In a collection that is wise, funny, clever and moving, Julian Barnes has created characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by the knowledge that, for them, time is almost at an end.
The stories included are:
- 'A Short History of Hairdressing'
- 'The Story of Mats Israelson'
- 'The Things You Know'
- 'The Revival'
- 'Knowing French'
- 'The Fruit Cage'
- 'The Silence.
What members say
A Real Downer
I picked up this collection of short stories on the strength of Barnes's Booker-winning novel, The Sense of an Ending. Similarly, most of these stories also deal with aging--but without the humor and touch of hope found there. Quite a few deal with artists, musicians and writers who have lost their talent; several others involve elderly people who suffer from Alzheimer's and their caretakers. Overall, I found it rather sad and depressing, although finely written.
13 of 17 people found this review helpful
Banal, petty characters mocked by author.
Really, no fun at all. Too bad, because I dearly love Prunella Scales. She is one of the very best readers. Barnes just comes off as mean-spirited to come up with these miserable creatures and then make fools of them in narrative.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Bit of a lemon
Sorry Mr Barnes, I know you are a good writer, but this collection of short stories did not leave me wanting more - in fact I couldn't even finish it.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
- Festival goer
Imaginative and cleverly written short stories read beautifully but not so as to distract from the writing
- Merrit Morgan
The usual genius
What made the experience of listening to The Lemon Table the most enjoyable?
Julian Barne's impeccable writing and being able to hear it read properly.
What did you like best about this story?
The range and variety of characters.
Have you listened to any of Timothy West and Prunella Scales ’s other performances? How does this one compare?
Yes, they are always wonderful. These first class narrators make all the difference.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Some of the stories are quite disturbing...they have stayed with me
Any additional comments?
I love his work and it is so fantastic to hear it read so well. Loved it. Make a long journey very enjoyable.