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A History of the World in 10½ Chapters by…

A History of the World in 10½ Chapters (1989)

by Julian Barnes

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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Reread after 20 years. The cleverness of tying together a short story collection with a theme of woodworm and Noah's Ark is less impressive this time round. The anomalous story, “Parenthesis”, on the nature of love, seemed the most honest, though the linked accounts of the wreck of the Medusa and Géricault's painting of it I found engrossing, reminding me of the best of Flaubert's Parrot. ( )
  adzebill | Jan 30, 2016 |
Short stories tied together : Couldn't finish it ( )
  keithgordonvernon | Jan 7, 2016 |
Very disappointing. Silly, not engaging ( )
  mahallett | Jan 5, 2016 |
I don’t know about this one. It was recommended to me by a Barnes fan, but I’m hoping it just wasn’t the best place to start. This is a collection of very loosely linked stories - the best I can figure is most of them have a boat?. Well first I hate reading about boats for whatever reason - like boats, like being on boats, just haven’t liked anything I’ve read that was boat focused. And I just hated the first story so it started off rocky. However, the variation among the stories in tone, voice, mood, etc. is incredible and shows a great writing talent. So while this wasn’t my cup of tea, I’m hoping my next Barnes will be better. ( )
  janemarieprice | Jan 3, 2016 |
Clever. I liked it, but I would stop short of characterizing it as a life-changing experience. ( )
  Sharon.Flesher | Jul 13, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julian Barnesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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to Pat Kavanagh
First words
They put the behemoths in the hold along with the rhinos, the hippos and the elephants.
These are grand words. We must make sure we deserve them. Listen to them again: 'I love you.' Subject, verb, object: the unadorned impregnable sentence. The subject is a short word, implying the self-effacement of the lover. The verb is longer but unambiguous, a demonstrative moment as the tongue flicks anxiously away from the palate to release the vowel. The object, like the subject, has no consonants, and is attained by pushing the lips forward as if for a kiss. 'I love you.' How serious, how weighted, how freighted it sounds.
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Haiku summary
These simple stories
Connect mountain and shipwreck
Through people and dreams.

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679731377, Paperback)

This is, in short, a complete, unsettling, and frequently exhilarating vision of the world, starting with the voyage of Noah's ark and ending with a sneak preview of heaven!

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:50 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Offers an idiosyncratic, revisionist history of life on planet Earth, from a playful account of Noah by a stowaway on the Ark, to the spiritual odyssey of a American astronaut.

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Columbia University Press

An edition of this book was published by Columbia University Press.

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