The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes; The Only Story, by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a writer who does not waste words. While his subjects are often difficult and his novels contain references to specialized subjects, his writing is accessible to all readers through his clear ideas, deep understanding, and well-considered use of language.

The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes

The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a writer who does not waste words. While his subjects are often difficult and his novels contain references to specialized subjects, his writing is accessible to all readers through his clear ideas, deep understanding, and well-considered use of language. He has a very, very fine turn of phrase, no doubt about that. While always approaching his novels with a sense of trepidation, hoping I could “get” them, I now think of them as treasure boxes – foreboding when closed but glorious once unlocked. That is what The Noise of Time is like. For me, it was a completely serendipitous discovery of the marvel that is Dmitri Shostakovich, and his music. (Continue reading…)

 


The Only Story, by Julian Barnes (1st edition: April 17, 2018; hardcover; publisher: Knopf; 272 pages. This edition: Penguin Random House Canada; April 17, 2018; hardcover; 272 pages)

The Only Story, by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes’ latest novel is called The Only Story and, despite the subject (the “scandalous” love affair between a man in his twenties and a much older woman) I found it to be oddly downbeat and without much Angst. I think it is because the characters have such banal, middle-class backgrounds and are so repressed. Is this story of disappointed love also Barnes’ personal “only story”? One should not attribute an author’s personal emotions and motivations to his fictional work (after all, one reviews the book, not the author) but still…I hope that this was just pure fiction, the hand of a master painting a picture that is true to life, but still only a picture. (Keep on reading…)

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About M. Bijman

Avid reader, longtime writer of book reviews and literary analyses. Interested in literature, creativity and cognition, language and linguistics, musicology, and technology. Occasionally writes poems and bits of music.

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