Clare Higgins, Alex Jennings and Steven Pacey read Man Booker Prize-winning author Julian Barnes' 'he said, she said' novel.
Introducing Stuart, Gillian and Oliver. One by one they take their turn to speak straight out to the camera - and give their side of a contemporary love triangle. What begins as a comedy of misunderstanding slowly darkens and deepens into a compelling exploration of the quagmires of the heart.
“tour de force of alternating monologue…three impeccable actors, Steven Pacey, Alex Jennings, and Clare Higgins…and there isn't a false note anywhere. A wonderful performance.” (
"An interplay of serious thought and dazzling wit. . . . It's moving, it's funny, it's frightening . . . fiction at its best." ( New York Times Book Review)
"A witty and provocative novel from the author of the masterpiece Flaubert's Parrot.” ( Library Journal)
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I would make it more emotionally engaging, make characters more interesting and sympathetic, so I could care about them. Of course not every book need to be emotionally engaging and it's characters likable. It could be cold analysis of human behaviour, but I don't think it was the intention of the author.
Although the ending is quite violent it left me indifferent. It clearly suggest that a sequel is coming.
It is hard to distinguish immediately who is talking Stuart or Oliver. It takes some time to observe 'Oh this is Stuart/Oliver talking!' I didn't like their interpretation of their characters, especially, often excessively brash. Also it doesn't help that the interpreter of the female main character Gillian do also, her mother, landlady, hotel owner etc. All in first-person voice.
Obviously, as I mentioned above, it ends like the end of a first volume of a novel, but I doubt I'll be interested in follow up.
I bought this book after listening excellent The Sense of an Ending and I expected something on this level but I was dearly disappointed.