Levels of Life

2 ratings 4 stars

This short, unconventional book is probably the most moving that Julian Barnes has ever written

Subject: Memoirs
Levels of Life, Julian Barnes

You put together two things that have not been put together before. And the world is changed…

In Levels of Life Julian Barnes gives us Nadar, the pioneer balloonist and aerial photographer; he gives us Colonel Fred Burnaby, reluctant adorer of the extravagant Sarah Bernhardt; then, finally, he gives us the story of his own grief, unflinchingly observed.

This is a book of intense honesty and insight; it is at once a celebration of love and a profound examination of sorrow.

Available Formats

  • Paperback
    $19.99 RRP
    ISBN: 9780099584537
    Published: 01/04/2014
    Imprint: Vintage
    Extent: 128 pages
  • eBook
    ISBN: 9781448180844
    Published: 04/04/2013
    Imprint: Vintage Digital
    Extent: 128 pages
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"It is extraordinary... [It] would seem to pull off the impossible: to recreate, on the page, what it is like to be alive in the world." - Emma Brockes, Guardian

"This is a book of rare intimacy and honesty about love and grief. To read it is a privilege. To have written it is astonishing." - Ruth Scurr, The Times

"It’s an unrestrained, affecting piece of writing, raw and honest and more truthful for its dignity and artistry... Anyone who has loved and suffered loss, or just suffered, should read this book, and re-read it, and re-read it." - Martin Fletcher, Independent

"Levels of Life is both a supremely crafted artefact and a desolating guidebook to the land of loss." - John Carey, Sunday Times

"While one might expect a Barnes book to impress, delight, move, disconcert or amuse, the last thing for which his work prepares us is the blast of paralysingly direct emotion that concludes Levels of Life." - Tim Martin, Daily Telegraph

"Levels of Life is, deep-down, a heartfelt attempt to chronicle the strange journey that follows the death of a loved one." - Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

"A Taj Mahal made of paper not white marble." - Peter Conrad, Observer

"A magnificent blast of unflinching prose." - Daily Telegraph

"A magnificent blast of unflinching prose." - Daily Telegraph

"Powerful and well-articulated." - Roger Lewis, Daily Mail

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; four collections of essays; and two books of non-fiction, Nothing To Be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times Number One bestseller Levels of Life. He lives in London.