The Only Story
Julian Barnes is one of England's finest living authors and this is yet another of his elegant novels forensically detailing the endless vicissitudes of love. Not a word is wasted as he traces the cataclysmic affect of an affair, between a married forty-something and a teenage boy. Despite Barnes' typically measured prose, the impact of the emotional and physical decline of the characters is almost percussive. Gavin
Reviewed by Sally Another book I could not put down this year. The Only Story is, of course, about love - the pivot point of Paul's life. Now elderly and alone, with a vast and difficult bank of memories - Paul recollects his tragic love affair with Susan, 27 years his senior. If you've read Barnes before, you know what a meticulous writer he is. Exploring the sexual revolution and changing domestic mores, this unusual and difficult love story is woven with the finest thread and is a real treat to read. "Most of us have only one story to tell. I don't mean that only one thing happens to us in our lives: there are countless events, which we turn into countless stories. But there's only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine."
Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays and two books of non-fiction, Nothing to be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life. In 2017 he was awarded the LUgion d'honneur.