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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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Short stories tied together : Couldn't finish it ( )
  keithgordonvernon | Apr 1, 2015 |
When I read the first two chapters of this book I was blown away. The first is absolutely hysterical, and the second begins that way, but leaves you staring at the book in disbelief, unsure what to make of what just happened. I couldn't wait to read the rest, but I have to say that I was a little disappointed.
While each story is very clever, and the connections that run through the book are fun to find, I found myself getting a little bored. The chapter titled "The Mountain" seemed to go on for much too long, and wasn't as witty as the others.
Nonetheless, I think this one is definitely worth reading. Even if it does become a bit slow in places, I can't argue with the mastery of Barnes in connecting all of these seemingly unconnected chapters, and in his ability to really make you think about the world around you. ( )
  ashleyk44 | Jul 8, 2014 |
This book raises the question as to whether a group of stories and essays, loosely tied together by themes and recurring motifs is a novel. Barnes certainly shows virtuosity and range as he explores the arbitrary nature of history, narrativity, and belief. Many of the stories involve sea voyages, notably Noah's; the predominate mood is darkly comic. Some of the pastiche is more convincing than others, but overall his prose is clever, well-paced, and thoughtful. The extended non-fictional essay on Love that serves as a long "Parenthesis" is surprising and moving (I was reminded of Canterbury tales includes huge varieties of tales, but also a non-fiction, non-verse sermon). All in all, a fine book, that I would have enjoyed more if was less loosely held together. ( )
  sjnorquist | May 15, 2014 |
Es un libro fantástico. Barnes sabe como entrelazar todos los capítulos de una manera aparentemente muy sutil, pero firme... Es un libro encantador de leer... ( )
  CaroPi | May 6, 2014 |
This was a surprising story collection, one with more range than any that I've read before. The recurring themes and images tied the tales together without seeming forced, giving the book cohesion even if it didn't necessarily feel like the homogenous volume I expected. Truthfully, if the book had been as predictable as my limited imagination first thought, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it as much as I did.

Many parts of the book flirted with perfection, but others, while quite good, seemed obscure in their contribution to the overall themes. They succeeded on their own terms, but not nearly enough in context of their exploration of the "history of the world" and its complication, decay, misapprehension, and tenuous promise of redemption.

Plus, there's a hilarious prosecution of termites for crimes against the church. Not to be missed. ( )
  phredfrancis | Feb 8, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julian Barnesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gyllenhak, UlfTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:18 -0400)

(see all 6 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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