A special edition of Julian Barnes’s first novel with an introduction from the author and previously unseen archive material.
Christopher and Toni found in each other the perfect companion for that universal adolescent pastime: smirking at the world as you find it. In between training as flaneurs and the grind of school, they cast a cynical eye over their various dislikes: parents with their lives of spotless emptiness, Third Division (North) football teams, God, commuters and girls, and the inhabitants of Metroland: the strip of suburban dormitory Christopher calls home.
Longing for real life to begin, Christopher makes for Paris in time for les événements of 1968, only to miss it all in a haze of sex, French theatre and first love. And before long he finds himself drawn inevitably back to Metroland and the very life he was trying to escape...
This special edition contains unseen archive material including letters from early fans such as Philip Larkin and Dodie Smith, contemporary reviews, a deleted scene from the original manuscript as well as an introduction from the author.
I was captivated from the first page. I cannot remember when I enjoyed a first novel more
If all works of fiction were as thoughtful, as subtle, as well constructed, and as funny as Metroland there would be no more talk of the death of the novel
A rare and unusual first novel
A very funny, touching first novel. It has a hard comic edge to it that is logical and at the same time extremely diverting
One would have to look very hard to find a wryer, more lovingly detailed account of intellectual and sexual innocence abroad
No year is complete without a bit of reading reflection, and as we gaze at 2019's shelves, we're more than a bit pleased with the boldness and breadth of the last 12 months of VINTAGE books. From an insider's look at the realities of modern-day poverty to an acclaimed expose of the data bias towards men, and a long-awaited, Booker-winning dystopian smash hit, here are 10 of the biggest highlights.
Man Booker prize winner Julian Barnes' latest novel The Only Story is a poignant and tender portrayal of first love. Read on for an extract