Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question.First love has lifelong consequences, but Paul doesnt know anything about that at nineteen. At nineteen, hes proud of the fact his relationship flies in the face of social convention.As he grows older, the demands placed on Paul by love become far greater than he could possibly have foreseen.Tender and profound, The Only Story is an achingly beautiful novel by one of fictions greatest mappers of the human heart....
|Title||:||The Only Story|
|Number of Pages||:||272 pages|
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The Only Story Reviews
We were together– under the same roof, that is– for ten or more years. Afterwards, I continued to see her regularly. In later years, less often. When she died, a few years ago, I acknowledged that the most vital part of my life had finally come to a close. I shall always think of her well, I promised myself. And this is how I would remember it all, if I could. But I can’t.
Julian Barnes’ latest novel, The Only Story tells the story of the narrator, Paul’s, one true love, through his memories look ...more
2.5 stars rounded up
I declared 2017 the Julian Barnes year on account of reading and loving seven of his books.
The Sense of An Ending, while it is one of his most popular books, was my least favourite novel of his. The Only Story is somewhat similar to that one, as it has an older narrator, Paul, reminiscing about his nineteen-year-old self in the 1960s and his first love and relationship with Susan, a woman twenty-nine years his senior. You read that right. Honestly, I didn't have any qualms ab ...more
Most of us have only one story to tell. I don’t mean that only one thing happens to us in our lives: there are countless events, which we turn into countless stories. But there’s only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine....more
Everyone has their love story. Everyone. It may have been a fiasco, it may have fizzled out, it may never even have got going, it may have been all in the mind, that doesn’t make it any less real. Sometimes, it makes it more real. Sometimes, you see a
This is Julian Barnes's latest offering, an author I absolutely adore. It is a profound and moving love story, and the complexities, intense suffering and heartbreak that accompanies it. It has Paul looking back on his only story, the love of his life, and his shifting perspectives as time passes. Barnes can be relied on for his well crafted beautiful prose and imagery, underscored by a musicality that beguiles and delights. The novel is split into three parts, and relates the story of 19 year o ...more
I wish this book hadn't been so drawn out and boring in the last 50% because Julian Barnes writing is absolutely beautiful.
"Don't expect too much of me."
from The Only Story
My mother warned me. She was thirty-eight and I was nineteen when she warned that it happens to all lovers. My aunt once pondered, "What happened to us?" while reflecting on her first love and failed marriage.
We see it all the time, famous couples in the news, the couple next door. We expect everything, throw ourselves into young love trusting that the connection shared is timeless and everlasting.
It is our 'only story' of love, that first love wh ...more
.“Would you rather love the more, and suffer the more; or love the less, and suffer the less? That is, I think, finally, the only real question. You may point out –correctly –that it isn’t a real question. Because we don’t have the choice. If we had the choice, then there would be a question. But we don’t, so there isn’t. Who can control how much they love? If you can control it, then it isn’t love. I don’t know what you call it instead, but it isn’t love.”.
Thus begins the latest novel by one of ...more
Paul meets Susan in a suburb in England in the 1960s. It's love. Only problem: he's 19 and she's 48.
Thus begins a decades long love affair that is destroyed not by the age difference (although maybe indirectly so: Susan's much longer life experience has left her, in fact, more vulnerable than Paul). There are the gifts of love--and the sacrifices.
I finished this yesterday and waited until today to write this review, to see if I still felt the same about the book. I do. Brilliantly written (as al ...more