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Metroland

Metroland

Book rating: 04 Paperback Vintage Books

By (author) Julian Barnes

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 176 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 194mm x 16mm | 118g
  • Publication date: 3 September 2009
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099540061
  • ISBN 13: 9780099540069
  • Sales rank: 136,771

Product description

Christopher and Toni found in each other the perfect companion for that universal adolescent pastime: smirking at the world as you find it. In between training as flaneurs and the grind of school they cast a cynical eye over their various dislikes: parents with their lives of spotless emptiness, Third Division (North) football teams, God, commuters and girls, and the inhabitants of Metroland, the strip of suburban dormitory Christopher calls home. Longing for real life to begin, we follow Christopher to Paris in time for les evenements of 1968, only to miss it all in a haze of sex, French theatre and first love, leading, to Toni's disappointment, back to Metroland.

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Author information

Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, Arthur & George and most recently The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare and The Pedant in the Kitchen. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only British writer to have won both the Prix Medicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). In 2004 he received the Austrian State Prize for European Literature, and in 2011 he was awarded the David Cohen Prize for Literature. He lives in London.

Customer reviews

By Nechama 17 May 2012 4

Metroland: Julian Barnes
This book is really quite funny. I thought it could have been more extended - I wanted to know more about Chris' childhood, about his time in Paris, especially about what happened after he returned to Metroland. The humour in this book is very English, very schoolboy, but there were certain analogies/metaphors/allusions that went right over my head. I think this book was written for a different generation. But even so, I really, really enjoyed reading it. It is a perfect English book of the perils of awkward adolescence, the amusing pain of first love (or sex) and the lethargy and disillusionment of middle age. Happily though, Julian Barnes avoids stereotype and inevitability by seeing Chris content and at peace with his married life. I liked him much more as a result. Interesting, though, to see how much he matured throughout the course of the book. He took on an intense sensibility that he seemed not to possess as an adolescent.

Review quote

"A dazzling entertainer" New Yorker "One of the best accounts of clever English schoolboyhood I've read" Times Literary Supplement "If all works of fiction were as thoughtful, as subtle, as well constructed, and as funny as Metroland there would be no more talk of the death of the novel" New Statesman "Irony and imagery are deployed with a finesse even Flaubert wouldn't wince at...consumately elegant" Sunday Times

Editorial reviews

If all works of fiction were as thoughtful, as subtle, as well constructed, and as funny as Metroland there would be no more talk of the death of the novel

Back cover copy

'One of the best accounts of clever English schoolboyhood I've read' Times Literary Supplement Christopher and Toni found in each other the perfect companion for that universal adolescent pastime: smirking at the world as you find it. In between training as flaneurs and the grind of school they cast a cynical eye over their various dislikes: parents with their lives of spotless emptiness, Third Division (North) football teams, God, commuters and girls, and the inhabitants of Metroland, the strip of suburban dormitory Christopher calls home. Longing for real life to begin, we follow Christopher to Paris in time for les evenements of 1968, only for him to miss it all in a haze of sex, French theatre and first love, leading, to Toni's disappointment, back to Metroland. ‘Consummately elegant’ Sunday Times 'If all works of fiction were as thoughtful, as subtle, as well constructed, and as funny as Metroland there would be no more talk of the death of the novel' New Statesman