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The Only Story


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About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of twenty-two previous books, most recently The Noise of Time. He received the Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending, and has also received the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the French Prix Medicis and Prix Femina; the Austrian State Prize for European Literature; and in 2017 he was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by the French government. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in London.


"Beautifully done. . . . Heartrending." --NPR

"Brilliant. . . . [Holds] a commitment not only to great storytelling but also to exploring how stories are told." --San Francisco Chronicle "Written with crystalline retrospection. . . . The youthful missteps that give shape to life is Julian Barnes's great theme." --Vogue

"Exquisite. . . . Devastatingly convincing. . . . A definitive account of how romantic love becomes trapped in its own frame." --The Guardian

"Much of the pleasure in The Only Story comes from the wit and verbal precision that Barnes allows his narrator. . . . Barnes's switch from voice to voice is at once understated and dazzling." --The New York Review of Books

"Vivid. . . . Mr. Barnes is a master of the novel that unfolds cleanly before the reader and yet interrogates itself as it is told." --The Economist "So sad and so powerful." --Anne Tyler, The Guardian "A bleak and brilliant novel about memory and what ultimately matters most." --Financial Times

"The prose master paints a lovely, elegiac portrait of a young man's disruptive love affair . . . forgoing the easy literary cliches of May-December romance for something much sadder, deeper, and more resonant." --Entertainment Weekly

"Haunting. . . . A brilliant, rueful look at love--what we do for it, how we experience it and what makes it die." --People "Beautiful. . . . Profoundly enjoyable. . . . Through his precise attention to the marvels of love and his perfect stylistic accompaniments to each state--Barnes has once again shown himself capable of transforming the mundane and ephemeral into the lyrical and lasting." --Los Angeles Review of Books

"Heartbreaking. . . . It's a cliche to say the love is inexplicable, but the strength of The Only Story is Barnes's willingness to explore the nature of that inexplicability, how it makes for honeymoons and tragedies alike."-- Newsday "One of the best works of his career." --Houston Chronicle

"A thought-provoking meditation on memory and the seemingly endless complexities of love. . . . Barnes' prose is quietly elegant and adroit. . . . [The Only Story] has strong, memorably drawn characters and a keen sense of time and place." --Richmond Times-Dispatch

"Shows a novelist at the height of his powers. . . . A book that quietly sinks its hooks into the reader and refuses to let go."--The Times (London)

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