Talking It Over

( 2 )

Overview

In this powerfully affecting Flaubert's Parrot gives readers a brilliant take on the deceptions that make up the quivering substrata of erotic love. "An interplay of serious thought and dazzling wit. . . . It's moving, it's funny, it's frightening . . . fiction at its best."—New York Times Book Review.

In this powerfully affecting Flaubert's Parrot gives readers a brilliant take on the deceptions that make up the quivering substrata of erotic love. "An interplay of ...

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Talking It Over

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Overview

In this powerfully affecting Flaubert's Parrot gives readers a brilliant take on the deceptions that make up the quivering substrata of erotic love. "An interplay of serious thought and dazzling wit. . . . It's moving, it's funny, it's frightening . . . fiction at its best."—New York Times Book Review.

In this powerfully affecting Flaubert's Parrot gives readers a brilliant take on the deceptions that make up the quivering substrata of erotic love. "An interplay of serious thought and dazzling wit. . . . It's moving, it's funny, it's frightening . . . fiction at its best."--New York Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The members of a love triangle take turns narrating this ingenious novel from British author Barnes, whose earlier works Metroland and Before She Left Me will also be released in Vintage International editions this October. Oct.
Library Journal
Stuart Hughes and Oliver Russell have been friends since childhood. When the fiscally astute but socially inept Stuart meets the beautiful and artistic Gillian Wyatt at a London wine bar, Oliver can hardly believe it. Gillian clearly deserves someone more cultured, more sophisticated--someone more like Oliver himself. Oliver tags along on the couple's first dates, stands as best man at their wedding, and only when it is too late declares his love for his best friend's wife. It's rather like a British version of the film Jules and Jim , he jokes. In fact, the narrative strategy has more in common with TV documentary than prose fiction. The characters are ``talking heads'' who address the reader directly, in three autonomous though interrelated harangues. There is no omniscient narrator to interpret the story; each character is defined entirely by speech. A witty and provocative novel from the author of the masterpiece Flaubert's Parrot LJ 4/1/85. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91. --Ed ward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679736875
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/1/1992
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: First Vintage Books Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 275
  • Sales rank: 620,096
  • Product dimensions: 5.22 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Julian Barnes

Born in Leicester in 1946, Julian Barnes is the author of nine novels, a book of stories, and a collection of essays. He has won both the Prix Médicis and the Prix Fémina, and in 1988 was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. He lives in London.

Biography

Julian Barnes once told London's Observer that he writes fiction "to tell beautiful, exact, and well-constructed lies which enclose hard and shimmering truths." Indeed, this is what Barnes does, sometimes spiking his lies with fact -- most notably in Flaubert's Parrot, the novel that became his breakthrough book. The story of a retired doctor obsessed with the French author, it combines a literary detective story with a character study of its detective, including facts about Flaubert along the way.

Before Flaubert's Parrot propelled him into the company of Ian McEwan and Martin Amis in British authordom, Barnes had been moderately successful with the novels Metroland (which later became the 1997 movie starring Emily Watson and Christian Bale) and Before She Met Me. He was also known to Brits as a newspaper TV critic. Parrot and Barnes's subsequent "Letters from London" in The New Yorker helped expand the author's Stateside following.

"A lot of novelists set up a kind of franchise, and turn out a familiar product," friend and fellow author Jay McInerney told the Guardian in 2000. "But what I like about Jules's work is that he's like an entrepreneur who starts up a new company every time out." Among other ambitious themes, Barnes has explored the collapse of communism (The Porcupine) the Disneyfication of culture (England, England), the simple dynamics of relationships (Talking It Over and its sequel, Love, Etc.), and the connections between art, religion, and death (The History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters).

Barnes has also produced collections of essays, a translation of Alphonse Daudet's In the Land of Pain, and a family memoir (Nothing to Be Frightened Of) that also serves as a meditation on mortality.

Good To Know

In 2000, a cybersquatting professor acquired the Internet rights to julianbarnes.com and several other authors' domain names; Barnes later won his name back, and the domain is now an informational site run by a fan with Barnes's permission. Barnes had protested the professor's actions, accusing him of usurpation; but his opponent might have responded by quoting from Barnes's own (albeit satirical) England, England: "Indeed, wasn't there something old-fashioned about the whole concept of ownership, or rather its acquisition by formal contract, in which title is received in exchange for consideration given?.... It would have been unfair to call Sir Jack Pitman a barbarian, though some did; but there stirred within him a longing to revisit pre-classical, pre-bureaucratic methods of acquiring ownership. Methods such as theft, conquest and pillage, for example."

Barnes wrote four mystery novels under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh, all of which are now out of print; the novels starred Duffy, a bisexual ex–police officer. Kavanagh's bio read in part: "Having devoted his adolescence to truancy, venery and petty theft, he left home at seventeen and signed on as a deckhand on a Liberian tanker." Kavanagh also happens to be the last name of Barnes's agent and wife, Pat.

Barnes was a deputy literary editor under Martin Amis at the New Statesman from 1980–82 and was also a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary. Amis and Barnes later had a falling-out that became fodder for the press when Amis wrote about it in his memoir, Experience; Barnes is mum on the subject, but the disagreement arose when Amis defected from Barnes's wife to another agent.

Barnes has a cameo in the film Bridget Jones's Diary as himself, but in a lesser role than he has in Helen Fielding's book. In the book, Bridget is flummoxed upon encountering Barnes and embarrasses herself; but the more recognizable Salman Rushdie was substituted for Barnes in the film version.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Dan Kavanagh
    2. Hometown:
      London, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 19, 1946
    2. Place of Birth:
      Leicester, England
    1. Education:
      Degree in modern languages from Magdalen College, Oxford, 1968

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2006

    Recommended read

    I thought this book was so originally written. Instead of being the typical girl falls for two men story, its narrated in an unusal way and you get to hear the story from the three character´s points of view (and some who had a saying in the matter). Its a fast, creative read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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