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4.3 out of 5 stars
142
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Price:£5.49


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VINE VOICEon 31 July 2017
I was never really engaged by this Julian Barnes novella. It's rather gloomy reflections on the themes of love and grief bordered on the self indulgent at times as the author relates his experiences and emotions following the death of his wife. This revelation follows the events of the first half of the book which are mostly concerned with the activities of a number of pioneering hot air balloonists in the 19th century. These characters really existed and it is their emotions and loves which are compared with the feelings that the uxorious author had after his wife died. The themes didn't really interest me that much. I've more or less concluded that the pluses associated with love are greatly outweighed by the minuses involved and the authors melancholy introspection and sorrow seemed to confirm that in my mind. The novel is well written and thoughtful but it just wasn't my sort of book. I only bought it because I thought the author's book about Shostakovich, The Noise Of Time ,was superb.
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on 16 May 2014
how could the author make my adrenaline rush and how did i feel as if i was reading a thriller when i began reading a mild memoir kind of jaunty diary meandering kind of story ... incredible how the pace changed .. and there are no explosions or fire balls .. it was all in my mind .. the panic that is .. the sheer panic to find out ...
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on 13 September 2017
Wonderful study of grief - so insightful.
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on 6 March 2016
Not one of his best but quite light and very readable.
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on 14 August 2017
The best living British author, in my opinion.
Subject difficult, writing brilliant.
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on 30 January 2015
These three short pieces slide into one another, although they are ostensibly very different. The first is factual and the second is mostly imagined, although the people are real. In them, every word is perfectly chosen and placed to make reading them an almost sensual experience. However, it is the third piece, in which Barnes writes about the death of his wife, that will stay in my memory forever. This is not an outpouring of grief, rather it is a precise dissection of it. Grief has many components and the author considers them one by one with forensic skill.

I have never known grief of this magnitude, but this book has made me understand something of what it would be like. One thing I am sure of though, is that no amount of foreknowledge would be any consolation.
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on 4 November 2016
I would highly reccomend this book to anyone who is grieving or has ever grieved. It is quite simply astonishingly brilliant.
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on 14 July 2017
The second part was good, very moving, the first part no my cup of tea.
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on 6 April 2017
This wasn't my favourite Julian Barnes. I found it moving but at the same time depressing.
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on 5 June 2017
Excellent follow up to Love Etc.
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