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The Only Story

The Only Story by Julian Barnes
Apr 17, 2018 | 272 Pages
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  • Paperback $16.00

    Mar 05, 2019 | 272 Pages

  • Hardcover $25.95

    Apr 17, 2018 | 272 Pages

  • Ebook $12.99

    Apr 17, 2018 | 272 Pages

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“[The Only Story] combines complicated relationships with a limpid, unfussy style, brilliant wit with sorrow, an obsession with love and its shelf life, and a commitment not only to great storytelling but also to exploring how stories are told.”—Porter Shreve, San Francisco Chronicle
“Written with crystalline retrospection. . . . The youthful missteps that give shape to life is Julian Barnes’s great theme.”—Megan O’Grady, Vogue
“Barnes’ prose is quietly elegant and adroit. . . . [The Only Story is] a thought-provoking meditation on memory and the seemingly endless complexities of love.”—Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Tender and touching. . . . The Only Story is a gracefully told and . . . honest rendering of the arc of a great passion.”—Harvey Freedenberg, Book Reporter
“Heartbreaking. . . . It’s a cliché to say the love is inexplicable, but the strength of The Only Story is Barnes’s willingness to explore the nature of that inexplicability, how it makes for honeymoons and tragedies alike.”—Mark Athitakis, Newsday
“Beautifully done.”—Heller McAlpin, NPR
“Perplexing, profoundly enjoyable. . . . Lyrical and lasting.”—Thomas J. Millay, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Barnes’s novels, essays, and stories are among the most innovative works of literature of the past forty years [and The Only Story] is one of the best books of his career.”—Michael Magras, The Houston Chronicle
“The prose master paints a lovely, elegiac portrait of a young man’s disruptive love affair . . . forgoing the easy literary clichés of May-December romance for something much sadder, deeper, and more resonant.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Mesmeric. . . . The reader drifts along on Barnes’ gorgeous, undulating prose. Focusing on love, memory, nostalgia, and how contemporary Britain came to be, Barnes’ latest will enrapture readers from beginning to end.”—Alexander Moran, Booklist (starred)

“[This] deeply touching novel is a study of heartbreak. . . . By revisiting the flow and ebb of one man’s passion, Barnes eloquently illuminates the connection between an old man and his younger self.”—Publishers Weekly

“Consistently surprising. . . . It shows a novelist at the height of his powers [and is] a book that quietly sinks its hooks into the reader and refuses to let go.”—Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times (UK)
“Often playful and always elegant, [it] propels us forward, first into joy, and then into despair, and there is no escape from the central story as it becomes bleaker. This intense, taut, sad and often beautiful tale may well be Barnes’s best.”—Lara Feigel, The Spectator
“One to savour. . . . Emotionally acute, profoundly beautiful, as droll as it is deep.”— Hephzibah Anderson, The Mail on Sunday
“Gentle, bleak, and brilliant . . . His themes are the big, unfashionable universals—ageing, memory, above all love.”—Jon Day, The Financial Times

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