Tell us about it

Alex Clark

  • Love, etc by Julian Barnes
    Cape, 250 pp, £15.99, August 2000, ISBN 0 224 06109 7

Ironies accumulate in the work of Julian Barnes, like – well, perhaps we’d better not attempt to say what they are like, since Love, etc contains several admonitions on the dangers of metaphor, of likening one thing to another, and on the possible outcome of paying too much attention to what is not real. Most of the warnings fall from the mouth of the doggedly pragmatic Stuart, whose rough ride in the world of marriage, love and romance has sent him scurrying towards all that is solid, material, practical. ‘I’ve come to some conclusions in my time,’ he tells us:

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