The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 158
Release: 2011-10-05
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307957330


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BOOKER PRIZE WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A novel that follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance: one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single setting, The Sense of an Ending has the psychological and emotional depth and sophistication of Henry James at his best, and is a stunning achievement in Julian Barnes's oeuvre. Tony Webster thought he left his past behind as he built a life for himself, and his career has provided him with a secure retirement and an amicable relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, who now has a family of her own. But when he is presented with a mysterious legacy, he is forced to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending
Author: Frank Kermode
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Total Pages: 224
Release: 2000-04-06
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 0199839530


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Frank Kermode is one of our most distinguished critics of English literature. Here, he contributes a new epilogue to his collection of classic lectures on the relationship of fiction to age-old concepts of apocalyptic chaos and crisis. Prompted by the approach of the millennium, he revisits the book which brings his highly concentrated insights to bear on some of the most unyielding philosophical and aesthetic enigmas. Examining the works of writers from Plato to William Burrows, Kermode shows how they have persistently imposed their "fictions" upon the face of eternity and how these have reflected the apocalyptic spirit. Kermode then discusses literature at a time when new fictive explanations, as used by Spenser and Shakespeare, were being devised to fit a world of uncertain beginning and end. He goes on to deal perceptively with modern literature with "traditionalists" such as Yeats, Eliot, and Joyce, as well as contemporary "schismatics," the French "new novelists," and such seminal figures as Jean-Paul Sartre and Samuel Beckett. Whether weighing the difference between modern and earlier modes of apocalyptic thought, considering the degeneration of fiction into myth, or commenting on the vogue of the Absurd, Kermode is distinctly lucid, persuasive, witty, and prodigal of ideas.

The Noise of Time

The Noise of Time
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 170
Release: 2016-05-10
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 110194725X


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From the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending comes an extraordinary fictional portrait of the relentlessly fascinating Russian musician and composer Dmitri Shostakovich and a stunning meditation on the meaning of art and its place in society. • “Brilliant…. As elegantly constructed as a concerto.” —NPR 1936: Dmitri Shostakovich, just thirty years old, reckons with the first of three conversations with power that will irrevocably shape his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has suddenly denounced the young composer’s latest opera. Certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, shot dead on the spot), Shostakovich reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, his daughter—all of those hanging in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, he will twice more be swept up by the forces of despotism: coerced into praising the Soviet state at a cultural conference in New York in 1948, and finally bullied into joining the Party in 1960. All the while, he is compelled to constantly weigh the specter of power against the integrity of his music.

Tell Me an Ending

Tell Me an Ending
Author: Jo Harkin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 448
Release: 2022-03-01
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1982164344


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Named a Best Science Fiction Book of 2022 by The New York Times “Sharply, beautifully written.” —The New York Times Book Review “Intriguing, frightening, witty, and humane.” —The Wall Street Journal Black Mirror meets Severence in this thrilling speculative novel about a tech company that deletes unwanted memories, the consequences for those forced to deal with what they tried to forget, and the doctor who seeks to protect her patients from further harm. What if you didn’t have to live with your worst memories? Across the world, thousands of people are shocked by a notification that they once chose to have a memory removed. Now they are being given an opportunity to get that memory back. Four individuals are filled with new doubts, grappling with the unexpected question of whether to remember unknown events, or to leave them buried forever. Finn, an Irish architect living in the Arizona desert, begins to suspect his charming wife of having an affair. Mei, a troubled grad school dropout in Kuala Lumpur, wonders why she remembers a city she has never visited. William, a former police inspector in England, struggles with PTSD, the breakdown of his marriage, and his own secret family history. Oscar, a handsome young man with almost no memories at all, travels the world in a constant state of fear. Into these characters’ lives comes Noor, a psychologist working at the Nepenthe memory removal clinic in London. The process of reinstating patients’ memories begins to shake the moral foundations of her world. As she delves deeper into how the program works, she will have to risk everything to uncover the cost of this miraculous technology. A provocative exploration of secrets, grief, and identity—of the stories we tell ourselves—Tell Me an Ending is “an intellectually and emotionally satisfying thriller” (Booklist).

Veronica

Veronica
Author: Mary Gaitskill
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2013-03-13
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307833321


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A finalist for the National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, here is an evocative novel about female friendship in the glittering 1980s. Alison and Veronica meet amid the nocturnal glamour of 1980s New York: One is a young model stumbling away from the wreck of her career, the other an eccentric middle-aged office temp. Over the next twenty years their friendship will encompass narcissism and tenderness, exploitation and self-sacrifice, love and mortality. Moving seamlessly from present and past, casting a fierce yet compassionate eye on two eras and their fixations, the result is a work of timeless depth and moral power.

Levels of Life

Levels of Life
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 90
Release: 2013-09-24
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
ISBN: 0385350783


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From the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending comes an elegant triptych of history, fiction, and memoir—a "wise, funny, and devastating ... discourse on love and sorrow" (The New York Times Book Review). In this “deeply stirring” book (The Boston Globe), Julian Barnes writes about ballooning and photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and tearing them apart; and enduring after the incomprehensible loss of a loved one. Powerfully rendered, exquisitely crafted in Barnes’s erudite style, this searing work confirms the author as an unparalleled magus of the heart.

The Only Story

The Only Story
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 213
Release: 2018-04-17
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0525521291


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From the bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of an Ending comes “a brilliant, rueful look at love—what we do for it, how we experience it and what makes it die” (People). One summer in the sixties, in a staid suburb south of London, nineteen-year-old Paul comes home from university and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. There he’s partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who’s forty-eight, confident, witty, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is a warm companion, her bond with Paul immediate. And soon, inevitably, they are lovers. Basking in the glow of one another, they set up house together in London. Decades later, Paul looks back at how they fell in love and how—gradually, relentlessly—everything fell apart. As he turns over his only story in his mind, examining it from different vantage points, he finds himself confronted with the contradictions and slips of his own memory—and the ways in which our narratives and our lives shape one another. Poignant, vivid and profound, The Only Story is a searing novel of memory, devotion, and how first love fixes a life forever.

Arthur & George

Arthur & George
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Total Pages: 445
Release: 2009-02-24
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307371417


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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

Jane Two

Jane Two
Author: Sean Patrick Flanery
Publisher: Center Street
Total Pages: 298
Release: 2016-04-05
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1455539422


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A coming of age debut novel from The Boondock Saints and Young Indiana Jones actor Sean Patrick Flanery.A young Mickey navigates through the dense Texas humidity of the 70s and out onto the porch every single time his Granddaddy calls him, where he's presented with the heirloom recipe for life, love, and manhood. But all the logic and insight in the world cannot prepare him to operate correctly in the presence of a wonderfully beautiful little girl who moves in just behind his rear fence. How will this magical moment divide Mickey's life into a "before and after" and permanently change his motion and direct it down the unpaved road to which only a lucky few are granted access?

England, England

England, England
Author: Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage Canada
Total Pages: 259
Release: 2012-12-18
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 030736755X


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Grotesque visionary Sir Jack Pitman has an idea. Since most people are too lazy to travel from landmark to landmark, why not simplify things and create a new England on the Isle of Wight? Unfortunately, his idea is a huge success, and the resulting theme park threatens to supersede the original. Called England, England, it has all the elements of "Old England" in one convenient location. Wander into the new Sherwood Forest and you may spot Robin Hood and his now sexually ambiguous Merrie Men. Or take a stroll to see Stonehenge and Anne Hathaway's Cottage, enjoy a ploughman's lunch atop the White Cliffs of Dover, then pop over to see the Royals, now on contract to Sir Jack, in their scaled-down version of Buckingham Palace. Every detail has been considered: even the postcards come pre-stamped! Julian Barnes' first novel in six years is a ferociously funny examination of the search for authenticity and truth in a fabricated world.