The Lemon Table

The Lemon Table

by Julian Barnes
4.5 4

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The Lemon Table 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
PierresFamily More than 1 year ago
I wish that every dog lover and dog owner could read this little book. After reading this book, i can literally state that "I laughed; I cried." It was a wonderfully eclectic book, that included his own personal heartwarming anecdotes about rescue dogs he'd saved and then given up to other homes, as well as "laugh outloud funny" adventures with his own dogs. But it also provides info - like the heart-ripping but vital info about heartworms - that is not what we WANT to read, but what we NEED to read. The only point on which I would disagree is his assumption that city life is better for dogs, than country life. I have seen the opposite to be true; in fact, our vet told us that our move to the country added a couple years to our dog's life. Many thrive where they can get out and walk every day, interact with neighbor dogs etc. Of course, this all depends on the dog, the dog's family's schedule, and the care given to the pet. Good and bad care occurs in both environments. At any rate, if you love dog(s), don't miss this book.
LoveJulianBarnes More than 1 year ago
One more excellent Julian Barnes work. I have read several of his hooks and I have never been disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like this book, it's worth reading it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Julian Barnes is an elegant, profound, humorous, sensitive, intelligent, and incredibly gifted writer! THE LEMON TABLE is a collection of eleven short stories that probe the concept of aging and death in an endlessly inventive fashion. Each of these well-crafted stories is unique: rarely have the concerns of the elderly been verbalized with such insight. The way these characters who populate this variety of tales embody mental deterioration, illness, frustration of waning body functions, coping with changes imposed by the cycle of friends and loved ones dying - these are the insights that in Barnes capable hands are never cloying but revelatory. In 'Knowing French' an eighty something lady in a 'Old Folkery' corresponds with the author: 'Main reasons for dying: it's what others expect when you reach my age; impending decrepitude and senility; waste of money - using up inheritance - keeping together brain-dead incontinent bad of old bones; decreased interest in The News, famines, wars, etc.; fear of falling under total power of Sgt. Major; desire to Find Out about Afterwards (or not?).' Yet a later letter: 'I suppose, if you are Mad, and you die, & there is an Explanation waiting, they have to make you unmad first before you can understand it. Or do you think being Mad is just another veil of consciousness around our present world which has nothing to do with any other one?' Or in another story 'The Fruit Cage' a son is trying to understand the problems his aging parents face when after fifty years of marriage the husband wants to live with another woman; 'Why make the assumption that the heart shuts down alongside the genitals? Because we want - need - to see old age as a time of serenity? I now think this is one of the great conspiracies of youth. Not just of youth, but of middle age too, of every single year until that moment when we admit to being ourselves. And it's a wider conspiracy because the old collude in our belief.'Even though Barnes' subject of age and death may seem a morbid topic, these beautifully written stories have a wealth of humor and warmth and dreamy substance. The final story relates a composer's inability to finish his 8th symphony (?Sibelius?) and uses symbols of death (the lemon, flying cranes) in a most poetic way. This is one of the finest collections of short stories I've read this year. Highly recommended on every level.