A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

3.7 8
by Julian Barnes
     
 

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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!


From the Trade Paperback edition.See more details below

Overview

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!


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

NY Review of Books
Barnes is an accomplished equilibrist; a reader who appreciates being made to work for his sense of balance will find in A History of the World special pleasures, special perils.
New York Times Books of the Century
The many stories here are given their...humor, by an undercurrent of gentle, self-reflective irony.
New York Review of Books
Barnes is an accomplished equilibrist; a reader who appreciates being made to work for his sense of balance will find in A History of the World special pleasures, special perils.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Admirers of Barnes are accustomed to thoroughly unorthodox approaches to the novel, and his latest, while brilliantly entertaining, certainly strains the limits of the genre.
Library Journal
A revisionist view of Noah's Ark, told by the stowaway woodworm. A chilling account of terrorists hijacking a cruise ship. A court case in 16th-century France in which the woodworm stand accused. A desperate woman's attempt to escape radioactive fallout on a raft. An acute analysis of Gericault's ``Scene of Shipwreck.'' The search of a 19th-century Englishwoman and of a contemporary American astronaut for Noah's Ark. An actor's increasingly desperate letters to his silent lover. A thoughtful meditation on the novelist's responsibility regarding love. These and other stories make up Barnes's witty and sometimes acerbic retelling of the history of the world. The stories are connected, if only tangentially, which is precisely Barnes' point: historians may tell us that ``there was a pattern,'' but history is ``just voices echoing in the dark....strange links, impertinent connections.'' Fascinating reading. -- Barbara Hoffert
Joyce Carol Oates
Mr. Barnes's concerns throughout are abstract and philosophical, though his tone is unpretentious....Given the principle of repetition, of permutations and combinations, it is inevitable that some of Mr. Barnes's prose pieces are more successful than others....''A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters'' demystifies its subjects and renders them almost ordinary: ''Myth will become reality, however sceptical we might be.'' In so doing it deconstructs, perhaps even mocks, its own ambition. If the reader does not come to the book with certain of the expectations of prose fiction - that ideas will be dramatized with such narrative momentum that forgets they are ''ideas,'' and that complete worlds will be evoked by way of prose, not merely discussed - this is a playful, witty and entertaining gathering of conjectures by a man to whom ideas are quite clearly crucial: a quintessential humanist, it would seem, of the pre-post-modernist species. -- New York Times
From the Publisher
"Frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic and a delight to read." Salman Rushdie, Observer

 
“As A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters progresses and leitmotifs recur, often in comically ingenious combinations, the book becomes increasingly engaging and entertaining.... A playful, witty and entertaining gathering of conjectures by a man to whom ideas are quite clearly crucial.” Joyce Carol Oates, The New York Times
 
“It’s a book to keep the reader on his toes.” The New York Review of Books
 

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307797865
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
06/15/2011
Series:
Vintage International
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
322,044
File size:
3 MB

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