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Preview — A History of the World in 10½ Chapters by Julian Barnes
A History of the World in 10½ Chapters
Before I met all of you wonderful Goodreaders I was at the mercy of my paltry few well-read friends for recommendations of new authors and books. Derek Crim, childhood friend and fellow bookish enthusiast has offered up some winners: Chabon before “Kavalier and Clay”; O’Brian’s Aubrey-Maturin series; Kurlansky’s non-fiction. In August of 2006 he gifted me a copy of this Barnes novel. Immediately upon completion of its reading it became one of my life-important books.
This 'History' turned out to be very different from what my expectations were. In fact, it just marginally qualifies as a novel, but then I thought the same about Flaubert's Parrot too, so you might discount the opinion - both have been booker shortlists after all.
It is highly entertaining and the choice of narrator in each fragment is a feat of imagination. Barnes' obsession with history and its telling comes out in this book too, but this time not as a doubting narrator doggedly working again...more
The history of the world? Just voices echoing in the dark; images that burn for a few centuries than fade; stories, old stories that sometimes seem to overlap; strange links, impertinent connections. We lie here in our hospital bed of the present (what nice clean sheets we get nowadays) with the bubble of daily news drip-fed into our arm. We think we know who we are, though we don't quite know why we're here, or how long we shall be forced to stay. And while we fret and writhe in bandaged uncer...more
I had it on my wishlist based on the rave reviews from Amazon, claiming that the book is pure genius. A top review calls it a "sardonic, original, and mischievous mind on a tear." Too bad it bored...more
Ok, the first chapter of the book entitled "The Stowaway" is one of the most brilliant things i've ever read. If there ever was a more intriguing hypothetical account of Noah's Ark, I haven't read it.
Sadly, the rest of the chapters are not as amazing. They are worth reading and interesting. They are engaging and inventive. But, they still aren't 5/5 stars good. I'm a tough critic. This is a solid 4 star work with some real five star moments. Barnes proves he's a creative thinker and able to del...more
The Ship of Fools - Hieronymous Bosch, c. 1500
A set of deliciously intertwined stories. A wry humor on the nature of existence and history, and how adrift we are on it, and a poke in the eye of dogma and 'history' as a lie.
We start with Noah's Ark, and dance around human history from there - mad astronauts, cannibalism, and the legal defense of woodworms. All the pieces matter.
A loosely connected series of 10 1/2 short stories, art reviews, re-imagined histories, personal ramblings, epistolary travelogues and personal anecdotes, this is the epitome of post-modern fiction. Ju...more
Each chapter reads as a sperate story but connected by a religious theme in each, albeit a skewed and revisionist view of various religions.
Chapter one starts the book with a hilarious re-telling of Noah's ark by a stowaway...a woodworm. Apparently the unicorn was tossed overboard because Noah became jealous of it's um...horn. Chapter 3 revisits the woodworms as they are being tried for heresey after infesting the Bishop's throne, caus...more
Favorite lines, and there were many, so just a few now so I can harken back with fondness:
"A painting may be represente...more
Melunasi utang ripiu
Terus terang buku ini sepertinya akan menjadi buku terahir yang dibaca bareng oleh "Durjana Book Club" setelah meronggeng bareng dalam buku Ronggeng Dukuh Paruk dan dan beromantis ria sekaligus curcol habis2an dibuku The Wednesday Letters dan setelah berkonferens sambil tereak2, sikut sana sikut sini, ledek sana ledek sini dengan diiringi puisi dengan daya setrum 1000 volt dari sang Malaikat Berbulu ahirnya diputuskan baca buku ini. Oh, how I miss the moment ketika kaum durja...more
Noah in this telling is a little like the Mel Brooks Moses who was given fifteen . . . whoops . . . ten commandments. Here Noah loses most of his flotilla and a good part of the animal kingdom:
". . . he'd have been court-martialled if there'd been anyone around to sit on the bench. And for all his bluster, he felt guilty about losing half the Ark. Guilt, immaturity, the constant struggle to hold down a job b...more
Rather, it is one of those books that somewhat reminds me of those Official Soundtrack albums they keep releasing: “Music composed for, and inspired by, X”. The stories are, in fact, all fiction. But rather than being history, they cleverly become part of history. Or they will do – for anyone who reads the boo...more
The first chapter is told from the point of view of a stowaway on Noah's Ark which gives you the "tr...more
awalnya, saya makin tertarik baca buku ini setelah baca komentar lita kalau terjemahannya apik. jadi penasaran seperti apa yang terjemahannya apik. heheh. lalu menemukan kalimat seperti ini:
Kami akan menghilang secepat kami datang; bagi Anda kami seolah mimpi belaka bagi kalian. (halaman 57)
sementara dalam edisi bahasa inggrisnya:
We shall disappear just as we came, and we shall seem to you simply to have been a dream.(p. 43)
setelah itu saya langsung tidak meneruskan sisi obsesif kompulsif da...more
The chapters do span the...more
Barnes' is an excellent writer, no doubt about that, and obviously a deep thinker. I'm sure he could wax eloquently over jus...more
Bab I: Riwayat Nabi Nuh dari sudut pandang seekor penumpang gelap di Bahtera Nuh. Karena yang meriwayatkan seekor ulat kayu yang tidak bisa dijamin kebenarannya... tergolong sahih atau tidak ya...? *sok serius*
“I could occasionally find the situation funny, and give vent to the outcast’s laugh” (11).
“Noah, as you will have been told many times, was a very God-fearing man; and given the nature of God, that was probably the safest line to take” (11).
“…but I can tell you this: there was a lot of salted behemoth left over at the end of the journey” (14).
“…and managed to get him into bed without letting their gaze fall on those organs of...more
"Sejarah Dunia dalam 10 1/2 Bab", saya membayangkan sebuah kisah sejarah yang menyajikan fakta. Ternyata, sepertinya menyajikan fakta yang difiktifkan. Berkisah tentang spesies yang menyusup di bahtera Nuh. Dan, sepertinya spesies ini mempunyai sentimen pribadi terhadap Nuh. Entah, apa yang terjadi diantara mereka dimasa dulu dalam imajinasi spesies ini. Mungkin, kalau saat itu posisinya kuat, dia pasti sudah melakukan kudeta.
Bab pertama mem...more
Julian Barnes A History of the World In 10 1/2 Chapters is a set of loosely connected stories revolving mostly around the story of Noah and the Great Flood. The first is a hilarious retelling of the story by a "stowaway" on the Ark. The second is an even funnier story of insects being tried in a criminal proceeding, made even funnier by the fact that the story appears to be based on actual historical documents of animals being tried during the middle ages. While the first two stories are funny,...more
Following an education at the City of London School...more