Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Wendy Lesser on Julian Barnes

in Slate (it's a generous & persuasive little essay, I must get that Barnes book, I have always felt rather the same way about him but this one sounds remarkably good and Lesser is someone whose judgment I trust):

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.)


  1. thanks. i reserved ARTHUR AND GEORGE at the library. Am re-reading THE CATCHER IN THE RYE after 50 years. i had forgotten how marvelous it is.

  2. Art and George got a mixed review in today's NEW YORK SUN.