Book: Julian Barnes - Pulse

Julian Barnes fans and lovers of the short story won’t be disappointed by this collection of tales about love, loss and the senses.

It’s divided into two sections and the first explores relationships – with ominous, often witty studies of the seething resentments lurking beneath the surface of everyday interactions, as well as the deeply affecting nature of love.

Barnes recently lost his wife and the story Marriage Lines, about a newly widowed man who returns to the remote island beloved by his wife and him, is a heartwrenching portrait of grief.

The second half explores the senses and there is a historical flavour to the stories.

The Limner, for example, is a brilliant story set in the 18th century about a deaf portrait painter who exacts sweet revenge on his cold-hearted subject. The pulse of life runs through this book, leaving you thoroughly entertained and with much food for thought.

Pulse by Julian Barnes,

Jonathan Cape, R280

Rating: 4/5 

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