Julian Barnes Love, etc.

ISBN 13: 9781491532492

Love, etc.

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9781491532492: Love, etc.
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Twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Julian Barnes continues to reinvigorate the novel with his pyrotechnic verbal skill and playful manipulation of plot and character. In Love, etc. he uses all the surprising, sophisticated ingredients of a delightful farce to create a tragicomedy of human frailties and needs.

After spending a decade in America as a successful businessman, Stuart returns to London and decides to look up his ex-wife Gillian. Their relationship had ended years before when Stuart’s witty, feckless, former best friend Oliver stole her away. But now Stuart finds that the intervening years have left Oliver’s artistic ambitions in ruins and his relationship with Gillian on less than solid footing. When Stuart begins to suspect that he may be able to undo the results of their betrayal, he resolves to act. Written as an intimate series of crosscutting monologues that allow each character to whisper their secrets and interpretations directly to the listener, Love, etc. is an unsettling examination of confessional culture and a profound refection on the power of perspective.

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Review:

Oliver, Stuart, and Gillian have been friends and lovers. But it's been 10 years since this backbiting trio, which Julian Barnes first introduced in Talking It Over, last met--and a lot has changed. For starters, Oliver has married Gillian, and Stuart, his erstwhile best friend, hates him for it. Not just because Stuart was once married to Gillian, but because he still loves her and has never ceased to regard himself as her savior. Under the guise of repairing old friendships--"all blood under the bridge"--this mild-mannered third wheel insinuates himself into the couple's life by offering advice, providing support, and even giving Oliver a job. Once he's maneuvered his nemesis into a crippling depression, Stuart unveils his master plan.

In Love, Etc. Barnes adopts the same technique he used in the earlier installment, allowing his characters to speak their innermost thoughts and secrets directly to the reader--and just about everybody gets some good lines. (Oliver: "Yes, everything went swimmingly, which is a very peculiar adverb to apply to a social event, considering how most human beings swim.") But the book is also a bewitchingly intimate excursion into betrayal and jealousy. With painstaking detail, Barnes creates a vibrant portrait of a modern love triangle--as funny as it is cruel, as absurd as it is deep. Few contemporary writers can portray Middle England, with all its temptations, so darkly. --Matthew Baylis

From the Back Cover:

“An alarmingly perfect novel . . .. Barnes’s verbal mimicry is inventive, accomplished, revelatory, and also fun.” –The New York Review of Books

“Lively, lucid, ricocheting with wryly observed commentary on the human condition.”–Philadelphia Inquirer

“Painfully astute . . .. Barnes sharpens his insights with his penetrating wit and verbal virtuosity.”–The Washington Post

“Julian Barnes...[is an] ironist, artificer, psychologically flirtatious pool shark, a maestro who runs the table with his Rashomon variations.”–The New York Times Book Review

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780099540168: Love, Etc.

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0099540169 ISBN 13:  9780099540168
Publisher: Vintage Books USA, 2009
Softcover

9780375725883: Love, etc.

Vintage, 2002
Softcover

9780224061094: Love, Etc

Jonath..., 2000
Hardcover

9780375411618: Love, etc.

Knopf, 2001
Hardcover

9780679310839: Love, etc

Random..., 2000
Hardcover

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