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

"He only twinkled at me."
           
"Alice! I saw you with my own eyes perched on his knee."
           
Alice gave a tight smile. She could remember it all quite clearly: someone's flat in Little Venice, the usual faces, a Byrds LP playing, a background smell of dope, the famous visiting writer, her own sudden forwardness. "I perched, as you put it, on his knee. And he twinkled at me. End of story."
           
"But you told me..."
         
"No I didn't."
           
"But you let me understand..."
           
"Well, one has one's pride."
           
"You mean?"
           
"I mean he said he had an early start the next day. Paris, Copenhagen, wherever. Book tour. You know."
           
"The headache excuse."
           
"Precisely."
           
"Well," said Jane, trying to hide a sudden surge of jauntiness, "I've always believed that writers get more out of things going wrong than things going right. It's the only profession in which failure can be put to good use."
           
"I don't think ‘failure' exactly describes my moment with John Updike."
           
"Of course not, darling."
           
"And you are, if you don't mind my saying so, coming on a little like a self-help book. Or like you sound on Woman's Hour, brightly telling others how to live."
           
"Am I?"
           
"The point is, even if personal failure can be properly transformed into art, it still leaves you where you were when you started."
           
"And where's that?"
           
"Not having slept with John Updike."
           
"Well, if it's any consolation, I'm jealous of him twinkling at you."
           
"You're a friend," Alice replied, but her tone betrayed her.
           
They fell silent. Some large station went by.
           
"Was that Swindon?" Jane asked, to make it sound as if they weren't quarrelling.
           
"Probably."
           
"Do you think we have many readers in Swindon?" Oh, come on, Alice, don't get huffy on me. Or rather, don't let's get huffy on one another.
           
"What do you think?"
           

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!

Beyond the Book:
  Selected Books by Julian Barnes

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...
  • Book Jacket
    Tender
    by Belinda McKeon
    Most of us have heard the slightly trite saying: "If you love something, set it free." But one can ...
  • Book Jacket
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

There is no worse robber than a bad book.

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

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

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.