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on 8 January 2012
Didn't gain anything from this novel at any level, through the story line or through any interesting allegorical interpretation......nor was I entertained. There are so many acknowledged classics to read that I for one won't be in a hurry to seek out any modern pretenders like this. Thank goodness for Dickens, Trollope, Collins, Austen and the like.
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on 31 January 2000
Wonderfully written and a powerful idea but surprisingly not a page-turner. If you make it to half-way persevere, but if not fear not.
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on 12 December 2012
I did not like the whole virtual reality concept here. I can see what the author was getting at but did not appreciate either style or content although there were some redeeming amusing moments but not enough for me to have patience with the story.
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What a fabulous book, a pleasure to read but more than that, it makes you consider events in a different way. I have recommended this book to everyone
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on 19 October 1998
Recent reviews have all concentrated upon the patchey nature of Julian Barnes's recent Booker nominated novel 'England, England'. For once the reviewers are right!. The opening chapter is a delight to read, setting up the central theme of the myth of nationality and inparticular 'Englishness' through a nuanced and subtle exploration of a young girls memory. However, this opening quality soon gives way to often crass and tasteless passages that are further let down by a distinct absence of writing quality. The passage containing the sexual exploits of the MD character as he dresses in baby outfit and is massaged until he literally s**ts on the prositute is one such episode. At times Barnes does come back with episodes of quality such as when he theorises the myth making that he examines; and occasionally he is funny (the vist of the king to the island in particular) but overall this is a poor performance.
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on 14 October 1999
The conceit would have been perfect for a short story. Unfortunately, this novel has few other ideas, and it becomes increasingly laboured. The last third shows some mildly interesting development, but by then you have long ceased to care.
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on 5 December 2000
"a reader from scotland" sums this tiresome book up well, and I have just given up after 50 pages. This is seemingly attempting to be a clever clever satire and the writing and dialogue is actually very irritating. It is getting frustrating wasting time trawling through novels like this and overhyped rubbish from other "modern UK literary figures" (Tony Parsons, Martin Amis etc etc), which have lovely blurbs from their mates on the back covers. I think ill just stick to american novels from now on
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on 1 December 1999
I have read to the last ten pages of this book, and just couldn't be bothered to finish it off. With no interesting characters to latch onto, and a plot which meanders slowly, I really have no interest in knowing what happens in the end. Barnes has done much better, maybe this should have been a short story.
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on 21 March 2001
Julian Barnes... you have managed to capture the spirit of the English in one novel. I won't say if that is a good thing... or a bad thing!
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on 11 November 2009
This book was not amongst those that I would want to immediately reread. This might say more about me than the text.

I believe that reading is a personal journey, so please consider the book for yourself.

I did read from start to finish, but the text was more subtle than my poor brain!

Should you live on The Isle of Wight, I rather feel that although the book might appear to threaten your lifestyles, the author does so with his tongue in his cheek!

I believe that there are parables within the text as opposed to prophecy!

I have been unable to insert a product link, as it appears that amazon no longer sells it!
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