Nothing to Be Frightened Of
by Julian Barnes
$24.95 List Price
It’s best not to struggle too much while reading Nothing to Be Frightened Of, Julian Barnes’s chew on death, religion, family, writing, and memory, among other things. Ideas, arguments, quotations, and anecdotes pursue one another across the pages, dogleg, vanish, and resurface. Signposts and footholds are scarce, and there are no chapter breaks or headings. No matter: Barnes is the most companionable of tour guides, quipping and joshing, recounting family stories, citing nineteenth-century French writers, and asking would-you-rather questions like a parlor gamester.
A sample handful of pages begins with the Barnes family, circa the ’50s, listening to a radio show featuring book and theater critics. Some years later, the wireless is replaced by a television set that is “the size of a dwarf’s armoire, and
… full text available to registered users