Author(s): Julian Barnes
"BARNES' MASTERPIECE". (OBSERVER). In May 1937 a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House never return. So begins Julian Barnes' new novel. A story about the collision of Art and Power, about human compromise, cowardice and courage, it is the work of a true master.
Long-listed for Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction 2017.
"A masterpiece of biographical fiction... A great novel, Barnes's masterpiece... Exquisite, intimate detail. He has given us a novel that is powerfully affecting, a condensed masterpiece that traces the lifelong battle of one man's conscience, one man's art, with the insupportable exigencies of totalitarianism." -- Alex Preston Observer "Barnes's sombre, brilliant new novel opens with a scene like something from a story by Chekhov... Gleaming with intelligence and literary flair, this elegantly composed fictional meditation offers a fresh gloss on a musical genius's collisions and collusions with power." -- Peter Kemp Sunday Times "[Barnes is] a master of the narrative sidestep... Not just a novel about music, but something more like a musical novel... The story itself is structured in three parts that come together like a broken chord. It is a simple but brilliant device, and one that goes right to the heart of this novel." -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst The Times "A compelling novel about art and power, courage and cowardice, and the capriciousness of fate...Barnes brilliantly captures the composer's conflicted state of mind...This book is only 190 pages long, but it packs an extraordinary emotional punch." -- Sebastian Shakespeare Tatler "This is a slim novel about the big things: art, fear, Power...history's farcical, tragic repetitions. It is also quite excellent." -- Stephanie Cross Daily Mail
Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; four collections of essays; and two books of non-fiction, Nothing to be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times Number One bestseller Levels of Life. He lives in London.