- well, sort of - by Julian Barnes
. It consists of eleven interlinked short stories
- I never really worked out which one was supposed to be the 'half' - written in varying styles. These include a description of life on Noah's Ark
and an essay on the nature of love
, as well as several slightly-interlinked stories. The final chapter
is a 'dream' about what Heaven
might be like (not as good as we'd expect, apparently.)
It's difficult to describe the plot properly, because, well - it has one, somewhere, but it's not easy to say what it is. After a while you begin to notice recurring themes - for instance, weirdly, he manages to make some reference to woodworm somehow in almost every story. I don't know if this is supposed to be a metaphor. Probably.
I read this book about two years ago, and I loved it. At least one of the chapters made me cry (although it is pretty easy to make me cry), and several of them haunted me for a week or so afterwards, and kept popping up in my dreams, and wandering into my thoughts at unexpected moments. However, I never felt like I really understood it. It kind of gave me that feeling of 'There's something hidden here, and if I were more intelligent, I'd know what it was'. I've read it several times now, though, and still don't feel like I'm any closer to 'getting it'. Perhaps I was wrong, and there isn't really anything more to get. I don't know if I'd think that was a good thing or not, if it were true.
I just suddenly felt a strange desire to write a node about this. I have no idea why.