Book Reviews & Essays on Literature

The Noise of Time, by Julian Barnes

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Hardcover, Random House Canada, May 10 2016, 201 pp. The cover image of a painting by Iosif Serebryany of composer Dmitry Shostakovich, now in the Tretyakov State Gallery, Moscow.

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…)

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