Nothing to be Frightened Of

Category: Book
By (author): Barnes, Julian
Awards: Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction (2008) 07
Publisher: Knopf Random Vintage Canada
Published: April 2009
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 8.00in x 5.10in x 0.69in
Our Price:
$ 21.00
In stock

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*I don't believe in God, but I miss him. So begins Julian Barnes's brilliant new book that is, among many things, a family memoir, an exchange with his brother (a philosopher), a meditation on mortality and the fear of death, a celebration of art, an argument with and about God, and a homage to the writer Jules Renard. Barnes also draws poignant portraits of the last days of his parents, recalled with great detail, affection and exasperation. Other examples he takes up include writers, "most of them dead and quite a few of them French," as well as some composers, for good measure.

The grace with which Barnes weaves together all of these threads makes the experience of reading the book nothing less than exhilarating. Although he cautions us that "this is not my autobiography," the book nonetheless reveals much about Barnes the man and the novelist: how he thinks and how he writes and how he lives. At once deadly serious and dazzlingly playful, Nothing to Be Frightened Of is a wise, funny and constantly surprising tour of the human condition.

From the Hardcover edition.
A Globe and Mail Best Book 
A New York Times Notable Book

"This brilliant meditation on death, a family memoir, and an argument with God (whom the author doesn't believe in, but misses) lays Barnes bare like no other previous work." Zsuzsi Gartner, The Globe and Mail
"Because his style has always been exceedingly irreverent and anything but lugubrious, he makes this horrible of all horrible subjects a light, amusing diversion almost.... Whether you believe spending a little regular time getting used to the idea that one day there will be no eyeballs in that skull of yours or you wish to avoid the unpleasant truth for now, picking up Barnes's death ramblings might be as good a way to spend some of the time you have left as any." Edmonton Journal
"A double-jointed performance in which Barnes lets his sharp, obsessive mind wander in search of some kind of meaning. . . . If he doesn't come up with any answers here, he asks a lot of provocative and fascinating questions. Call him Mr. Meaningful." Ottawa Citizen

"Barnes is neither depressed, nor depressing. He is honest and fantastically unconventional in discussing what is a matter of curiosity and concern to everyone who expects one day to die.... Death is inescapable and, in some manner to be revealed only at a later date, is approaching. If Barnes doesn't make the prospect more palatable, he certainly makes it more stimulating." The Gazette
Biographical Note

JULIAN BARNES is the author of over twenty books, for which he received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina, and in 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture; and in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. He lives in London.