Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

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Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Latest Titles

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THE NOISE OF TIME by Julian Barnes Jonathan Cape, Pounds 14.99 (ebook Pounds 9.99) ..... THIS is the first novel from Barnes, the much-cherished author of Flaubert's Parrot and A History Of The World in 10 1/2 chapters, since he won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for The Sense Of An Ending.

It is essentially a novelisation of the life of the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, doomed to live and work under Stalin and his successors, first in fear for his life and then in guilty shame at the enforced compromises that have secured not just his survival, but his canonisation by a regime he despises.

In this final section, Barnes pulls together all the strands of an artlessly diffuse and meticulously imagined portrait of life under tyranny. It is masterfully done, but it is hard to share the optimism of his final scene, in which he seems to suggest that music - art - can somehow transcend fear and 'unwarranted death' and perhaps even Stalin. …

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