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
2,844502,043 (3.66)204
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 byFrazinray, meandmybooks, private library, ahwellyes, boekenwijs, brenpike, Calyre, hadleyreads, katemad
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 204 mentions

English (45)  Spanish (2)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
This was an interesting look into the life of Gustave Flaubert through the eyes of Geoffrey Braithwaite. It is cleverly written with diverse chapters which are biographical, comical, interesting but sometimes reads like a textbook. If you are a Flaubert scholar and enjoy his writings such as; Madame Bovary, then I suggest that you read this book in order to learn more information about Flaubert. ( )
  eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
The narrator is Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired English doctor who is obsessed with everything about French author Gustave Flaubert. The book consists primarily of his meditations, both factual and supposed, about Flaubert’s life, work, and relationships. Braithwaite spends a lot of time focused on details about Flaubert that are so minor that they don’t really matter. As the novel progresses, the reader also can’t help but notice how Braithwaite’s own personal life and problems seem to be taking up more of his thoughts and how similar they seem to be to Flaubert’s.

My opinion of this book changed several times while I was reading it. My initial impression from the first few pages were that it wasn’t bad, but that Barnes had crossed the line with his language from intelligent to pretentious. That was mildly annoying but manageable. As I got into the middle of the book, I really enjoyed the poetic beauty of the whole thing. I really enjoyed reading it slowly and savoring every sentence and image. The end of the book, starting with Chapter 11, really got annoying. The focus in the last few chapters was on Louise Colet (one of Flaubert’s lovers) and on Braithwaite’s own wife, Ellen, and all three of these characters got on my nerves because I didn’t like how Barnes portrayed them. I think the quality of the book itself and what Barnes was trying to do both border on brilliant, but when an author takes a book that was really enjoyable and changes the direction to make it not enjoyable, I just get annoyed. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
3.5 stars ( )
  Lynsey2 | Jan 15, 2016 |
review coming soon...

thereadersroom.org ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
I gave this 3 stars I started out enjoying the history and the details provided but the further into the book I got the more bored I became, some chapters were really enjoyable and some were a complete struggle so I have just averaged my rating out ( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (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
16 avail.
60 wanted
6 pay5 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.66)
0.5 1
1 9
1.5 2
2 47
2.5 19
3 144
3.5 45
4 214
4.5 34
5 101


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 | 103,086,441 books! | Top bar: Always visible