In a collection that is wise, funny, clever and moving, Julian Barnes has created characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by the knowledge that, for them, time is almost at an end.
The stories included are:
©2004 Julian Barnes (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
"A master at work, a writer in absolute control of his material. . . . Sweet, sour, bitter, wistful, ruminative, comic, elegiac–The Lemon Table is . . . a joy to read." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Beautifully wrought elegies for lost youth, lost promises and lost loves [that] attest to Mr. Barnes's growing depth as a writer, his newly embraced ability to create stories that are as affecting as they are cunning, as emotionally resonant as they are prettily fashioned." (New York Times)
"Filled with emotional resonance and hard-won wisdom, The Lemon Table is a virtuoso performance of remarkable clarity and insight." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)
I picked up this collection of short stories on the strength of Barnes's Booker-winning novel, The Sense of an Ending. Similarly, most of these stories also deal with aging--but without the humor and touch of hope found there. Quite a few deal with artists, musicians and writers who have lost their talent; several others involve elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer's and their caretakers. Overall, I found it rather sad and depressing, although finely written.
Really, no fun at all. Too bad, because I dearly love Prunella Scales. She is one of the very best readers. Barnes just comes off as mean-spirited to come up with these miserable creatures and then make fools of them in narrative.
"Bit of a lemon"
Sorry Mr Barnes, I know you are a good writer, but this collection of short stories did not leave me wanting more - in fact I couldn't even finish it.
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