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Home » Books » Fiction & Literature » Literary Collections

Before She Met Me

By Julian Barnes

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 October 2014
Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011 Graham Hendrick, an historian, has left his wife Barbara for the vivacious Ann, and is more than pleased with his new life. Until, that is, the day he discovers Ann's celluloid past as a mediocre film actress. Soon Graham is pouncing on old clues, examining her books for inscriptions from past lovers, frequenting cinemas and poring over the bad movies she appeared in. It's not that he blames Anne for having a past before they met, but history has always mattered to him...

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'A remarkably original and subtle novel' Frank Kermode, New York Review of Books

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; four collections of essays; and two books of non-fiction, Nothing to be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times Number One bestseller Levels of Life. He lives in London.

Reviews

"A short and brutally brilliant novel about a relationship ruined by jealousy, this is packed with acute observations about the nature of love" * Metro * "Frighteningly plausible... stunningly well done" * Guardian * "Funny, sad and faintly ominous...making jealousy tangible and dangerous" * Spectator * "An intelligent and addictive entertainment... Mr Barnes has succeeded in writing one of those books that keep us up until 2am reading just one chapter more... few will be able to resist its easy humour and almost insidious readability" * New York Times Book Review * "Compelling" * Daily Express *

EAN: 9780099540076
ISBN: 009954007X
Publisher: Vintage Books
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1.4 centimetres (0.14 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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In this age of pop-psychology we are urged to strive for the heights of success, but most of us find our lives centering around the small struggles of friendship, marriage and ex-marriage. When Graham leaves Barbara for Ann he feels that his life has truly entered a happy period, the "honey time." But slowly, insidiously, Graham's mind becomes fixed on the men Ann has previously been with. Although all that happened before he met Ann, he cannot help thinking that it is as if she has been unfaithful to him. Also, how can he, a mere history professor, hope to compare to those worldly men?

This book is both comic and biting. If you have ever been divorced or had marriage problems you will probably recognize some of yourself in the story. But to be honest this book is not for everyone. While in many respects realistic, it is written in a slightly heightened, cerebral style. Barnes is definitely an 'intellectual' writer.

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