The Only Story (Barnes) - Book Reviews

Book Reviews
Consistently surprising.… It shows a novelist at the height of his powers [and is] a book that quietly sinks its hooks into the reader and refuses to let go.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst - Times (UK)

Often playful and always elegant, [it] propels us forward, first into joy, and then into despair, and there is no escape from the central story as it becomes bleaker. This intense, taut, sad and often beautiful tale may well be Barnes's best.
Lara Feigel - Spectator (UK)

One to savour.… Emotionally acute, profoundly beautiful, as droll as it is deep.”
Hephzibah Anderson - Mail on Sunday (UK)

Gentle, bleak, and brilliant.… His themes are the big, unfashionable universals—ageing, memory, above all love.
Jon Day - Financial Times (UK)

Barnes’s deeply touching novel is a study of heartbreak.… By revisiting the flow and ebb of one man’s passion, Barnes eloquently illuminates the connection between an old man and his younger self.
Publishers Weekly

Barnes skillfully plays with narrative form, turning the novel into something of a metafiction without making it ponderous or difficult to read.… Absorbing enough to polish off over a weekend, this novel has a place in popular and literary collections.  —Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis
Library Journal

(Starred review.) Mesmeric.… The reader drifts along on Barnes’ gorgeous, undulating prose. Focusing on love, memory, nostalgia, and how contemporary Britain came to be, Barnes’ latest will enrapture readers from beginning to end. —Alexander Moran

(Starred review.) [Paul is]…narcissistic, and his rhetoric … often takes on a needy, pleading tone.… But that's by Barnes' design, and it's consistently clear that Paul was in love.… A somber but well-conceived character study suffused with themes of loss and self-delusion.
Kirkus Reviews

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