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A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters (Picador Books)
ISBN 0330313991 / 9780330313995 / 0-330-31399-1
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A stowaway aboard Noah's Ark gives us his account of the Voyage - a surprising, subversive one, quite unlike the official version - which explains a lot about how the human race has subsequently developed. A guest lecturer on a cruise ship in the Aegean has his work interrupted by a group of mysterious visitors who place him in a cruel dilemma. An ecclesiastical court in medieval France hears a bizarre case ...Barnes creates a kaleidoscope of narrative voices - from fiction and fact, painting and snatches of autobiography - that comes slowly and compellingly into focus.'You will want to read it again and again, and why not? There's nothing around to touch it' - Anne Smith, "Literary Review." 'There is more moral and intellectual fodder, and more jokes, here than you will read in a month of Sundays ...storytelling and teaching which captivate, liberate, and above all, enchant' - "Financial Times." 'Funny, ironic, erudite, surprising, and not afraid to take a dive overboard into the depths of sorrow and loss. My novel of the year' - Nadine Gordimer. [via]