Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

Flaubert's Parrot (original 1984; edition 1990)

by Julian Barnes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,763402,118 (3.68)193
Title:Flaubert's Parrot
Authors:Julian Barnes
Info:Vintage (1990), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes (1984)

Recently added byprivate library, debicakes77, morroJean, PaulusK, jessicaofthebees, PhilD57, zmeischa, valerietheblonde
Legacy LibrariesEeva-Liisa Manner
  1. 20
    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Two inhibited, unreliable narrators
  2. 10
    Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: "Madame Bovary, c'est moi": Wer also mehr über Flaubert erfahren möchte (und jeder und jede andere auch), sollte unbedingt diesen Klassiker lesen.
  3. 10
    The Fiction of Julian Barnes (Readers' Guides to Essential Criticism) by Vanessa Guignery (KayCliff)
  4. 10
    Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert (wrmjr66)
    wrmjr66: If you like Three Tales, you might enjoy Flaubert's Parrot, but if you like Flaubert's Parrot, you must read Three Tales!
  5. 10
    Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov (the_awesome_opossum)
  6. 00
    The Conjuror's Bird by Martin Davies (bergs47)
  7. 01
    Gesammelte Werke. 8 Bände. Schriften zur Literatur. by Jean-Paul Sartre (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Was können wir über Flaubert wissen, hat sich auch Sartre gefragt und in "Der Idiot der Familie" beantwortet. Es handelt sich um eine mehrbändige (!) Biografie vermischt mit philosophischen und psychoanalytischen Betrachtungen.

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 193 mentions

English (35)  Spanish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (40)
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I enjoyed this work but not because it is a good novel. If you want to read a straightforward story this would not be a good choice. I would describe this as a book that is many things. It is a biographical story of Gustave Flaubert. It is a discussion of literary techniques and writing and within these aspects is the story of Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired doctor who is traveling around France searching out truths of Gustave Flaubert. It starts with the Parrot, the stuffed parrot that was borrowed from the Museum of Rouen to help with writing one of Flaubert’s novels and the discovering that there is more than one stuffed parrot. Which is the real parrot? But there is something else that is driving Geoffrey besides his obsession with Flaubert. There is another mystery besides the parrot. Slowly the reader is given bits and pieces of information of Geoffrey. We know his wife is gone. He even says to us “you think I killed her” I really enjoyed the discourse on literary mistakes, choices of endings (happy/unhappy, half and half, modernist, end of the world, cliffhanger, surrealist, opaque, dream. And as always, I like books about grieving and death. So in many ways this earned four stars for me though I expect I will be in the minority. ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 1, 2015 |
Extraordinary study of Flaubert by the brilliant Julian Barnes.
Insightful,funny at times, sad at others.
A great read for lovers of good literature ( )
  sogamonk | Oct 21, 2014 |
I have never been more relieved to have finished a book (excpet maybe when I read Bleak House in a few days for university)

Barnes is clearly talented and I assume there is something about this book I just don't get. It wasn't really my sort of this but I read it for my course. it was written well, it just wasn't interesting to me. ( )
  Jayne.Winn | Jun 26, 2014 |
Blurb......... Geoffrey Braithwaite is a retired doctor haunted by an obsession with the great French literary genius, Gustave Flaubert. As Geoffrey investigates the mystery of the stuffed parrot Flaubert borrowed from the Museum of Rouen to help research one of his novels, we learn an enormous amount about the writer's work, family, lovers, thought processes, health and obsessions. But we also gradually come to learn some important and shocking details about Geoffrey himself.

My take...

Always a sucker for a smart cover, and add in the fact that it had been enjoyed and praised by no less than the likes of John Irving and Graham Greene, with a price tag of a whopping 30p in whatever charity shop I was browsing about 10 years ago and it was pretty much a given that I would be reading this sometime in the distant future.

After a previous start, stall, stop attempt to read this some years ago, I reopened it with a new found determination to read it start to finish and hopefully at the same time enjoy it.

Well in places it was okay, amusing and informative. In other places it was dull and tedious and though it is classed as a novel, it has a strange structure to it. One of the plus points was it was relatively short!

I’ve found some detail out about Gustave Flaubert that I previously didn’t know; a French author of the 19th Century, who’s first published work – Madame Bovary - brought him and his publisher up on immorality charges, of which he was acquitted. Flaubert is regarded by some as one of the greatest novelists of Western Literature. He never married, he took on average about five years or so on each book, plus he at some time borrowed a stuffed parrot.

I haven’t been inspired to go and seek out anything from Flaubert to form my own opinion on his value as a great exponent of Western prose. Similarly neither have I been encouraged to seek out much else that Barnes has penned, apart from his recent book - A Sense Of An Ending - which I’ll get to sometime, though it might be another 10 years or so.

On reflection, it was probably a bit better than a 2 from 5, but not quite a 3, but in the process of rounding up 3 from 5 it is.

As indicated earlier, I bought this copy second-hand.

Read and reviewed back In November, 2012
http://col2910.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11... ( )
  col2910 | Apr 17, 2014 |
Posmodernistički roman, katkad težak za pratiti, ali opet, ima dijelova koji sasvim ponesu svojim humorom, originalnošću, odličnom uporabom različitih formi koje razbijaju monotoniju izraza (popisi, zadaci za ispit, kronologije) i zanimljivim pogledom na Flaubertov život...uz malo i osobne tragedije glavnog pripovjedača...lako se prevariti i zamisliti ovo kao osobnu ispovijed autora, zbilja i fikcija su isprepletene (kao što obično i jest slučaj). Svakako ne odustati na prvoj prepreci.
( )
  Sanja_Sanjalica | Mar 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
When you write the biography of a friend,
you must do it as if you were taking revenge for him.

Flaubert, letter to Ernest Feydeau, 1872
To Pat
First words
Six North Africans were playing boules beneath Flaubert's statue.
Books say: she did this because. Life says: she did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where they aren’t.
On the site there now stands a large paper-mill ... The vast paper factory was churning away on the site of Flaubert's house. I wandered inside; they were happy to show me round. I gazed at the pistons, the steam, the vats and the slopping trays: so much wetness to produce something so dry as paper. I asked my guide if they made any sort of paper that was used for books; she said they made every sort of paper. The tour, I realized, would not prove sentimental. Above our heads a huge drum of paper, some twenty feet wide, was slowly tracking along on a conveyor. It seemed out of proportion to its surroundings, like a piece of pop sculpture on a deliberately provoking scale. I remarked that it resembled a gigantic roll of lavatory paper; my guide confirmed that this was exactly what it was.
Literature includes politics, and not vice versa. Novelists who think their writing an instrument of politics seem to me to degrade writing and foolishly exalt politics. No, I'm not saying they should be forbidden from having political opinions or from making political statements. It's just that they should call that part of their work journalism. The writer who imagines that the novel is the most effective way of taking part in politics is usually a bad novelist, a bad journalist, and a bad politician.
When she dies, you are not at first surprised. Part of love is preparing for death. ... Afterwards comes the madness. And then the loneliness. ... Other people think you want to talk ... you find the language of bereavement foolishly inadequate.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679731369, Paperback)

Just what sort of book is Flaubert's Parrot, anyway? A literary biography of 19th-century French novelist, radical, and intellectual impresario Gustave Flaubert? A meditation on the uses and misuses of language? A novel of obsession, denial, irritation, and underhanded connivery? A thriller complete with disguises, sleuthing, mysterious meetings, and unknowing targets? An extended essay on the nature of fiction itself?

On the surface, at first, Julian Barnes's book is the tale of an elderly English doctor's search for some intriguing details of Flaubert's life. Geoffrey Braithwaite seems to be involved in an attempt to establish whether a particularly fine, lovely, and ancient stuffed parrot is in fact one originally "borrowed by G. Flaubert from the Museum of Rouen and placed on his worktable during the writing of Un coeur simple, where it is called Loulou, the parrot of Felicité, the principal character of the tale."

What begins as a droll and intriguing excursion into the minutiae of Flaubert's life and intellect, along with an attempt to solve the small puzzle of the parrot--or rather parrots, for there are two competing for the title of Gustave's avian confrere--soon devolves into something obscure and worrisome, the exploration of an arcane Braithwaite obsession that is perhaps even pathological. The first hint we have that all is not as it seems comes almost halfway into the book, when after a humorously cantankerous account of the inadequacies of literary critics, Braithwaite closes a chapter by saying, "Now do you understand why I hate critics? I could try and describe to you the expression in my eyes at this moment; but they are far too discoloured with rage." And from that point, things just get more and more curious, until they end in the most unexpected bang.

One passage perhaps best describes the overall effect of this extraordinary story: "You can define a net in one of two ways, depending on your point of view. Normally, you would say that it is a meshed instrument designed to catch fish. But you could, with no great injury to logic, reverse the image and define the net as a jocular lexicographer once did: he called it a collection of holes tied together with string." Julian Barnes demonstrates that it is possible to catch quite an interesting fish no matter how you define the net. --Andrew Himes

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:43 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

In an Appalachian city recovering from a plague called the Crumble, Anna waits for her friend's return and the plague's sole survivor Rory finds his solitary life interrupted by Eugenio, who is investigating the cause of the catastrophe.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
15 avail.
62 wanted
6 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.68)
0.5 1
1 6
1.5 2
2 45
2.5 19
3 134
3.5 45
4 203
4.5 33
5 98


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,000,675 books! | Top bar: Always visible