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The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes

The Lemon Table (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Julian Barnes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7111121,138 (3.56)59
The characters in Julian Barnes' new collection of stories are growing old and facing the end of their lives - some with bitter regret, some with resignation and others with raging defiance. Stories included are: 'A Short History of Hairdressing', 'The Story of Mats Israelson', The Things you Know', 'Hygience', 'The Revival', 'Vigilance', 'Bark', 'Knowing French', 'Appetite', 'The Fruit Cage' and 'The Silence'.… (more)
Title:The Lemon Table
Authors:Julian Barnes
Info:Vintage (2005), Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Literature - English

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The Lemon Table by Julian Barnes (2004)

Recently added byhigalva, tshrope, Nayanika, Bananaman, AngeH, private library, NicholasOakley, TangledPages
  1. 00
    The Matisse Stories by A. S. Byatt (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: The stories "A Short History of Hairdressing" (Barnes)and "Medusa'a Ankles" (Byatt) both refer to a client at a hairdresser's - one male, one female.
  2. 00
    Pulse by Julian Barnes (rrmmff2000)
  3. 00
    The Darkness of Wallis Simpson by Rose Tremain (bergs47)
  4. 00
    The People on Privilege Hill by Jane Gardam (bergs47)

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» See also 59 mentions

English (6)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Danish (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Listened to by the magic of downloading to my phone and connecting the phone to the car to play it through the speakers while driving. And I managed that all by myself. Very proud!
And it was worth the effort.
If there is a theme, this is remembrance and loss. Most of the stories have a air of sadness about them with the characters either remembering times past, or pondering the end of life and the complications that brings. Whgich doesn;t sound very cheery, but I would not say that this is a sad colleciton. Wistful, maybe. In a couple of stories there are several segments that are told at diifferent times, with a common theme. The first takes this form, with the key being the trip to the barber's for a haircut. It's all very understated, but nonetheless enjoyable for that. ( )
  Helenliz | Mar 26, 2019 |
How fitting to end 2017 with a book about deaths and endings and then I'll start the New Year with a book with a title for a beginning: [b:Pulse|8608089|Pulse|Julian Barnes|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1329249410s/8608089.jpg|13478360]
Overall rating: 8/10

By story:
"A Short History of Hairdressing" - 8/10
"The Story of Mats Israelson" 5/10
"The Things You Know" 10/10
"Hygiene" 6/10
"The Revival 7/10
"Vigilance" 10/10
"Bark" 6/10
"Knowing French" 10/10
"Appetite" 8/10
"The Fruit Cage" 9/10
"The Silence" 8/10 ( )
  aljosa95 | Mar 27, 2018 |
Disappointing. Character sketches rather than stories. And a strange mix of characters it is. All obsessive, uptight, pretty unlikeable folk. Got a bit tired of their company. All elegantly written as Barnes would. ( )
1 vote vguy | Jun 11, 2015 |
I picked up this collection of short stories on the strength of Barnes's Booker-winning novel, The Sense of an Ending. Similarly, most of these stories also deal with aging--but without the humor and touch of hope found there. Quite a few deal wiuth artists, musicians and writers who have lost their talent; several others involve elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer's and their caretakers. Overall, I found it rather sad and depressing, although finely written. ( )
  Cariola | Jul 2, 2012 |
Very disappointing. Uninteresting stories, which, typically for Barnes, are far removed from reality. ( )
  edwinbcn | Aug 20, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Julian Barnesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vesterlund, AndreasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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That first time, after they moved, his mother had come with him.
Occasionally a programme will contain a small piece of information, vaguely bordering on advice, about mobile phones, or the use of a handkerchief to cough into. But does anyone pay any heed? ("Viigilance")
My mother would talk practically of the Four Last Things. That's to say the Four Last Things of modern life: making a will, planning for old age, facing death, and not being able to believe in an afterlife.
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From the hairdessing salon where an old man measures out his life in haircuts, to the concert hall where a music lover carries out an obsessive campaign against those who cough in concerts; from the woman reading elaborate recipes to her sick husband as a substitute for sex, to the woman 'incarcerated' in an old people's home beginning a correspondence with an author that enriches both their lives - all Barnes' characters, in their different ways, square up to death and rage against the dying light.
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