“You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed . . .”
Julian Barnes’s new book is about ballooning, photography, love and grief; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. One of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize described him as “an unparalleled magus of the heart.” This book confirms that opinion.
“A remarkable narrative that is as raw in its emotion as it is characteristically elegant in its execution.” —Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
About Julian Barnes
Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories, and three collections of journalism. In addition to the Booker Prize, his other honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London.
Acclaim from the U.K.
“A precisely composed, often deeply moving hybrid of non-fiction, 'fabulation,' and straightforward reminiscence and contemplation.” —Joyce Carol Oates, The Times Literary Supplement
“A remarkable narrative that is as raw in its emotion as it is characteristically elegant in its execution.” – Eileen Battersby, The Irish Times
“A book whose slimness belies its throbbing emotional power.” – Leyla Sanai, The Independent
“A luminous meditation on love and grief.” —Jane Shlling, The Telegraph
“At times unbearably sad, but it is also exquisite: a paean of love, and on love, and a book unexpectedly full of life. . . . In time [this] may come to be viewed as the hardest test and finest vindication of [Barnes's] literary powers.” —Rosemary Goring, The Herald (Scotland)
“Both a supremely crafted artefact and a desolating guidebook to the land of loss.” —John Carey, The Sunday Times
“Spare and beautiful...a book of rare intimacy and honesty about love and grief. To read it is a privilege. To have written it is astonishing.” —Ruth Scurr, The Times
“This complex, precise and beautiful book hits you in the solar plexus and leaves you gasping for air. . . . It's an unrestrained, affecting piece of writing, raw and honest and more truthful for its dignity and artistry, every word resonant with its particular pitch. It defies objectivity. Anyone who has loved and suffered loss, or just suffered, should read this book, and re-read it, and re-read it.” —Martin Fletcher, The Independent
“As the slim volume progresses, something not quite central to your vision builds, so that by the end you are blindsided by a quiet devastation. . . . Levels of Life would seem to pull off the impossible: to recreate, on the page, what it is like to be alive in the world.” —Emma Brockes, The Guardian