About the Book
This is the story of a man, Tony Webster, who is looking back on his life. Recent events cause his outlook on certain past events, and indeed his entire life, to change.
What I think
This is not a lengthy book and I put off buying it for several months, despite wanting to read it, due to cost. I generally buy books for my kindle now (even though I still love 'real' books) due to convenience. Living in Hong Kong it's not always easy to find titles and even if you can find/order them, the prices are often inflated. Initially this book was priced at over £6.00 and for an e-book I have real trouble paying that kind of price. Is this just me?
However, the cost came down and I bought it and recently read it. It's not a 'light' or 'easy' read, more of a challenge I'd say, and I'd possibly go as far as to say a little pretentious. However, there is enough of a story to keep you interested and turning the pages. I liked the fact that I, as the reader, thought I was one step ahead of the main character, but I wasn't. The ending is still a shock and I love it when the authors are clever enough to enable that to happen.
There was a strong theme of love and life in this book. How do we love and how do we live. There was the 'ordinary' vs. the 'extreme'. I felt questions were raised about how much control you have over your life and how much your life controls you.
About the Author
Julian Barnes (b. 1946) was born in Leicester and was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964 and at Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated in modern languages (with honors) in 1968. He has worked as a lexicographer, a reviewer, literary editor and television critic. Barnes has written numerous novels, short stories and essays. He has received several awards and honors for his writing, including the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending (2011).