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Levels of Life (Paperback)
  • Levels of Life (Paperback)

Levels of Life (Paperback)

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Paperback 128 Pages / Published: 03/04/2014
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You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed... In Levels of Life Julian Barnes gives us Nadar, the pioneer balloonist and aerial photographer; he gives us Colonel Fred Burnaby, reluctant adorer of the extravagant Sarah Bernhardt; then, finally, he gives us the story of his own grief, unflinchingly observed. This is a book of intense honesty and insight; it is at once a celebration of love and a profound examination of sorrow.

Publisher: Vintage Publishing
ISBN: 9780099584537
Number of pages: 128
Weight: 109 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 8 mm

"It is extraordinary... [It] would seem to pull off the impossible: to recreate, on the page, what it is like to be alive in the world." -- Emma Brockes * Guardian *
"This is a book of rare intimacy and honesty about love and grief. To read it is a privilege. To have written it is astonishing." -- Ruth Scurr * The Times *
"It's an unrestrained, affecting piece of writing, raw and honest and more truthful for its dignity and artistry... Anyone who has loved and suffered loss, or just suffered, should read this book, and re-read it, and re-read it." -- Martin Fletcher * Independent *
"Levels of Life is both a supremely crafted artefact and a desolating guidebook to the land of loss." -- John Carey * Sunday Times *
"While one might expect a Barnes book to impress, delight, move, disconcert or amuse, the last thing for which his work prepares us is the blast of paralysingly direct emotion that concludes Levels of Life." -- Tim Martin * Daily Telegraph *
"Levels of Life is, deep-down, a heartfelt attempt to chronicle the strange journey that follows the death of a loved one." -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
"A Taj Mahal made of paper not white marble." -- Peter Conrad * Observer *
"A magnificent blast of unflinching prose." * Daily Telegraph *
"Powerful and well-articulated." -- Roger Lewis * Daily Mail *
"It is true that the private language of love doesn't generally translate; yet how vividly Barnes invokes the power and delicacy of what is lost to him." -- Jane Shilling * Sunday Telegraph *
"Profoundly emotive." * Sunday Times *
"He writes with aphoristic simplicity and a calm profundity, without ever sounding self-pitying, maudlin or trite... Levels of Life is at times unbearably sad, but it is also exquisite: a paean of love, and on love, and a book unexpectedly full of life." -- Rosemary Goring * Herald *
"A grief-stricken, achingly precise and bravely unconsoling exploration into the inadequacy of words." * Metro *
"An impassioned, raw insight into a survivor's grief." * Sport *
"A confession of grief so emotively described that it leaves the reader cold with awe." -- Billy O'Callaghan * Irish Examiner *

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Divided into sections entitled The Sin of Height, On the Level and The Loss of Depth, this is Barnes on death. I was going to write "having lost his wife to cancer" but know now how much he would hate that... More

Paperback edition
5th May 2013
Helpful? Upvote 43

“Raw and Emotional”

This is s strange book in some ways. There are three distinct sections; the first on hot air balloons; the Sin of Height. The second is on photography: On the Level. And the final one on his late wife: The Loss of... More

Hardback edition
29th June 2014
Helpful? Upvote 39

“Beautiflly written”

This is an excellent meditation on life, love and loss. It begins as a history of ballooning and ends with a extremely personal dissection of Barnes' grief at the death of his wife. It might seem that these... More

Paperback edition
5th July 2013
Helpful? Upvote 37

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