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Love, etc.

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,009 ratings  ·  100 reviews
Twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, Julian Barnes continues to reinvigorate the novel with his pyrotechnic verbal skill and playful manipulation of plot and character. In Love, etc. he uses all the surprising, sophisticated ingredients of a delightful farce to create a tragicomedy of human frailties and needs.

After spending a decade in America as a successful business
Paperback, 240 pages
Published June 11th 2002 by Vintage (first published 1992)
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The Sense of an Ending by Julian BarnesLevels of Life by Julian BarnesTalking It Over by Julian BarnesLove, etc. by Julian BarnesNothing to Be Frightened Of by Julian Barnes
Rate Julian Barnes Books
4th out of 22 books — 6 voters
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Community Reviews

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Julian Barnes is a strange fish. Kind of straddling both serious novels and escapism. He's like an extremely capable and intellectual novelist who's decided to write very accessibly just because it's fun that way. I like his sense of humour.

But it's there, in these stories. Deepness, darkness, complexity. He still seems to write with the assumption that every normal reader has a smattering of French and a good understanding of Greek mythology. He wears his smarts in the lining of his coat, not i
I'm not a serious reader. I don't program my reading. Of course I have a list (actually it's a very nice notebook with excerpts from "Le petit prince" typed on the cover), of course I try to read what's on the list, even if many times I don't even remember who recommended the books, where I read the reviews or why I wanted to read those books in the first place.

As I said, I'm not a serious reader. If I were, I would have known that Love, etc. is a sequel to Talking It Over. It's quite frustrati
May 04, 2013 Laura rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Bettie, Carey, Wanda
From BBC Radio 4 - Saturday Drama:
Julian Barnes' absorbing tale of betrayal and revenge wrapped within humour and despair.

This book has basically the same theme as "The Sea, The Sea", by Iris Murdoch. One of the main characters, Stuart, has been left by his first wife, Gillian, who is now married to his best friend. For the last 10 years he has been sure he never stopped loving her. However, when he has the chance of having a real glimpse of how she really is now, after years of marriage with Oliver, he realizes that the woman he had loved all this time, was "the Gillian" to whom he had been married long ago and th ...more
It’s hard to imagine a more perfect marriage of form and content than Love, etc, in which Julian Barnes continues the story of characters that came to life in Talking It Over. If, however, this marriage is fine, then equally the marriage of Gillian and Oliver is not. And neither, for that matter, was the previous one that temporarily joined Gillian and Stuart.

Julian Barnes tells the story of this love triangle entirely in the first person. Gillian, Oliver and Stuart appear like talking heads on
Robert Palmer
This book does not read like a novel----not exactly like reading a play---more like a one Man or Woman show , but with more ( many more) characters talking to the reader. The three main characters are,Stuart,Gillian and Oliver,their are about 8 or 9 minor characters popping in now and than. Stuart has returned to London after living in the States for ten years. He gets in touch with his ex-wife Gillian,who is now married to Oliver,Stuart's former best friend.Stuart thinks he can undo the marriag ...more
All I could think when I was reading Love Etc. by Julian Barnes was the Rashomon effect. Here we have three friends, Oliver, Stuart, and Gillian, in a classic love triangle. But Barnes gives the love triangle a postmodern, playful twist where each character speaks to us, the reader, with face-to-face candor, as if we were some therapist in an office listening to their contradictory interpretations, feelings, and thoughts of the same events. This books is less about narrative and more about chara ...more
Not one, not two, but three—count ‘em—three unreliable narrators. How fun! Julian Barnes is brilliant. This is the story of a love triangle, of sorts. Oh it’s all so very modern, or post-modern, or at least contemporary. Gillian and Oliver are married. Oliver’s one time best friend is Stuart. Gillian and Stuart were once married. Oliver “stole” Gillian from him (one might say). Oliver is a pompous prig, an over-educated wastrel, with various projects "in development" (which is another way of say ...more
Stylistically brilliant, as always, Barnes nonetheless delivers, for me, an uneven and in the end uncomfortable book. He takes up characters and style from his earlier Talking it Over. Two men are in love with the same woman. In Talking it Over, Oliver stole Gillian from Stuart. In Love Etc., Stuart tries to steal her back. We learn about all this from statements all three main characters (and some side characters) direct to the reader - statements that differ very much in style, and that are at ...more
This book is a gem. Noted by the NY Times as a book of the Year in 2000, Barnes does not disappoint. He is the master on relationship issues and about half way through this book I did some kind of mental note to ponder how am I doing compared to his characters. I wouldn't call it therapy but when one reads a Barnes story on love, sex and relationships, you get some uneasy feelings. I guess this is really art when this happens? On top of that, Barnes' language is so much fun to read and so vivid, ...more
This is first book by Julian Barnes I've read front to back. I have not read the book the precedes it (with the same characters) so I don't know if my opinion would be different otherwise. But that being said I was beyond impressed with how Barnes could take on the voices of so many different perspectives and execute their thoughts so clearly. The only downfall was that I ended the book disliking all the characters in it and not wanting to know much more about them. So I guess the real value was ...more
Ovo je moje mišljenje o Pretresanju i Ljubav itd.
Prva knjiga o (ne)običnom ljubavnom trokutu je nešto bolja od druge, iako su u pitanju ista lica i glasovi, koji se izravno obraćaju čitatelju. Ono što mi se najmanje sviđa je to, da se po stilu pisanja samo jedan lik razlikuje od drugih. Izražavanje ostalih je bez osobitog stila. Ako to ostavim po strani, riječ je o intimnim pričama nekolicine ljudi, ni po čemu osobitim, osim što su većinom ne-sretne. Čak i one koje bi trebale biti sretne su nefr
Unele cărți le citește exact în momentul în care ar trebui să le citești, fix de aia îți cad tronc la inimă.
Marea mea greșeală a fost să încep lectura acestei cărți înainte de a citi Trois. Așa că dacă nu faceți lucrurile pe dos, așa ca mine, citiți întâi Trois și abia apoi reveniți la Iubire etc.
Felul în care e scrisă cartea, atipică unui roman clasic te transpune și mai ușor în miezul acțiunii, cele câteva personaje ți se înfățișează, fiecare, cu propriul lor punctul de vedere asupra aceleia
So this one is a sequel to Talking It Over, which I really liked. So much that I couldn't wait to get my hands on the next one.
So this one is exactly the same as the previous one, so didn't disappoint, and the story keeps up from where the other left off so that is all good. However, maybe because it is more of the same, it felt a bit short of something somehow. Only one of the characters seemed to have a real transformation between the two books, which was quite a surprise and carried the book
Jess Hum
It was a slow start. The intensity of this book actually hit me the day after I finished it. Turns out I needed to let my thoughts percolate on this one. Initially rated this two stars, but based on how much I am thinking about the ending even after putting the book down demonstrates the skill of Julian Barnes.
Mirela Vasile (Dinny)
Sep 12, 2014 Mirela Vasile (Dinny) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Celor cu o relatie fericita/optimistilor/ persoanelor mature emotional
Recommended to Mirela Vasile (Dinny) by: Cartea insasi :D
4 si nu 5 stele doar pentru ca e prea pesimista pentru pentru ca sfarsitul e in coada de peste ceea ce pentru mine nu e o optiune, nici macar in ce priveste cartile.

L.E. Cartea asta a dat pur si simplu peste mine intr-una din vizitele facute la Carturesti (vizita al carui scop exclusiv era cumpararea unui ceai, caci bugetul pentru carti era deja depasit) : mai exact ma indreptam spre raftul pe care se afla, cand un exemplar din carte (pe care ulterior l-am si cumparat, exact pe acela,
The characters are unappealing but Barnes is such a good writer that I enjoyed the book anyway.
Mar 03, 2015 Kathe added it
In my writing-teaching days, I would have recommended Love, etc. as an excellent exercise in "voice." It's basically a love triangle, with asides from friends and family, kids and other lovers. Each character speaks directly to the reader. Boy meets girl, boy marries girl, boy's best friend snatches girl away and marries her, first boy resurfaces...

All the characters have distinctive voices, but after a couple of hundred pages it becomes "too clever by half," as the Brits say. It's a quick read
I am a Julian Barnes devotee and will continue to read all of his works enthusiastically. However, this one fell a bit short for me. For me. That doesn't mean this is a universal outlook. But for me it didn't sit as well as his other works. Whilst I recognise that there were deeper undertones to the seemingly lighthearted story of the book, it lacked a certain depth for me, a certain gravity, a certain significance that my favourite barnes books manage to touch and move me with. I felt it tried ...more
Adelina Gabriela
Stilul în care e scrisă cartea, acest ... interviu fără intervievator, în care trebuie să intuim întrebările pe care scriitorul crede că noi le punem personajelor face romanul amuzant, într-o anumită măsură, dar îl lasă pe cititor să îşi aleagă un personaj pe care să-l placă, să intuiască temperamentul, caracterul, reacţiile şi tot ce ţine de psihologia personajelor. Faptul că fiecare acţiune este de multe ori, trecută prin prisma mai multor personaje, ceea ce îţi permite să alegi a cui variantă ...more

We hebben elkaar al eens eerder ontmoet... Ja, echt. Zeker weten. Een jaar of tien geleden.

Stuart heeft gelijk. Niet alleen hebben we hém al eens ontmoet, ook Oliver, zijn beste vriend, en Gillian, de vrouw om wie ze - letterlijk - hebben gevochten zijn oude bekenden. In Trioloog was Stuart getrouwd met Gillian, tot Oliver haar voor zich inpalmde.

In Liefde, enz. gaat Julian Barnes terug naar dit trio. Ook ditmaal bedient hij zich van dezelfde intieme techn
Är det bara som jag uppfattar det? Eller ljuger de flesta av karaktärerna för sig själva när de talar till den fiktiva åhöraren? En form av självbedrägeri lyser igenom när de på sina olika sätt försäker berätta sin version av händelseförloppet. Författaren skapar skickligt en mångfacetterad berättelse där lyssnaren fritt kan dra sina egna slutsatser om den faktiska händelsen och bokens huvudpersoner. De mest underhållande texterna men även de svåraste att fokusera på var Olivers. Men det speglar ...more
'Amor, etc.' no es una obra maestra, probablemente sea hasta cierto punto intranscendente, pero funciona perfectamente: está bien escrita, es divertida y a ratos incluso mordaz, y te atrapa.

La historia es la de un triángulo amoroso. Stuart y Gillian habían estado casados, pero luego Gillian se casó con Oliver, el mejor amigo de Stuart. Ahora Stuart vuelve y no es ninguna sorpresa lo que acaba sucediendo después. La historia no tiene absolutamente nada de especial, es casi previsible. Pero lo que
Themes of the book are similar to The Sense of an Ending, a love triangle, a lapse of time, a resumption of a relationship and the continuing failure of characters to know each other. Love, etc., however, is told through multiple first person narrators in short pieces that expand, re-frame, or outright contradict how another character has remembered events. Like so many characters that turn up in Barnes' novels, Oscar hides his feelings behind a barrage of clever language, and yet the irony is t ...more
This second volume on the lives of Stuart, Gillian and Oliver extends a piano wire taut story ever further and like an unresolved chord (or like life) leaves the reader (who is actually a participant in the story, addressed by the protagonists) again dangling in the self-absorbed self-deceiving lives on the page. Wonderfully written, both books, and like all of Barnes work, like eating a bowl of emotional needles buried in the whipped cream of his prose.
Julian Barnes captivates the reader with deeply believable characters who go through simple yet complex developments, emotions and thought processes. It may be an ordinary sounding story of three characters that are interconnected through love and marriage in various ways, but the accompanying insights and three dimensional characters make his work a truly admirable piece of art.
Benedikte Van Eeghem
"The world divides into people for whom love is everything and the rest of life is a mere 'etc', and people who don't value love enough and find the most exciting part of life is the 'etc'."

The pluses of this book: witty, catchy, eloquent.
The minuses: a lack of action and interaction.

In other words: not my favourite Barnes.
Serafina Sands
I disliked all the characters in this book, except the children, with increasing antipathy as the book progressed. The idea of telling a story from differing perspectives has been done better before, and this particular story is neither that substantial nor that interesting. A disappointment, particularly from Julian Barnes.
Ade Bd
The continuation of Talking It Over. Illustrating how 3 peoples opinions on the same incident can vary so greatly could not be done better. My sympathies moved from one to the other, and sometimes to non, throughout. It really does make you see your own relationships in a fresh way.
This book begins twelve years after Talking It Over ended, so we revisit the lives of Stuart, Oliver, and Gillian in the same format as they take turns telling their versions of the their story to the invisible listener - or rather, to me. I loved the first book and was thrilled to find this sequel - I didn't know what I was getting when I bought it. The book is completely character-driven, and his characters are very real to me and interesting, if not always loveable or sympathetic. But I love ...more
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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
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

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“Oliver used to have a theory he called Love, etc.: in other words the world divides into people for whom love is everything and the rest of life is a mere 'etc.,' and people who don't value love enough and find the most exciting part of life is the 'etc.” 4 likes
“But life never lets you go, does it? You can't put down life the way you put down a book.” 4 likes
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