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Love, etc. (Vintage International)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,676 Ratings  ·  147 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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Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brits
The conversation continues....

There's Gillian, who appears the most sensible but may well be the most calculating and manipulative.
There's Oliver, who appears the most up but is in fact down. Way down.
There's Stuart, who appears the most innocent but is in fact a scheming monster.

A few other people are allowed to speak. Gillian's Mum, her daughter, her colleague. This adds spice to the mix. But it was never bland, even before they popped in.

Barnes makes the voices of Stuart and Oliver so distinc
Book no. 4 by Julian Barnes - more precisely, the fourth audiobook.

I loved Love, etc.. The title itself couldn't be better because this novel is mostly about love and relationships and other things, that come under the umbrella of etc.

Barnes takes a magnifying glass and points it at love, especially as its manifestation between a man and a woman. He does this very well through several unreliable narrators, but ultimately, this is the story of a threesome that's made up of Stuart and Oliver, be
Jan 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Julian Barnes at his best!

There can't be a sequel better than this one.

Nobody knew for 10 years that Stuart, Gillian and Oliver's journey is not over in Talking It Over.

If you want to see how twisted minds can take shape of a fantastic story, you've got these!
Jan 13, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Cristina Boncea
Continuarea acestei povești mai mult sau mai puțin de dragoste mi-a dat tremurici în talpă, cum s-ar spune. În primul rând, situațiile din Trois au luat proporții și au fost duse la extrem, lucru nu foarte previzibil după sfârșitul primei cărți, iar pe de altă parte, totul a devenit mult mai grav, dramatic și chiar agresiv.

Deși Barnes ne face să ne simțim ca și când nu ne-am fi despărțit niciodată de Stuart, Oliver sau Gillian, cu siguranță avem de a face cu personaje aproape complet diferite. D
May 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Labs, klasisks Bārns. Līdz ārprātam gudrs, sīkumains, trāpīgs, patiess un skaudrs. Bet arī romantisks.
Pa ilgiem laikiem beidzot bija jāpiedomā pie tā, ko lasu.
Mayra Nakamura
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A disclaimer: when I began "Love, etc." I didn't know it further developed the characters from "Talking It Over," so that's mu fault. However, I found Barnes' narrative compelling. The overall confessional tone of the narrative questions the brittle reliability of the characters that share their experiences and points of view. This novel explores the questionable nature of love and the way in which it transforms and develops over time. Reminiscent of novels such as Faulkner's "As I Lay Dying," t ...more
Dec 06, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008, fiction
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
Dec 05, 2013 rated it liked it
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
May 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
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.

Marika Bonuccelli
Jan 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un autore che per me è una garanzia. Dopo aver letto Il senso di una vita e Livelli di vita, ho deciso di leggere tutto di Barnes. Mi ha incantata così tanto con le sue storie e la sua scrittura che lo reputo uno degli autori che più amo. Le aspettative sono quindi molto alte.
Una storia che, a prima impressione, appare un po' diversa dalle altre già lette per quanto riguarda i contenuti.
Ciò che subito colpisce è lo stile della narrazione: tre persone, tre punti ti vista diversi che si alternano
Robert Palmer
Feb 26, 2014 rated it liked it
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
Mar 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads
My short summary: Stuart and Gillian were married until Stuart's best buddy Oliver stole her away. Stuart never got over Gillian, so when Oliver and Gillian hit a rough patch, Stuart finds a way of moving back into her life. Their lives.

That plot is not unique, but the way Julian Barnes goes about telling it certainly is. You, the reader, are the interviewer, and Gillian, Oliver, and Stuart are telling you their points of view. There are also statements from Gillian and Oliver's daughters, Stua
Dec 27, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Dec 20, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-lit
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
Jan 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 18, 2013 rated it liked it
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
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.
Rick Bayko
Jun 14, 2016 rated it liked it
A harsh look at desire, coupling, love, loss of desire, obsession, and the ripple effect on others. Told directly to the reader by each of the people involved and affected. Interesting, in a depressing sort of way.
Aug 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
The characters are unappealing but Barnes is such a good writer that I enjoyed the book anyway.
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I wanted to give this book 5 stars, but it had no memorable ending. The characters simply slid out of view.
Ova Incekaraoglu
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Seni Sevmiyorum'un devamı ancak ilkinden daha güzel olmayı başarmış. Stuart / Gillian / Oliver o kadar canlılar ki, Barnes'ın karakter yaratım maharetini alkışlamak istiyor insan. Severek okudum.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this quite a bit after being somewhat dubious at the start. It's about, basically, a love triangle: husband #1 insinuates himself into the life of his ex-wife and her 2nd husband. But it's really about the stories we tell each other and ourselves, and how even the stories we tell ourselves aren't always true.

It's also interesting because the characters tell the story directly to the reader, bringing a bit of a sense of voyeurism to the act of reading. They occasionally break down the "fo
Samantha Chapnick
Mar 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: read-didn-t-like
After being captivated by the film, The Sense of an Ending, I enthusiastically got my hands on as many Julian Barnes books as possible and then randomly picked one to be my print print introduction to him. The only reason I made it to the end was to see if the same person who created that magnificent piece of art was going to ever live up to that promise in this book.

Not. I'm hoping this was a fluke and not indicative of all his work.

Love triangle between girl and two best friends goes nowhere
Huw Rhys
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a love triangle with a difference - we get the perspectives of all three participants as their fortunes keep revolving. It is brilliant and painful, thought provoking and wince inducing in equal measures.

As with all of Julian Barnes' prose, there are no wasted words - and many work on two or more levels. Whilst there is grit in abundance, this isn't a heavy read. Colourful, fully formed characters shock us and amuse us at every turn. No wonder Barnes is so widely lauded - he consistently
Florin Pitea
Jan 06, 2017 rated it did not like it
Whoever was unhappy with the way the original novel ended can always look forward to the sequel, I suppose. On the other hand, I'll give away both with hardly a trace of regret.
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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...

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“But life never lets you go, does it? You can't put down life the way you put down a book.” 10 likes
“In life, every ending is just the start of another story.” 8 likes
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