However, the essays in the first half of the book go some way towards fulfilling the publishers promise that Barnes "ranges widely" through French life and culture. Memories of his time as an assistant at a school in Brittany link neatly with an admiring assessment of three archetypal French singers--Jacques Brel, Georges Brassens and Boris Vian. An account of Edith Wharton and Henry James making a stately tour of France in 1907 is juxtaposed with an essay on the Tour de France and its importance to the French public. Truffaut is lauded and the ineffable Jean-Luc Godard is enjoyably trashed. Though Barnes is characteristically cool and ironic in these essays, "a passionate relationship with France" does emerge from Something to Declare--and with Flaubert, of course. --Nick Rennison
I've enjoyed a few of this author's books. He's good to read if you like real world stuff. But I'm going back to detective novels for a bit.Published 5 months ago by Raibeart
I love some of Julian Barnes's books, but not this one.
The Amazon book description starts off.." Eighteen witty and brilliant essays..."
Witty !? Read more
curious book. starts as a defined selection of essays. Then it evolves into a Flaubert homage. I enjoyed the first 3rd a lot, but lost the level really as it went on so I guess... Read morePublished on 17 May 2011 by Johan RF