Levels of Life
Julian Barnes / Jonathan Cape / 2013-4-4
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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.
"Affecting, profound." (Guardian )
"An alluring-sounding melange of history, fiction and memoir." (Sunday Times )
"While one might expect a Barnes book to impress, delight, move, disconcert or amuse, the last thing for which his work prepares us is the blast of paralysingly direct emotion that concludes Levels of Life. The extraordinary power of the final segment, in which Barnes writes with astonishing precision about mourning and grief, those areas of human experience so often camouflaged with evasion and silence. It's writing so intense that one has trouble meeting its gaze: a love song to "the heart of my life, the life of my heart" as well as a fearsome acknowledgement of the depths of a survivor's grief, when "what is taken away is greater than the sum of what was there"." (Tim Martin Daily Telegraph )

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