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A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters (Vintage International) Paperback – 31 Dec 1990

4.1 out of 5 stars 74 customer reviews

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Paperback, 31 Dec 1990
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (31 Dec. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679731377
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679731375
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (74 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,412,861 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

‘Frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic, and a delight to read’ -- Salman Rushdie, Observer

‘You will want to read it again and again, and why not? – there’s nothing around to touch it’ -- Anne Smith, Literary Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

‘Frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic, and a delight to read. Barnes is like a worldly, secular reincarnation of a medieval gloss-writer on sacred texts, and what he offers us is the novel as footnote to history, as subversion of the given, as brilliant, elaborate doodle around the margins of what we know we think about what we think we know’ Salman Rushdie, Observer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Julian Barnes - one of my favourite authors. Another reason to go on to his latest work.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very clever, very different from anything else I have read, interweaves stories seamlessly, and indeed does tell the history of the world and its' population from life to death.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am not always convinced by Barnes but thought this book was terrific, his best that I have read. It is a collection of narratives covering very different topics in a range of styles, unified by a number of themes, specifically Noah's ark and the question of how memories are transmitted. Some of the chapters work better than others, but for me the Noah's Ark and raft of Medusa ones stood out and were worth the price of admission by themselves. He can be both thought-provoking and hilariously funny, a winning combination as far as I am concerned.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Excellent Quality" was very far from the truth. Stains on the cover and tatty condition.
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Format: Paperback
Not a big JB fan, as I often find him a bit too "literary" and "clever for the sake of being clever" for my taste. This one is a bit different, though. Full of thought provoking ideas, it's not really got anything to do with the history of the world. More a series of unique short stories, but many with recurring themes. Death, the perception of loss, decay.... The chapters are so different and Barnes writes with such style and wit that there will be one in here which chimes with almost everyone. I loved the raft of the medusa and the story about heaven. Not too heavy. Made me smile and think. And realise why I'm never going to be a writer! Recommended.
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Format: Paperback
I was determined to hate this book. Being forced to read it for A Level has condemned many other books, but Julian Barnes caught me out. This is a truly remarkable novel and one which will get you thinking about yourself and the people around you. It mixes iconaclasm and irony to perfection. I defy anyone to dislike the modren day classic!
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a very entertaining read. It's essentially a collection of short stories linked by a common theme. I enjoyed some 'chapters' better than others, but they are all definitely worth a read. Many of them are witty and most are really thought-provoking.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this some years ago and my impression was that the author thought he was wonderful.

The only story I remember from this collection loosely placed through time, is one about Noah's Ark. This is told from the point of view of a woodworm pair who stowed away (or how would we have woodworms now, is the implication) and managed to remain hidden, though Noah was determined to find those noisy death-watch beetles similarly eating his timbers. Apparently I should put a spoiler before saying that not all the animals survive the ordeal, but I would have thought that this was a given. I have to think that this is a satire.

The other stories weren't funny, though in some cases it was clear that the author thought they were. I'm told some of his other works are good.
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