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  • Published: 3 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099552475
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $24.99


A brilliant, moving, poignant collection of stories, from the author of Cross Channel and The Lemon Table

The stories in Julian Barnes' long-awaited third collection are attuned to rhythms and currents: of the body, of love and sex, illness and death, connections and conversations. A divorcee falls in love with a mysterious European waitress; a widower relives a favourite holiday; two writers rehearse familiar arguments; a couple bond, fall out and bond again over flowers and vegetable patches. And at a series of evenings at 'Phil & Joanna's', the topics of conversation range from the environment to the Britishness of marmalade, from toilet graffiti to smoking, as we witness the guests' lives in flux.

Ranging from the domestic to the extraordinary, from the vineyards of Italy to the English seaside in winter, the stories in Pulse resonate and spark.

  • Published: 3 October 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099552475
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $24.99

About the author

Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of thirteen novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and Sunday Times bestsellers The Noise of Time and The Only Story. He has also written three books of short stories, four collections of essays and three books of non-fiction, including the Sunday Times number one bestseller Levels of Life and The Man in the Red Coat, which was shortlisted for the 2019 Duff Cooper Prize. In 2017 he was awarded the Légion d'honneur.

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Praise for Pulse

The prose is crisp and elegant, light on its feet but resonant with pathos, and flecked with acute observations that never fail to strike a vivid chord with the reader.... It all makes for a diverse, entertaining collection, alternating between plangency and playfulness

Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

One of the most civilized and culturally rich brainscapes in contemporary fiction

Sunday Times

All the stories in Pulse have the absolute completeness and density of the very best short fiction

New Statesman

Julian Barnes writes so exquisitely that every page of this collection contains literary pearls

Mail on Sunday

Masterclasses in the form, full of the sidelong wit and intelligence that make the writer one of our most consistently deft short-form stylists

Daily Telegraph

The writing is as clear, as wry, dry and elegant as ever

Helen Dunmore, The Times

The stories are intelligent: emotionally, stylistically and intellectually. Aesthetically. Also, innovative and experimental without being pretentious or inaccessible. And, oh yes, beautifully written.

Irish Times

Pulse is as satisfying as any of Julian Barnes's much acclaimed novels. This fabulous collection of short stories is troubling, witty, sharp and moving

Sunday Express

The promise shown by some of the other bright young stars of Barnes's generation has faded or fizzled out. His own star continues to shine. This is a delightful collection

Alan Massie, The Scotsman

Only Barnes could unite the heat of 'passion' with the coolness of 'taste'

Scotland on Sunday

Pulse is a collection of 14 short stories by the masterly Julian Barnes, celebrating the human condition with skill, with and precision. Some are laugh-out-loud hilarious, many somber and melancholy. All are brilliant in execution

The Lady

Pulse is never less than interesting, elegantly written and quirky


Elegant collection... sensuously celebratory

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Barnes' stylish prose, eye for emotional detail and sense of absurdity never let him down... He suits the short story very well

Literary Review

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