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Flaubert's Parrot

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  9,838 Ratings  ·  732 Reviews
Which of two stuffed parrots was the inspiration for one of Flaubert's greatest stories? Why did the master keep changing the colour of Emma Bovary's eyes? And why should it matter so much to Geoffrey Braithwaite, a retired doctor haunted by a private secret? In "Flaubert's Parrot", Julian Barnes spins out a multiple mystery of obsession and betrayal (both scholarly and ro ...more
Paperback, 229 pages
Published 1985 by Picador (first published 1984)
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Popular Answered Questions

Moonshine Noire Quite a few actually. The most mentioned ones are Un Coeur Simple and Madame Bovary as you might expect.
Larry Yes. You don't need to read all of Flaubert, but if you haven't at least read Madame Bovary and A Simple Heart, you won't get nearly as much out of…moreYes. You don't need to read all of Flaubert, but if you haven't at least read Madame Bovary and A Simple Heart, you won't get nearly as much out of it.(less)

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Kalliope
Nov 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the biography of Gustave Flaubert written by the Francophile Julian Barnes.

Or may be not, may be this is a pointless story of a widower and retired doctor, Geoffrey Braithwaite, who is as fascinated with Flaubert as is his creator.

Or if we are to get intellectual, is this a satirical meditation on writing, on reading, on the possibilities of gaining a deeper insight into the literary output of an author by studying his life, or even on the irremediably fictional nature of being able
...more
Dolors
Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: The voyeur in you
Recommended to Dolors by: Deea
Shelves: read-in-2016
That I knew very little of Flaubert’s life was an advantage for me to get a full immersion into this literary extravaganza. One can tell that Barnes had fun writing this alternative biography of the famous French writer, using his stuffed parrot to concoct a colorful tapestry of interspersed anecdotes with metaliterary intention, ironic finesse and the savoir faire of a virtuous ventriloquist.

The fictitious narrator Doctor Geoffrey Braithwaite scrutinizes the correspondence between Flaubert and
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Fabian
Apr 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Will be top contender for novel of the year for me. Or, err... anti-novel? It is intelligent literary analysis at its most intimate, at its most arrestingly brilliant; this may be one of the best literary dissertations of all time. And that is, well, bizarre; the last time I had declared this so recalcitrantly, was for Mario Vargas Llosa's "The Perpetual Orgy," another immersive "lit. paper" of the 19th century Flaubert, and specifically on his megapopular diva M. Emma Bovary.

Barnes merges poeti
...more
Fionnuala
This book has been perched on my to-read shelf for quite a few years, so recently, fresh from reading Madame Bovary and L'éducation sentimentale (as well as Bouvard Et Pécuchet), I thought it the perfect moment to take Flaubert's Parrot down from the shelf and dust him off. On page sixteen however, Julien Barnes mentions Flaubert's Un coeur simple, saying, perhaps you know the story. I didn't, so I put Flaubert's Parrot back on the shelf and read the perfect little tale of Félicité and her parro ...more
·Karen·
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You might think this is a book about Flaubert's parrot. The title would indicate that this is not such a preposterous assumption to make. Or at least, if not the parrot, then about Flaubert himself, maybe the parrot is just a way in to a biography of the man? Again, not entirely erroneous. What we get, though, isn't really much of a biography at all, more the musings of a man called Geoffrey Braithwaite, who has a long-term obsession with the Frenchman and would like to write the definitive life ...more
Bianca
Is it splendid, or stupid, to take life seriously?

When I began listening to this audiobook, I wasn't in the right state of mind, as I was distracted and couldn't concentrate, so I was about to give up on it. I'm glad that I stuck it out, because, it turned out to be brilliant, delightful, surprising, and altogether original. I shouldn't be surprised, after all, the previous six Barnes books I listened to this year were of the highest quality - always extremely eloquent.

I am awed by Barnes' br
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This was a giant gimmick of a novel and I thought the gimmick just worked so well. I understand some readers disagree. I'm not going to say that them's fightin' words and I'm going to have to ask you to step outside. I'm just annoyingly, irritatingly going to tell you that I thought this was like a gloved hand on the back of your neck which inches its way round to your windpipe. What happens is that a dull kind of guy mooches about France collecting biographical data about the sainted Flaubert, ...more
Jim Fonseca
Apr 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A novel that is largely a non-traditional biography of Gustave Flaubert. We get all the usual biographical info on Flaubert we expect, but it’s organized in chapters such as one on the various colors of Madame Bovary’s eyes in the novel. Barnes threads the book with the fictitious biographer’s concern for, and reflections on, his wife dying of an illness. Spooky -- because Wiki tells us that Barnes’s wife actually died of a brain tumor in 2008, but Parrot was written in 1986.

One chapter is stru
...more
Edward
Oct 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
There's something about Barnes's prose that just feels so flawless. Rarely do I trip on an ill-suited word or poorly formed sentence. Flaubert's Parrot was a pleasure to read for its use of language, for its playful tone, and for its exhaustively researched expedition through literary history. The central conceit regarding obsession (though the thread was expertly woven into the fabric of the novel) was not entirely successful: one is left impressed with the effort, but not particularly moved by ...more
Sofia
Dec 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Ποια γνώση είναι χρήσιμη, ποια γνώση είναι αληθινή;" Για το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο δεν μπορώ να δώσω κάποια θετική απάντηση. Οι γνώσεις μου γύρω απο τον Φλωμπερ περιοριζονται στην Μανταμ Μποβαρυ που μου άφησε χλιαρές εντυπώσεις και στην Αισθητική Αγωγή που μετά τις 10 πρώτες σελίδες άφησα στην άκρη για όποτε. Έμαθα φυσικά κάποιες πληροφορίες για την ζωή του Φλωμπερ (αληθινές ή όχι δεν μπορώ να πω) , αλλά θα μπορούσα να συνεχίσω την ζωή μου και χωρίς αυτές για να είμαι ειλικρινής.
Το βιβλίο έχει μεγ
...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
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More about Julian Barnes...
“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books.” 3610 likes
“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren't. I'm not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people's lives, never your own.” 499 likes
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