Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pulse” as Want to Read:
Pulse
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Pulse

by
3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  1,199 ratings  ·  159 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)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pulse, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pulse

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,367)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Tony
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
...more
notgettingenough
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
...more
Cheryl
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
...more
Nicole
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
...more
David
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
Teresa
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.
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
Oria
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
...more
Joanie
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
...more
David
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
Nigohosian
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
...more
Shamim E. Haque
In this collection Julian Barnes has written some very good stories; stories that kept me entertained yet thoughtful 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 ...more
Alison
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
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
Alex Roberts
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
...more
Jagannathan
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.

PART I

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
...more
Martha
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
Juliet
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
...more
Rana Gediz
waw...how 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.
Athena
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.
Jacob
Barnes is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors. His style is undeniably British, his storytelling powerful and poignant, and his overall body of work offers a balance between the emotional and the logical. His pieces set in modern times are sharp and evocative. The dialogue crackles and dances around a dinner table populated by friends, and his stories about love, loneliness, and longing are all viscerally satisfying.
Pulse is a great collection of short stories, but is not without we
...more
Mehdi
The Sense of an Ending was a true masterpiece. Among the short stories in "Pulse", some are truly amazing ("East Wind", the opening novella, is beautiful), others annoyingly pompous ("At Phil & Joanna's", in 4 parts), and a few more just kind of boring ("Gardeners' World"). The three-start rating is a reflection of this unneveness. Fans of Barnes should pick this up, but set your expectations accordingly. Or skip a couple stories, and make the best of the 3-4 in which Barnes exhibits his lit ...more
Ronan Noane  K
3.5 stars would have been more correct.
still a very nice read.
Kevin Shoop
What a find! Barnes is fast becoming one of my very favorite authors. His writing is elegant and beautiful, yet understated and accessible. (The antithesis of John Banville, whose writing I also enjoy but less so.) These stories uncover the complexity, joys, and sorrows of human relationships and the ways that we observe the world through our senses. Quite a few characters are missing one of these senses; some have a special affinity for one of them. This book is wonderful collection of stories ...more
Bindu Manoj
I fell in love with Julian Barnes with his ‘The Sense of an Ending.’ Each sentence was a gem, each thought a treasure. Even though I prefer novels to short stories, the name Barnes was enough for me to pick up this collection of his short stories. And what a pick up it was!

With the humungous list of ‘to be read’ books on the shelves – physical and virtual – if the story doesn’t hold my attention after the first few pages, it normally goes on to a forgotten shelf these days. The pile keeps increa
...more
Emmett
So natural, and so very human. To me this book spoke about reconciling differences -- in theme, in idea, in social situations. Perhaps because in life two contradictory things can happen at the same time. I fell in love with its perceptiveness: what it saw in a myriad of lives, or tried to see, and also what it tried to tease out.

Eagerness and introspection are not mutually exclusive, in Complicity. Pulse brings into question marriage and masquerade, meetings and how people fit into each other.
...more
Katherine
“ ‘I can do active-aggressive if you’d prefer’” (91).
“Stop that, he said to himself. You aren’t allowed to be a sad person; you’re allowed to be sad” (94).
“The pattern of the jersey told you which island its owner came from; the buttons at the neck told you precisely which family they belonged to. It must have been like walking around dressed in your own postcode, he thought” (124).
“But he was not in charge of grief. Grief was in charge of him. And in the months and years ahead, he expected grie
...more
Beni Morse
I read this because I'd enjoyed Barnes' 'Sense of Ending' and some reviewers had indicated this collection of stories was in a similar vein.

It's a mixed bag really. Some of the stories are lovely and like Sense of Ending, tinged with loss and a keen sense of mortality. It is worth getting this book for the story 'Marriage Lines' alone: a bleak and poignant story about a widower returning to a Scottish island where he'd taken annual holidays with his recently deceased wife. The landscapes in this
...more
Seth
There was absolutely nothing wrong with this collection of stories, but at the same time there was nothing terribly compelling about them. Although all the stories revolved around the driving force behing relationships, I felt like most of them only scratched the surface and left you wanting a little more. Individually, this might have been OK if the pieces joined together to make a full picture, but it didn't work out that way.

The nice part was that things ended on a high note. The final two st
...more
Joy H.
Added 10/25/13.
I randomly chose the audio version (CD) of this book from the shelves at our local library. I'm currently listening.

The first story ("East Wind") was very interesting and suspenseful, but like so many short stories, the ending leaves you hanging, wondering what happened. At any rate, it held my attention. About the story, the GR description says: "In "East Wind" a divorced estate agent falls in love with a European waitress, but is tempted, despite his happiness, to investigate he
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 78 79 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like You
  • The Angel on the Roof
  • Ladies and Gentlemen
  • Someday This Will Be Funny
  • We Others: New and Selected Stories
  • We're Flying
  • Gryphon: New and Selected Stories
  • Long, Last, Happy: New and Collected Stories
  • Smut
  • Heavy Water and Other Stories
  • Something is Out There
  • Sourland
  • Stories
  • Death Is Not an Option: Stories
  • Women and Other Animals: Stories
  • The Collected Stories
  • Alone With You
  • This Will Be Difficult to Explain: And Other Stories
1462
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
...more
More about Julian Barnes...
The Sense of an Ending Arthur & George A History of the World in 10½  Chapters Flaubert's Parrot Talking It Over

Share This Book

“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
answer?”
10 likes
“When we're onstage we're not literature, we're sitcom. You have to have catchphrases.” 5 likes
More quotes…