A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

  • by Julian Barnes
  • Narrated by Alex Jennings
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is one of the defining novels of English writer Julian Barnes. An entertaining melange of stories, starting with a contemporary account of the launch of Noah's Ark, takes us into unexpected areas of human foibles, activities, and tendencies.
After success with the main novels of Haruki Murakami, Naxos AudioBooks turns its attention to other major literary works of recent times.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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What the Critics Say

“Barnes's witty and sometimes acerbic retelling of the history of the world. The stories are connected, if only tangentially, which is precisely Barnes's point: historians may tell us that "there was a pattern," but history is "just voices echoing in the dark . . . strange links, impertinent connections." Fascinating reading from the author of Flaubert's Parrot.” (Library Journal)
"Frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic and a delight to read." (Salman Rushdie)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Entertaining, often funny

This is like a collection of short stories that have an overlap with characters and themes, without quite making it seem like it is just one whole story. I found it was a very pleasant listen and quite enlightening, a few laugh out loud moments too. I really liked the style of the stories all being so different but having a common thread linking them all in some way. There were a couple of parts I found went a little bit off what I would normally expect to listen to but I was quite suprised to find I was happily engaged by them and neither went on long enough that I lost interest, just enough to be interesting. Well narrated, well written and entertaining. Will give some of the other titles by this author a listen.
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- Martin

Odd - but enjoyable

I like short stories and so this was perfect, for that is what the book is, basically. A series of short, often very different stories. Some are sad, some savage, some dry, witty and wry.

The narration was perfect.

I have given it 4 stars overall partly because of the reader; the story (such as it is, there isn't one, really) gets only 3. So if a book that has a beginning, middle and end is your cup of tea, this might not be. It's not a novel, it's a series of (very lightly) linked tales.
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- Alison

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2007
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks