the life story of the pioneering surgeon Samuel Pozzi.
In the summer of 1885, three Frenchmen arrived in London for a few days' shopping. One was a Prince, one was a Count, and the third was a commoner, who four years earlier had been the subject of one of John Singer Sargent's greatest portraits. The commoner was Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist and free-thinker - a scientific man with a famously complicated private life.
Pozzi's life played out against the backdrop of the Parisian Belle Epoque. The beautiful age of glamour and pleasure more often showed its ugly side: hysterical, narcissistic, decadent and violent, with more parallels to our own age than we might imagine.
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE DUFF COOPER PRIZE 2019**
From the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comes a novel of profound insight and comic flare.
Shy, sensible banker Stuart has trouble with women; that is, until a fortuitous singles night, where he meets Gillian, a picture restorer recovering from a destructive affair. Stuart's best friend Oliver is his complete opposite - a language teacher who 'talks like a dictionary', brash and feckless. Soon Stuart and Gillian are married, but it is not long before a tentative friendship between the three evolves into something far different.
Talking it Over is a brilliant and intimate account of love's vicissitudes. It begins as a comedy of errors, then slowly darkens and deepens, drawing us compellingly into the quagmires of the heart.
From the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comes the highly entertaining sequel to Talking it Over.
In Talking it Over Gillian and Stuart were married until Oliver - witty, feckless Oliver - stole Gillian away. In Love, etc Julian Barnes revisits the three of them, using the same intimate technique of allowing the characters to speak directly to the reader, to whisper their secrets, to argue for their version of the truth. Darker and deeper than its predecessor, Love, etc is a compelling exploration of contemporary love and its betrayals.
You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed…
In Levels of Life Julian Barnes gives us Nadar, the pioneer balloonist and aerial photographer; he gives us Colonel Fred Burnaby, reluctant adorer of the extravagant Sarah Bernhardt; then, finally, he gives us the story of his own grief, unflinchingly observed.
This is a book of intense honesty and insight; it is at once a celebration of love and a profound examination of sorrow.
**ONE OF THE GUARDIAN'S 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE 21st CENTURY**
**THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER**
Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.
First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn’t know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, he’s proud of the fact his relationship flies in the face of social convention.
As he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.
Tender and wise, The Only Story is a deeply moving novel by one of Britain's greatest mappers of the human heart.
From the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comes an enthralling set of short stories.
No one has a better perspective on life on both sides of the channel than Julian Barnes. In these exquisitely crafted stories spanning several centuries, he takes as his universal theme the British in France; from the last days of a reclusive English composer, the beef consuming 'navvies' labouring on the Paris-Rouen railway to a lonely woman mourning the death of her brother on the battlefields of the Somme.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction
As every schoolboy knows, you can fit the whole of England on the Isle of Wight. Grotesque, visionary tycoon Sir Jack Pitman takes the saying literally and does exactly that. He constructs on the island 'The Project', a vast heritage centre containing everything 'English', from Big Ben to Stonehenge, from Manchester United to the white cliffs of Dover. The project is monstrous, risky, and vastly successful. In fact, it gradually begins to rival 'Old' England and even threatens to supersede it...
One of Barnes's finest and funniest novels, England, England calls into question the idea of replicas, truth vs fiction, reality vs art, nationhood, myth-making, and self-exploration.
'A brilliant, Swiftian fantasy' The Economist