A to Z Challenge - Favourite Books - Metroland by Julian Barnes

Metroland by Julian Barnes.


Julian Barnes seems to be a Francophile the way I'm an Anglophile. Every time I read one of his books, with the characters extolling French music or culture or food, I relate to the sentiment and simply replace the object. Oh to be in England, now that April's there.

Have any of you read Julian Barnes' books? I tore through the first ten or so, and even read the seamier, not-as-well-written ones he penned under the name of Dan Kavanagh, but... Everything was ruined for me after I read England, England.

The story was so-so - the concept is that all of English culture is moved to the Isle of Wight, as a sort of theme park - but there's that one chapter... I think it even won an award the year the book was released, for the worst bedroom scene in a novel.

Is it possible to move on and read new books by an author who has left such a sour taste in your mouth? For me, it's been like finding out that a good friend is actually a liar and a cheat. And yet... I still have his last book, Booker-Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending, on my wishlist. I can't let go!

Comments

Zan Marie said…
I can't imagine a scene winning for the worst bedroom scene in a novel! Yikes! You're braver than I am, Deniz.
Talli Roland said…
Hmm. Sounds... interesting!

PS - How long will you be in London for?
Medeia Sharif said…
This is going on my wish list.

I had Barnes on my to-be-read list in college but never got around to reading him.
Carol Riggs said…
I haven't heard of this book or Julian Barnes, no! Interesting! But argh, yeah, on the one bad scene. Good analogy on the feeling of sour betrayal. I feel that way about some movies, too (if it just didn't have that ONE scene...).
stu said…
I sincerely hope it works, since my own published novels are of wildly varying quality. I haven't read Barnes' stuff though, but I vaguely like the Isle of Wight idea. Perhaps it came from that old factoid about everyone in the country being able to fit on it.
Old Kitty said…
I've not read him, but I will now! Yay! Take care
x
Deniz Bevan said…
I had no idea that scene was coming when I picked up the book, Zan Marie. It really grossed me out.

Sunday all day, Talli! And Monday morning, maybe. Wish it could be longer :-)

If you do read him, Medeia and Carol, make sure it's the older novels from 80s. Those are quite lovely.

I liked the idea lot, stu. I felt he could have done more with the novel...

Hope you like his other stuff, Kitty!
Hi Deniz .. some great friends read his books - and I really should try one - I will in due course ..

Thanks for reminding me about him .. and the warning re the Francophile bit .. cheers Hilary
Jemi Fraser said…
I am always so disappointed when I hit an awful scene or book by an author I've liked. I have dropped an author or 2 for that very reason!
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks for coming by, Hilary!

I'm glad it hasn't happened too often, Jemi!
Raelyn Barclay said…
I haven't read him but I have heard about that scene before, LOL. I have so many books on my TBR list even if I added Barnes I'm not sure I'd get around to reading him!

You're doing really well with the A to Z challenge :)
Deniz Bevan said…
Thanks so much Raelyn!
Nas Dean said…
This is going on my wish list.
I'm a Francophile too, so I should check this out.
I suppose it is quite possible to do well with one idea and not with another?
Deniz Bevan said…
Hope you like it, Nas and Theresa!
I expect so, soggy. I still have his latest novels on my wishlist though.

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