The essays in this collection were originally published in The New Yorker and span the four years of Barnes's tenure as that magazine's London correspondent. Barnes explores his topics with an innate curiosity and a merciless wit, using each event to explore the social and political landscape of the capital.
ARTHUR & GEORGE
In the late nineteenth century Arthur is a doctor and writer in Edinburgh, and George is a solicitor in Birmingham. They are brought together by a sequence of events known as the Great Wyrley Outrages. Although these events occurred a century ago there are contemporary echoes in society today. Richard & Judy Bookclub.
Tycoon Sir Jack Pitman builds replicas of major English tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight. The monstrous project is so successful that it begins to supersede the real thing, 'Old' England. Strong Language
A HISTORY OF THE WORLD IN 10 ½ CHAPTERS
A fictional history of the world in which stories echo each other, as themes deepen and images recur.
THE MAN IN THE RED COAT
Samuel Pozzi, society doctor, pioneer gynaecologist and free-thinker was a rational and scientific man with a famously complicated private life. Here, Julian Barnes brilliantly tells the story of the Belle Epoque through the eyes of a man who knew the writers, thinkers, aristocrats and actors of the day.
METROLAND (X Rated)
Two young adolescents sneered at the stifling ennui of Metroland and longed for life to begin - sex and freedom. When Chris aged 30 settles down, Toni challenges such backsliding. X rated, contains offensive language.
THE NOISE OF TIME
In May 1937, a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block, expecting to be taken away to the ‘Big House.’ Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now, and few who are taken there ever return.
THE ONLY STORY
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. But as he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.
STARING AT THE SUN
This haunting novel charts the life of Jean Serjeant, from her beginnings as a naive, carefree country girl before the war, through to her wry and trenchant old age in the year 2020. We follow her experience in marriage, her questioning of male truths, and her adventures in motherhood.
TALKING IT OVER (X Rated)
Shy, sensible banker Stuart has trouble with women; that is, until a singles night, where he meets Gillian who is recovering from a destructive affair. Stuart's best friend Oliver is his complete opposite - a brash and feckless language teacher. Stuart and Gillian are married, but it is not long before a tentative friendship between the three evolves into something far different.. X rated, contains strong language and explicit sex.