Excerpt from Pulse by Julian Barnes, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Pulse

Stories

by Julian Barnes

Pulse by Julian Barnes
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2011, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2012, 240 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

           
"That was a nice young man who interviewed us," said Alice.

"Properly respectful."
           
"He was to you. But he did that thing to me."
           
"What thing?"
           
"Didn't you notice?" Jane gave a sigh of self-pity. "When he mentioned all those books that my latest reminded him of. And you can't very well say you haven't read some of them or you'll look like an ignoramus. So you go along with it and then everyone assumes that's where you got your ideas from."
           
Alice thought this unduly paranoid. "They weren't thinking that, Jane. More likely they were writing him down as a showoff. And they loved it when he mentioned Moby-Dick and you put your head on one side and said, 'Is that the one with the whale?'"
           
"Yes."
           
"Jane, you're not telling me you haven't read Moby-Dick?"
           
"Did it look as if I hadn't?"
           
"No, not at all."
          
"Good. Well, I wasn't exactly lying. I saw the film. Gregory Peck. Was it good?"
          
"The film?"
           
"No, the book, silly."
           
"Since you ask, I haven't read it either."
          
 "Alice, you're such a friend, you know."
           
"Do you read those young men everyone's going on about?"
          
 "Which ones?"
           
"The ones everyone's going on about."
           
"No. I think they've got quite enough readers already, don't you?"
           
Their own sales were holding up, just about. A couple of thousand in hardback, twenty or so in paper. They still had a certain name recognition. Alice wrote a weekly column about life's uncertainties and misfortunes, though Jane thought it would be improved by more references to Alice's own life and fewer to Epictetus. Jane was still in demand when radio programmes needed someone to fill the Social Policy/Woman/Nonprofessional/Humour slot; though one producer had firmly added "BIM" to her contact details, meaning "Best in Morning."
          
Jane wanted to keep the mood going. "What about the young women everyone's going on about?"
           
"I suppose I pretend a little more to have read them than with the boys."
           
"So do I. Is that bad?"
           
"No, I think it's sisterly."

Excerpted from Pulse by Julian Barnes. Copyright © 2011 by Julian Barnes. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Castle of Water
    Castle of Water
    by Dane Huckelbridge
    When a whopping 24 out of 27 readers give a book 4 or 5 stars, you know you have a winner on your ...
  • Book Jacket: Havana
    Havana
    by Mark Kurlansky
    History with flavor...culture with spice...language with gusto...it would be hard to find a better ...
  • Book Jacket: Temporary People
    Temporary People
    by Deepak Unnikrishnan
    In this powerful and innovative collection of 28 short stories, Deepak Unnikrishnan presents a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Nest
by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney

A funny and acutely perceptive debut about four siblings and the fate of their shared inheritance.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Manderley Forever
    by Tatiana de Rosnay

    Bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay pays homage to Daphne du Maurier.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Stars Are Fire
    by Anita Shreve

    An exquisitely suspenseful novel about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Life is the garment we continually alter, but which never seems to fit.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y S M B, I'll S Y

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -