Jennifer's Reviews > A History of the World in 10½ Chapters

A History of the World in 10½  Chapters by Julian Barnes
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Jun 12, 2012

really liked it
Read in June, 2012

This is pretty fascinating although atypical and slightly maddening book. The subtly linked stories are a tad uneven but interesting on their own and very engagingly written. Together they encourage the reader to think about important life themes in an increasingly broader context: in the context of the history of the world.

Some of the humor seemed silly. Some of the plot twists were awfully unlikely. But I enjoyed the mental gymnastics of the more essay-like chapters (art history, philosophy) and how all led to thinking about religion, voyages, history, truth and love.

While I did not pick up on the influence of Borges, Calvino, Nabokov, Roland Barthes and Michel Tournier that Joyce Carol Oates mentions, I did enjoy her review of the book for the NYTimes: http://www.nytimes.com/1989/10/01/boo...
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Trina I've often wondered about this title, because I like Julian Barnes! Thanks for reviewing, and posting JCO's review!


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