The Only Story (Hardback)Julian Barnes (author)
Described by some reviewers as a kind of companion piece to Julian Barnes’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Sense of An Ending, The Only Story is a meditation on time, memory and consequence. It is also a book about emotional resonance and the possibility that love might echo throughout a lifetime.
Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.
First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesn't know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, he's proud of the fact his relationship flies in the face of social convention.
As he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen. Tender and wise, The Only Story is a deeply moving novel by one of fiction's greatest mappers of the human heart.
It’s an unusual author who can claim to have written a highly praised novel of literary merit partly narrated by a woodworm but Julian Barnes’s diverse output is anything but conventional.
His novels range from his debut, the linear coming-of-age story Metroland, to more experimental novels including his breakthrough success Flaubert’s Parrot, A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters, the three-person love triangle explored in Talking it Over and Love Etc. and more recent meditations on temporality: The Sense of an Ending (for which he won the 2011 Booker Prize) and The Noise of Time.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 224
Weight: 404 g
Dimensions: 222 x 147 x 25 mm
"...the restless, keen intelligence of his youth burns as brightly as ever…" - The Times
"The ending is quietly breathtaking, evidence of the subterranean magic that's wrought by those seemingly austere sentences." - The Observer
"A novel that quietly sinks its hooks into the reader and refuses to let go." - The Times
"Barnes' distinctive combination of clarity, readability and edge…" - The Sunday Times
"A sensitive look at what makes lovers tick." - Robbie Millen, The Times
"A tender and heartbreaking novel of a young man's love for an older woman - to my mind some distance better than his Man Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending" - Alex Preston, The Observer
"Barnes' latest is cunningly crafted and sharply observed" - The Mail
"A gentle, bleak, and brilliant novel, the kind of book Philip Larkin might have written had he continued as a novelist" - FT
"Deeply affecting and profoundly philosophical.. a novel by an author at the height of his technical powers" - The Express
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ReviewsView all Sign In To Write A Review
“What is love, what is happiness....”
I absolutely loved this tender, beautifully written story about first love, how it affects us throughout our lives.
The reminisce of a one and only love is told in a wonderfully lyrical and melancholic way.
It is an... More
“A love story with a difference”
Julian Barnes is one of our finest authors and I have loved the majority of his books; if you've read him before (particularly 'The Sense of an Ending') you'll have some idea of the ground he... More
Definitely my favourite of Julian Barnes’s works for a long time - almost up there with his superb 2005 novel Arthur & George. Barnes writes about memories so beautifully it doesn’t take long to become bewitched... More
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