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Whilst I can appreciate the writing skills of Julian Barnes, I did not enjoy the book. For my reading taste, it is too much of a downer. However, that said, it has some comical moments in it, and it is artfully written. It was a book group choice, and in our discussion, there was still a lot of confusion as to what exactly happened and who did what, so clearly, the author did not manage to convey all the necessary details - or left us in the dark deliberately.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-10-31 In Barnes's (Flaubert's Parrot) latest, winner of the 2011 Man-Booker Prize, protagonist Tony Webster has lived an average life with an unremarkable career, a quiet divorce, and a calm middle age. Now in his mid-60s, his retirement is thrown into confusion when he's bequeathed a journal that belonged to his brilliant school-friend, Adrian, who committed suicide 40 years earlier at age 22. Though he thought he understood the events of his youth, he's forced to radically revise what he thought he knew about Adrian, his bitter parting with his mysterious first lover Veronica, and reflect on how he let life pass him by safely and predictably. Barnes's spare and luminous prose splendidly evokes the sense of a life whose meaning (or meaninglessness) is inevitably defined by "the sense of an ending" which only death provides. Despite its focus on the blindness of youth and the passage of time, Barnes's book is entirely unpretentious. From the haunting images of its first pages to the surprising and wrenching finale, the novel carries readers with sensitivity and wisdom through the agony of lost time. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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