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Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

Levels of Life (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Julian Barnes (Author)

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5964716,462 (3.9)50
Title:Levels of Life
Authors:Julian Barnes (Author)
Info:Vintage (2014)
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Levels of life by Julian Barnes (2013)


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English (36)  Dutch (5)  French (2)  Norwegian (2)  Catalan (1)  German (1)  All (47)
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
Lovely memoir of loss and grief ( )
  Overgaard | Jul 14, 2017 |
Barnes' command of language will draw you in...his willingness to lay bare his beating heart will keep you reading to the end of this rather short essay triptych, though you may feel like a voyeur to someone's grief.

Levels of Life has plenty of light-hearted moments, but a darkness lies over the work even then. This is not a cheery read, but it does leave the reader with hope, of a sort. And you will make and lose a friend before it's over. ( )
  Osbaldistone | Mar 28, 2017 |
One of the most honest, forthright books about grief I've read.
  chronic | Mar 23, 2017 |
Absolutely beautiful read. In this book, Julian Barnes writes about bringing together two things for the first time, and the profound changes that can occur. The first part talks about ballooning and photography, and is classic non-fiction, almost like a history. The second part talks about actress Sarah Bernhardt and her love, Burnaby and could be seen as speculative non-fiction. Finally, Mr. Barnes talks about his personal grief over the loss of his wife. This part of the book is so sad, but the writing is so beautiful and insightful and honest and reading it is, perhaps perversely, a pleasure. ( )
  LynnB | Jul 7, 2016 |
Julian Barnes became a widower in 2008 when his wife died of a brain tumour at age 68 . Pat Kavanagh was a brilliant and well respected literary agent. They had been together, off and on but mostly on, for over 30 years.
The first two sections of the book, on the early days of ballooning, are mildly interesting but puzzling. Where is this going? He begins to tie them all together in the last section, which is a memoir of his grief. Still, the links seem a bit tenuous and stretched.
This last section is touching, sad, profound. It did feel sort of intrusive, or voyeuristic somehow, to be given this access. It felt like he needed to write out his grief, as a therapy for himself, and as a way to continue but then in some way finally end, his post mortem conversation with his wife.
It is another addition to the sadly expanding genre of 'grief lit'.
( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 36 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julian Barnesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed.
A woman friend said that she envied me my grief, because `if [her husband] died, it would be more complicated for me'. She did not elaborate; nor did she need to.
Some friends are as scared of grief as they are of death; they avoid you as if they fear infection.
There are two essential kinds of loneliness: that of not having found someone to love, and that of having been deprived of the one you did love.
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An essay on grief and love for the author's late wife Pat, in which he discusses ballooning, photography, love, and bereavement; putting two things and two people together; and then tearing those things apart.

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