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3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,597 Ratings  ·  190 Reviews
En una población costera un agente inmobiliario divorciado inicia una relación con una camarera extranjera y acabará descubriendo un secreto doloroso; dos escritoras ya mayores comparten giras de conferencias, una larga amistad, tiranteces, celos, maldades y confidencias; en los albores de la historia de Estados Unidos un pintor de retratos se venga de un detestable client ...more
Kindle Edition
Published (first published January 1st 2011)
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Jul 24, 2013 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british
Julian Barnes plays the dichotomist in these stories, cleaving them into a One and a Two. It's a clean cut because the two parts do not seem related to me, not by theme and purpose, and certainly not by reader appreciation.

One holds nine stories. Only one, Sleeping with John Updike, impressed; although, candidly, maybe I just liked the title. In these stories, Barnes is insufferably British. Five of the stories are interspersed, a continuation of a dialogue that six or so people (couples) have a
I beg to differ from the opinions on the review pages of the English press, the kinds of things I guess one can predict about such a solid figure in the literary department. 'Literary pearls' not. 'The very best short fiction'. I don't think so. 'Masterclasses in the form'. Nup.

This collection is plain disappointing compared with as a fine modern exponent of the short story as, say, Michael Chabon. The observations on life are neither here nor there and delivered without either the wit or the hu
May 02, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Julian Barnes is great company: bright, perceptive, gently biting, his fine mind looks at many differnt aspects of every day's contemporary life. He shares his inner thoughts without pretention nor heaviness. His description are right on the button: evocative, spiced with his brand of understated English humor as an undercurrent. Just delicious and wonderfully pertinent.

I prefered the second part of his set of stories, but, as it is in life with good and smart friends you love: you enjoy their c
I have come late to Julian Barnes, to my regret, but I’m glad to have finally arrived. His Booker-winning The Sense of an Ending was my introduction, save for some short stories I’d read here and there in the New Yorker and Granta. Some of the short stories in ‘Pulse’ were published between 2003 and 2011, and Sense of Ending was released in mid 2011. Some of these short stories are echoed in Sense of an Ending.

In “At Phil & Joanna’s 4: One in Five”, a character says “…I remember some intell
May 22, 2011 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading Julian Barnes is a real pleasure and this book follows suit. First, I must thank Good Reads for sending me the release notice which I promptly went out and bought the book. As I was buying the book, I chatted with the sales person at a local bookstore, who is also a big Barnes fan, and she noted that of all the authors she wanted to hear give a reading, Barnes would be her top vote. Taking all this into consideration, I savoured the selection of 14 short stories. I love his novels but hi ...more
Oct 31, 2011 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I didn't love this collection as much as I did The Lemon Table, much of what I wrote in that review applies to this book as well.

Knowing that Barnes' wife of many years died of a brain tumor in late 2008 (this book is dedicated, very simply, to her: "For Pat"), I couldn't help picking out what almost seem like meditations within some of the stories, especially of what brings and keeps (or doesn't keep) couples together, and that of grief.
Nov 21, 2015 Hakan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Çağdaş İngiliz edebiyatının ağır toplarından Julian Barnes'ın 2011'de yayınlanan bu öykü kitabını okumak büyük bir keyif. Barnes'ın mizah gücünün farkına da bu kitap sayesinde varmış oldum. Özellikle ilk bölümdeki At Phil & Joanna's serisindeki, üç-dört çiftin akşam yemeği sohbetlerinden oluşan dört öykü de müthiş zekice ve eğlenceli. Cinsellik, ilişkiler yine ana teması bu diyalogların. Ve diğer birçok öykünün. Kitaba adını veren son öykü Pulse da epey iz bırakıcı. Barnes, önceki kitapların ...more
William Reichard
I'm a big Julian Barnes fan, and I love short stories. The stories in this collection were, for me, mixed. The book is divided into two sections, and I found all of the work in section two wonderful. Barnes sets some of these stories in the past, some in the present, and the title story, about the death of (presumably) his mother and his father's illness, was fantastic. The work in part one was mixed. There were four stories that focused on two couples, and in each story, these couples were havi ...more
Greg Z
Feb 24, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A good collection of short stories, sort of a grounded, British David Sedaris. But while Sedaris aims for laugh-out-loud lines, Barnes mostly shoots from/for the heart. Four of Barnes' stories here constitute a novella ("At Phil and Joanna's, Parts 1,2,3, and 4), so I'm going to next try one of his novels.
Oct 10, 2011 Oria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book contains 14 stories (I wonder if the author was superstitious) about life, choices, love and marriage. I was attracted to this book by the title – it seemed like an interesting name for a book.
While at the bookstore I started reading the first story, East Wind, about Vernon, a late thirties divorcee, who falls in love with Andrea, an East European waitress. There was something funny and likable about Vernon, and I decided to take the book home and continue reading.

What I really liked a
Jun 05, 2011 Joanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, short-stories
A quietly emotive collection of short stories.

I'm rather new to the genre, venturing a bit into short stories to add some variety to my reading, but this was a satisfying arrangement. The stories took a little while to warm up to, but my patience was paid off and Julian Barnes has me interested in reading his other works. This collection was balanced and interspersed with a keen sense of humour during the first part, which I was muddling through a bit but the meal bantering flowed very naturally
Shamim E. Haque
In this collection Julian Barnes has written some very good stories; stories that kept me entertained yet pondering at the same time. The story that I liked best was 'The Limner'. The next two best stories must have been 'Pulse' and 'Marriage Lines'. As the back cover gives intimation, Barnes gives us an opportunity to appreciate his mastery and virtuosity over and with the "short story" as a form. The four short stories that make the set "At Phil and Joanna's" is all about that: masterclasses o ...more
Feb 02, 2012 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Unlike the dismal exercise in sterility that was "The Sense of an Ending" (beloved by the Booker judges, but not by me), several of the stories in "Pulse" actually elicit an emotional response in the reader. I've always felt that Barnes's cleverness is his Achilles heel -- too often his writing feels like an exercise designed to demonstrate how accomplished he is, but remains devoid of emotion. Most of the stories in this collection manage to avoid this trap. A possible exception is the set of f ...more
Lara Hoffmann
May 19, 2015 Lara Hoffmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book on encounters and senses. After reading it I feel like my own senses are refined and I might observe the people around me and the everyday encounters I have a bit more precisely. Perhaps only for today, but nevertheless. Isn't it wonderful that books can do this to us?
Feb 25, 2011 Nigohosian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
За първи път чета Барнс (но ще наваксам де ;). Забавлява ме толкова английския му хумор, особено в поредицата разказа "У Фил и Джоана". Другите са по-сериозни, с уж почти никакъв сюжет, но се хващат за някакви толкова човешки слабости и грешки, че няма как да не те стиснат леко за гърлото.
Още нещо трябва да кажа, като съвсем я довърших - Барнс май е откритието ми за последните няколко месеца (да, знам, че съм закъсняла). Освен това си мисля, че вероятно по-точно заглавие за поредицата разкази би
Highly enjoyable and vibrant short story collection. Perceptive, intricate, and very funny. Barnes writes about relationships with ease and elegance. The witty "Phil and Joanna" stories were an upbeat contrast to the more melancholy "Pulse" and "Marriage Lines", but even the more melancholy were full of life. As these collections tend to go, several of the stories were much better than others, but I won't tell my favorites for fear of poisoning the well. Before Pulse, I'd only read Flaubert's Pa ...more
Gan See Siong
Nov 07, 2011 Gan See Siong rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I particularly like 'marriage lines'; you feel for the widower as he relives the moments he spent with his deceased wife on a resort island; the language is taut in the sense that each line is like poetry and conveyed the love and despair. I like too these few lines in 'Phil and Joanna's' "...and though hunger had been satisfied, some mild social addiction kept making hands reach out to snaffle another graph, crumble a landslide from the cliff face of cheese or pick a chocolate from a box..". Ju ...more
Mara Vladoiu
Apr 25, 2016 Mara Vladoiu rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition avut alte așteptați de la cartea asta.Poate ca dacă o voi reciti,imi voi forma o alta impresie despre ea si despre subiectul pe care il tratează insa,momentan...not impressed.
Alex Roberts
Jul 05, 2011 Alex Roberts rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not surprisingly, a refined and often moving collection from the always interesting Mr. Barnes.
Some will no doubt suggest that the interspersed 4-part roundtable discussion titled "At Phil & Joanna's" involves more than a bit of showing off, but the quicksilver Brit wit displayed by the characters seems a recognizable national trait. The title story is a touching depiction of a young man's relationship with his aging parents. Through the smallest of observations, and the sparest of language
The stories in this collection were very mixed, in terms of themes, characters, setting, time frame. Some I really enjoyed, some not so much.

There are 14 stories in total in the collection, some of which have a clear and meaningful link to the title of the book, and some where I failed to see one. All were well written, obv., all were evidence of Barnes's observant eye and ear. Some showed us the author behind The Sense of an Ending, some the one behind Arthur & George. In short, the stories
Apr 07, 2016 Vaida rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
Tikriausiai būtų neskoninga (šiame postmodernios teksto sampratos amžiuje) tikėtis, kad knyga gali pakeisti tavo gyvenimą. O jei dar turi silpnybę literatūrai ir skaitai daugiau nei vieną knygą per metus, toks teksto vertinimo kriterijus būtų tiesiog liguistai komiškas. O vis dėlto... Skaitau šiuos Barnso apsakymus - jie grakščiai parašyti ir gražiai suguldyti į rinkinį, su gerai pamatuota ironijos ir, svarbiausia, saviironijos doze (o saviironija juk ne tik protinga, bet ir seksualu!), mažumėlę ...more
Sep 13, 2014 Jagannathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Rating: 8/10

Winner of the David Cohen Prize, 2011

Simply put, I am blown away. Pulse is a collection of short stories earlier published in various disparate sources such as The New Yorker, Granta, etc. Barnes plays a dichotomist again as he splits the book right down the middle in two parts.


East Wind : What begins as a “Oh, I don’t care if it happens or not!” attitude, a divorcee moves into a little town where he doesn’t care about the huts that have been burned down recently.(Non-sequitur
May 29, 2015 DW rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I liked this better than the rest of the short story books I picked up at the library (except for The Interpreter of Maladies, which is still my favorite). I liked some of the stories, like the one about the swimmer and the one about the guy who goes hiking with a woman who doesn't get him at all ... I also liked the second conversation story, it sounded very natural. The first conversation story was a bit too focused on sex.

Some of the stories struck me as too navel-gazing. Like the one about t
Apr 06, 2015 Lari rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories because it perfectly showcases Barnes' talent for story-telling and his creative play with words, themes and even cultures. In particular I enjoyed Gardener's World, Marriage Lines, Pulse, Harmony and the Phil & Joanna's dinner parties :) but I am sure I will re-visit all of them sometimes.
Nov 05, 2014 Martha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
I gobbled up the first four stories of this collection in a kind of rapture as I love Barnes’s style, his humor and the intimacy he establishes with the reader. If you felt some kind of an “unspoken understanding” (complicity!) with Barnes while you read Sense of an Ending, it’s a good bet you’ll like this collection too. The stories I liked best (those first 4 plus “Trespass”, “Marriage Lines” and “Pulse”) capture people with funny and heart-breaking accuracy, rendered in millions of clever det ...more
Yawn. Or I should say, a few stories I enjoyed, but the majority were yawny disquisitions more than narratives. The first story was a story in the more traditional sense -- two people met, one was a mystery to the other, he tried to find out her secret, and he did, end of story. It was told with a combination of care and suspense, distance and desire. Thumbs up. But most of the rest of the stories were explorations of ideas.

Gardening showed up a lot but I wasn't sure why it kept showing up, and
Rana Gediz Iren
Jun 26, 2013 Rana Gediz Iren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition does he do it...I love his prose...I didn't enjoy every single story as much, my favourites being East Wind, Marriage Lines, Complicity and the Pulse. But in the world of today I so admire the author of a story that can make me cry.
Aug 23, 2015 Chrisworrall rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Normally a fan of Julian Barnes, find his books very comfortable to read. This one however was very disappointing, just didn't get the stories at all: boring, pointless seems to spring to mind.

Everybody has an off day i suppose.
Jan 31, 2013 Athena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Barnes continues to amaze me. The most comforting feeling is when you want to rush home just to complete a book. Barnes has that effect with almost every book.
Bruno Espadana
Barnes, you bastard. I'm sure you did it on purpose. You spent more than half your book with stories that were... well... nicely written but... lacking something? Uninteresting? Something like that. I was seriously considering stopping reading and starting some other book (something I almost never do, so I just kept going).

...and then you did that thing. You finished the first part of the book with a beautiful story, made even better by contrast with the previous. Not only that, but you included
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Julian Patrick Barnes is a contemporary English writer of postmodernism in literature. He has been shortlisted three times for the Man Booker Prize--- Flaubert's Parrot (1984), England, England (1998), and Arthur & George (2005), and won the prize for The Sense of an Ending (2011). He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.

Following an education at the City of London School
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“You would think, wouldn’t you, that if you were the child
of a happy marriage, then you ought to have a better than
average marriage yourself – either through some genetic
inheritance or because you’d learnt from example? But it
doesn’t seem to work like that. So perhaps you need the
opposite example – to see mistakes in order not to make
them yourself. Except this would mean that the best way for
parents to ensure their children have happy marriages
would be to have unhappy ones themselves. So what’s the
“When we're onstage we're not literature, we're sitcom. You have to have catchphrases.” 5 likes
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