julian Barnes


There is a peculiar pleasure that comes to a critic who has badly underestimated the capacities of a particular novelist. Peculiar, because one hates to look like a fool; but pleasure, because it is always good to find the number of excellent novels in the world enlarged. With his new book, Arthur & George, Julian Barnes has increased that tally by one, and I am left feeling suitably chastened by my failure to foresee this turn of events. (But before I proceed with my mea culpa, a quick caveat emptor: To champion Barnes, I can’t help giving away the plot. So, click away now if you’re planning to read Arthur & George, and come back when you’re done.)

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