BookBrowse Reviews Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

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Levels of Life

By Julian Barnes

Levels of Life
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2013,
    144 pages.
    Paperback: 1 Jul 2014,
    144 pages.

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Levels of Life is a book about ballooning, photography, love and loss; about putting two things, and two people, together, and about tearing them apart. It is an immediate classic on the subject of grief.

In Levels of Life, Julian Barnes, winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending, describes the intense loss and disorientation he feels since his wife, renowned literary agent Pat Kavanagh, died from a brain tumor only 37 days after being diagnosed in the fall of 2008. Pat Kavanagh and Julian BarnesThis slim book, which is divided into three sections, "The Sin of Height," "On the Level," and "The Loss of Depth," begins much like you might expect from Barnes. He uses careful research of an interesting and quirky subject in history – in this case, hot air ballooning in the 19th century – and with a combination of refined coolness and subtle ironic humor, looks thoughtfully at the lives, innovations, and personal ballooning interactions of a selection of characters: French actress Sarah Bernhardt; soldier and adventurer, Colonel Fred Burnaby; groundbreaking artist/photographer Félix ...

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