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The Lemon Table cover art

The Lemon Table

By: Julian Barnes
Narrated by: Timothy West, Prunella Scales
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Summary

In a collection that is wise, funny, clever and moving, Julian Barnes has created characters whose passions and longings are made all the stronger by the knowledge that, for them, time is almost at an end.

The stories included are:

  • 'A Short History of Hairdressing'
  • 'The Story of Mats Israelson'
  • 'The Things You Know'
  • 'Hygiene'
  • 'The Revival'
  • 'Vigilance'
  • 'Bark'
  • 'Knowing French'
  • 'Appetite'
  • 'The Fruit Cage'
  • 'The Silence'

©2004 Julian Barnes (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

Critic reviews

"A master at work, a writer in absolute control of his material. . . . Sweet, sour, bitter, wistful, ruminative, comic, elegiac– The Lemon Table is . . . a joy to read." ( San Francisco Chronicle)
"Beautifully wrought elegies for lost youth, lost promises and lost loves [that] attest to Mr. Barnes's growing depth as a writer, his newly embraced ability to create stories that are as affecting as they are cunning, as emotionally resonant as they are prettily fashioned." ( New York Times)
"Filled with emotional resonance and hard-won wisdom, The Lemon Table is a virtuoso performance of remarkable clarity and insight." ( Los Angeles Times Book Review)

What listeners say about The Lemon Table

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Very accomplished

Imaginative and cleverly written short stories read beautifully but not so as to distract from the writing

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The usual genius

What made the experience of listening to The Lemon Table the most enjoyable?

Julian Barne's impeccable writing and being able to hear it read properly.

What did you like best about this story?

The range and variety of characters.

Have you listened to any of Timothy West and Prunella Scales ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

Yes, they are always wonderful. These first class narrators make all the difference.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of the stories are quite disturbing...they have stayed with me

Any additional comments?

I love his work and it is so fantastic to hear it read so well. Loved it. Make a long journey very enjoyable.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect narration

The narrators did full justice to the characters, a very enjoyable work. Poignant and moving.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Bit of a lemon

Sorry Mr Barnes, I know you are a good writer, but this collection of short stories did not leave me wanting more - in fact I couldn't even finish it.

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6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Remarkable readings of Barnes by Scales and West

The stories are so finely crafted, the readings are subtle. Totally absorbing throughout. A great listening experience.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I enjoyed every minute

I strongly recommend this. I am not particularly fond of short stories, nor of Julian Barnes's writing, but these are a perfect example of both at their best. Intelligence exudes from every page. Timothy West in particular is a delight to listen to.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
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Tedious

Tedious stories that ramble on and just stop when presumably even the author lost interest. Tedious tales about tedious people. What a waste of 2 talented narrators.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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I was disappointed

I have read a few novels by this author and I have been impressed. I was very disappointed by this book. I found the subject matter tedious and repetitive.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Gave up on this one

The only enjoyable thing about this tedious collection of stories was the narrating performances of West & Scales. Didn’t finish the book.

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