This little book, of course, won the 2012 Booker Prize. I already read Arthur and George (reviewed some time ago) and enjoyed it, so I thought I would give this a go.

Verdict: it's well written, evocative in its own way, but I couldn't help thinking 'Is this really the best we've got?'

The book is going to appeal to older people (lots of ruminations about the meaning of life once most of it is past, plus much of the first half of the book takes place in the 60s); also to those who feel they aren't bound overmuch by convention (hence Barnes' frequent blunt mentions of sex); plus those who enjoy a fairly normal, if smooth, style of writing. There's nothing adventurous here. It's good, yes. It's innovative?  No. Is it likely to be regarded as a classic x years down the line?  I suspect not.

If you are, say, over 45 and a have a vaguely introspective character, you'll enjoy this. If you just like reading something that;s well written, regardless of its actual content, you'll enjoy this. But, perhaps surprisingly given it's pedigree, I wouldn't recommend it otherwise.
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