Metroland
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Metroland

3.62 (2,285 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From the winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction comes a magnificent portrait of youth and growing up.

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 him, to Toni's disappointment, back to Metroland.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 16mm | 117.93g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099540061
  • 9780099540069
  • 175,912

Review quote

"I was captivated from the first page. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a first novel more" -- Nina Bawden * Daily Telegraph * "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 * "A rare and unusual first novel" -- William Boyd * London Magazine * "A very funny, touching first novel. It has a hard comic edge to it that is logical and at the same time extremely diverting" * Spectator * "One would have to look very hard to find a wryer, more lovingly detailed account of intellectual and sexual innocence abroad" -- Jay Parini * New York Times *
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About Julian Barnes

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 Legion d'honneur.
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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
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Review Text

"One would have to look very hard to find a wryer, more lovingly detailed account of intellectual and sexual innocence abroad"
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Rating details

2,285 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 16% (356)
4 42% (962)
3 33% (752)
2 8% (174)
1 2% (41)

Our customer reviews

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.show more
by Nechama
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