Julian Barnes — “A History of the World in 10½ Chapters” (1989)


“A History of the World in 10½ Chapters” by Julian Barnes is another book of this great English writer in my collection. I read this one for long two weeks literally forcing myself not to abandon this book. I tried, and I tried, and I tried, but have failed and ended the reading somewhere in the last chapters. I was so disappointed, that I even decided not to write my review here. At last, I mobilised my inner strengths and began to write these lines following the one simple rule: “If you can’t beat a book, write about it anyway, because as time goes by you can find yourself reading it again“. So did I.

A History of the World in 10½ Chapters

This is a very strange book. An eclectic combination of fictional and non-fictional stories about a history of life, God, Holy Bible and so on. Every part of this book is somehow linked to other parts, but these links are obscure sometimes. I’m not really interested in religion and other theological questions discussed in this book. Well, I should say this is not a good theological book for me. For example, Salinger’s “Franny And Zooey” was even more religious, but I read it with ever growing interest. This one put me into the swamp of boringness.

[quote align=”” name=”Julian Barnes”]Women were brought up to believe that men were the answer. They weren’t. They weren’t even one of the questions.[/quote]


My paper edition. It’s very sad, but I can’t find other good sides in this book but my paper edition. It is very well designed and enchanted with pictures.


70% of chapters. I don’t want to say that this book is 100% boring. I enjoyed reading one or two chapters. The y were very interesting and memorable. But it’s too low for a good book.


As I was able to see, Julian Barnes is a very unstable writer. I love his books and hate them at the same time. One or two books are amazing, but this one has left me disappointed.

Book cover via bookclubtdb.eu