The Only Story: A Novel
(Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read)

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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2018
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Description
One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times Most of us have only one story to tell . . . only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine.One summer in the sixties, in a staid suburb south of London, nineteen-year-old Paul comes home from university and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. There he's partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who's forty-eight, confident, witty, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is a warm companion, her bond with Paul immediate. And soon, inevitably, they are lovers. Basking in the glow of one another, they set up house together in London. Decades later, Paul looks back at how they fell in love and how—gradually, relentlessly—everything fell apart. As he turns over his only story in his mind, examining it from different vantage points, he finds himself confronted with the contradictions and slips of his own memory—and the ways in which our narratives and our lives shape one another. Poignant, vivid and profound, The Only Story is a searing novel of memory, devotion, and how first love fixes a life forever.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
04/17/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780525521297
ASIN:
B075614RHT
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33
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:54:45
Date Updated:
Sep 15, 2019 04:51:52
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title
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      • value: love
      • value: Coming of age
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      • value: the sense of an ending
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      • role: Author
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      • bioText: JULIAN BARNES is the author of twenty-one previous books, for which he has received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the French Prix Medicis and Prix Femina; the Austrian State Prize for European Literature; and in 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in London.
      • name: Julian Barnes
imprint
Vintage
publishDate
2018-04-17T00:00:00-04:00
isOwnedByCollections
True
title
The Only Story
fullDescription
One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times
Most of us have only one story to tell . . . only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine.

One summer in the sixties, in a staid suburb south of London, nineteen-year-old Paul comes home from university and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. There he's partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who's forty-eight, confident, witty, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is a warm companion, her bond with Paul immediate. And soon, inevitably, they are lovers.
Basking in the glow of one another, they set up house together in London. Decades later, Paul looks back at how they fell in love and how—gradually, relentlessly—everything fell apart. As he turns over his only story in his mind, examining it from different vantage points, he finds himself confronted with the contradictions and slips of his own memory—and the ways in which our narratives and our lives shape one another. Poignant, vivid and profound, The Only Story is a searing novel of memory, devotion, and how first love fixes a life forever.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Doug Childers, Richmond Times-Dispatch
      • content: "Barnes' prose is quietly elegant and adroit. . . . [The Only Story is] a thought-provoking meditation on memory and the seemingly endless complexities of love."
      • premium: False
      • source: People
      • content: "Haunting. . . . A brilliant, rueful look at love--what we do for it, how we experience it and what makes it die."
      • premium: False
      • source: Financial Times
      • content: "A bleak and brilliant novel about memory and what ultimately matters most."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Economist
      • content: "Vivid. . . . Mr. Barnes is a master of the novel that unfolds cleanly before the reader and yet interrogates itself as it is told."
      • premium: False
      • source: Michael Gorra, The New York Review of Books
      • content: "Much of the pleasure in The Only Story comes from the wit and verbal precision that Barnes allows his narrator. . . . Barnes's switch from voice to voice is at once understated and dazzling."
      • premium: False
      • source: Emily Donaldson, Maclean's
      • content: "Genius. . . . [The Only Story] drives a truck through romantic love's ideal while unsentimentally affirming its power."
      • premium: False
      • source: Malcom Forbes, Minneapolis Star Tribune
      • content: "Exquisite and compassionate."
      • premium: False
      • source: Alexander Moran, Booklist (starred)
      • content: "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."
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2017

        A love affair between a 48-year-old and a 19-year-old is hardly unheard of, but Man Booker Prize winner Barnes reverses gender expectations, with home-from-university Paul falling for married mother Susan Mcleod when they're partnered together at a mixed doubles tournament at their south-of-London tennis club. First, they're lovers, then they're living together, combating irate family members on both sides. Decades later, with Susan dead, Paul contemplates all that went so well and all that finally went wrong.

        Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        February 15, 2018
        A May-September romance devolves into dysfunction and regret.Much like Barnes' 2011 novel, The Sense of an Ending, this one involves a man looking back at a youthful error in judgment and considering its consequences. Paul, the narrator, recalls being 19 and falling for 48-year-old Susan, who's in a loveless, sexless, and abusive marriage. Cocksure about their relationship in spite of others' judgments--Paul's parents and Susan's husband are righteously indignant, and the duo are kicked out of the tennis club where they began their affair--Paul decides to move in with Susan to pursue "exactly the relationship of which my parents would most disapprove." The thrill of independence is short-lived, though, as Susan's nascent alcoholism intensifies; the first half of the book mentions Susan's drinking habit, but as if to mirror Paul's youthful ignorance, Barnes doesn't overtly signal how deep she's sunk until she's practically beyond help. Barnes also shifts the narrative voice across the novel to underscore Paul's callowness: The novel opens in first person, turns to second as if to shift blame upon the reader, then closes in a bereft, distant third. Barnes' characterizations of both Paul and Susan are detailed and robust, though given the narrative structure, Susan remains a bit of a cipher. What prompted her to drink? What kept her from pushing back against her husband? Most critically, what drew her to Paul? Paul, though, is mainly concerned with what made their romance distinct from the usual romantic cliches. In other words, he's narcissistic, and his rhetoric, in first person or not, often takes on a needy, pleading tone ("sometimes, first love cauterizes the heart"; "tough love is also tough on the lover.") But that's by Barnes' design, and it's consistently clear that Paul was in love, just tragically ill-equipped to manage it.A somber but well-conceived character study suffused with themes of loss and self-delusion.

        COPYRIGHT(2018) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        February 19, 2018
        Barnes’s deeply touching novel is a study of heartbreak; like his Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending, it includes fading reminiscences, emotional complications, and moments of immeasurable sadness as an aging Englishman remembers his first and only love. Bored 19-year-old Paul meets 48-year-old Susan at the tennis club when they pair up for mixed doubles. She has a husband and two daughters older than Paul, but it is the 1960s, Paul’s first summer home from university, and he is impervious to social correctness, parental disapproval, or long-term consequences. Paul and Susan share a satiric view of their suburban surroundings that turns into a secret romance, then a not-so-secret affair. Together they move to London, where, over the next decade, Paul studies law and becomes a law office manager while Susan deteriorates into alcoholism and depression. Fifty years later, Paul looks back on the relationship in an account strewn with unanswerable questions and observations about the nature of love. As painful memories mount, Paul’s narration switches first
        to second person and then builds more distance by settling into third person. By revisiting the flow and ebb of one man’s passion, Barnes eloquently illuminates the connection between an old man and his younger self. 75,000-copy announced first printing.

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shortDescription
One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle, Financial Times
Most of us have only one story to tell . . . only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine.

One summer in the sixties, in a staid suburb south of London, nineteen-year-old Paul comes home from university and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. There he's partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who's forty-eight, confident, witty, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is a warm companion, her bond with Paul immediate. And soon, inevitably, they are lovers.
Basking in the glow of one another, they set up house together in London. Decades later, Paul looks back at how they fell in love and how—gradually, relentlessly—everything fell apart. As he turns over his only story in his mind, examining it from different vantage points, he finds himself confronted with the contradictions and slips of his own...
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group