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Reviews of Lemon Table, the (2004)

Review by berenice (2006-02-15)
This is a brilliant book on growing old and the utter frontier of the human soul, death, treated sweetly, cleverly, brilliantly as just Julian Barnes can be. The books opens with a delightful short account on how a man perceives his own ritual at hairdressing shops throughout the different stages of his life, a very tasty start. “Bark” has a similar savor but with a different treat, like a twist on a perfect recipe already tried (he added more bark, gambling, binging, and wine to this one). The Story of Mats Israelson is one of love and hope, regardless of the bitter taste that loves usually leaves on our mouths; he reminds us that when one loves, truly, then no matter what, one loves! Yet my favorite is an almost-essay seasoned one: Vigilance. Vigilance is an relation on the eccentric habits of an older man that while doing what he likes most: assisting to concerts, has to deal with what he hates most: the way people behaves at concerts per se. Vigilance is a hilarious brilliant piece in quirkiness, good taste, and the tolerance we develop (decrease?) with age. If you haven’t enjoy Julian Barnes get this book as soon as you can, if you don’t fall in love with the whole book at once, at least, I am sure, you’ll find a short story that will relate to you finely fine.

©Steven Jeffery /, 2017
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