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Pulse by Julian Barnes

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A collection of stories that are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. Ranging from the domestic to the extraordinary, from the vineyards of Italy to the English seaside in winter, the stories in Pulse resonate and spark, each imbued with the humour, poignancy and perception that marks all Julian Barnes' work. This is an imaginative and expertly-constructed new collection from a master of the form.

If you like Julian Barnes you might also like to read books by Sebastian Barry, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ian Mcewan.


Pulse by Julian Barnes

The stories in Julian Barnes' long-awaited third collection are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. Each character is bent to a pulse, propelled on by success and loss, by new beginnings and endings. In East Wind a divorced estate agent falls in love with a European waitress, but is tempted, despite his happiness, to investigate her past; in The Limner a deaf painter discovers his patron's likeness after spending time among his staff. Anchored off the coast of Brazil, Garibaldi spies his future wife through a telescope, and in Marriage Lines , a widower returns to a remote Scottish Island to relive a favourite holiday. These are also lives in flux - in the 'stages, transitions, arguments; incompatibilities which grow' - as in the title story, where a man reflects on the break-up of his marriage, brought into new perspective by the actions of his parents; two writers, a 'good team', return from an event rehearsing familiar arguments; in Gardener's World , a couple bond, fall out and bond again over flowers and vegetable patches. Positioned in between are a series of evenings at Phil & Joanna's , where among the topics of conversation - the environment, politics, the Britishness of marmalade, toilet graffiti and the perils of smoking - we witness the guests' lives shift in sections over the course of a year.

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Pulse is Barnes's 17th book and is a masterclass in the shorter form. -- Elizabeth Day Observer

About the Author

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including The Sense of an Ending, Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters and Arthur & George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.

His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

6th January 2011


Julian Barnes

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Jonathan Cape Ltd an imprint of Vintage Publishing


240 pages


Literary Fiction
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