Nothing to Be Frightened Of
The grace with which Barnes weaves together all of these threads makes the experience of reading the book nothing less than exhilarating. Although he cautions us that "this is not my autobiography," the book nonetheless reveals much about Barnes the man and the novelist: how he thinks and how he writes and how he lives. At once deadly serious and dazzlingly playful, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a wise, funny and constantly surprising tour of the human condition.
From the Hardcover edition.
READ AN EXCERPT
1. Nothing to Be Frightened Of opens with an arresting sentence: "I don't believe in God, but I miss Him" [p. 3]. How is it possible to both miss God and not believe in him? Is Julian Barnes's brother, Jonathan, right in regarding such a sentiment as "soppy"?
2. How does Barnes manage to make a 244-page...
FINALIST FOR THE PEN/ACKERLEY PRIZE
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book
“This brilliant meditation on death, a family memoir, and an argument with God (whom the author doesn’t believe in, but misses) lays Barnes bare like no other previous work.” Zsuzsi Gartner, The Globe and Mail
“Because his style has always been exceedingly irreverent and anything but lugubrious, he makes this horrible of all horrible subjects a light, amusing diversion almost.... Whether you believe spending a little regular time getting used to the idea that one day there will be no eyeballs in that skull of yours or you wish to avoid the unpleasant truth for now, picking up Barnes’s death ramblings might be as good a way to spend some of the time you have left as any.” Edmonton Journal
“A double-jointed performance in which Barnes lets his sharp, obsessive mind wander in search of some kind of meaning. . . . If he doesn’t come up with any answers here, he asks a lot of provocative and fascinating questions. Call him Mr. Meaningful.” Ottawa Citizen
“Barnes is neither depressed, nor depressing. He is honest and fantastically unconventional in discussing what is a matter of curiosity and concern to everyone who expects one day to die.... Death is inescapable and, in some manner to be revealed only at a later date, is approaching. If Barnes doesn’t make the prospect more palatable, he certainly makes it more stimulating.” The Gazette