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This is the first work by Barnes I ve given less than 4 stars, though I thought the first section detailing Martha s childhood and formation of character was great Then the book went downhill for me, as another character, Sir Jack, took center stage in the second, and longest, section I have no problem at all with unlikable characters I don t need to like a character to enjoy a work , but so many times when readers say they dislike books because there are no likable characters, I wonder if what they might really mean is that the characters are boring, which is how I found Sir Jack I understand he is part of the satirical, farcical nature of this section, but that didn t stop him from boring me, as did some of the rather long passages that lay out the progression of the Isle of Wight s becoming England, England Unfortunately , the third section was also marred by some of that same kind of description, as what happened on the mainland while the Island project was growing takes over I did like the ending better than the middle because of its metaphors, which stopped me from giving this two stars. (((FREE PDF))) ↾ England, England ✐ Jerry Batson, Qui Se D Finit Comme Un Accoucheur D Id Es , Va En Vendre Une Assez Sensationnelle Sir Jack Pitman, Un Excentrique Milliardaire Cr Er Sur L Le De Wight Une Sorte De Gigantesque Parc D Attractions Rassemblant Tout Ce Qu Il Y A De Plus Typique, De Plus Connu En Angleterre Cela Va Des Blanches Falaises De Douvres Manchester United, De Buckingham Palace Stonehenge, Du Mausol E De La Princesse Diana Au Th Tre De ShakespeareLe Projet Est Monstrueux, Hautement Risqu , Et Voil Qu Il Se R V Le Tre Un Norme Succ S La Copie Va T Elle Surpasser L Original Et Qu Adviendra T Il Si C Est Elle Que Les Touristes Pr F Rent Visiter F Rocement Dr Le, Dr Lement Impitoyable, Impitoyablement Au Vitriol, Voil Un Portrait De L Angleterre Comme On N En Avait Encore Jamais Vu Okay, let me start by saying that Julian Barnes is obviously very intelligent He is witty and intelligent and well read BUT this book is obnoxious It s not the worst book I ve ever read by any means.it is smart and funny in parts and he has a point but the language is pretentious and showy You have to have an English degree to get through this book which I am in the process of obtaining Overall, it is inaccessible So if his point is that we prefer simulacra over the original and society has become complacent, lazy, etc., with this novel, he is only preaching to people who agree with him because only people who would probably agree with him would take the time to try to understand this novel Additionally, it was boring I fell asleep at least 5 times while trying to get through this book That has never happened to me before with any other book ever Congratulations, Julian Barnes, you re brilliant but the ironies and the parodies would only reach the highly educated and the book doesn t make me feel anything at all. The hardest books for me to review are the ones that I objectively think are quite good, but that, for whatever reason, I didn t actually like very much This is one of those.On the one hand, I want to tell people don t bother with this one, it left me feeling very meh On the other, I think back on it and it was all very well put together, filled with fleshed out characters and unique ideas, and with some parts that bordered on magnificent Maybe if I d been in a different mood, maybe if I d paid it attention, maybe if I were a little smarter, I would have absolutely loved it Who knows In any case, I can t think of anything empirical to complain about.The big maybe if in this case, is Maybe if I were English, or knew a bit about England, I would have liked this book better I ve never been to the UK, never been much of an Anglophile What I know about England has been gleaned from tabloids, fiction, a childhood spent watching Red Dwarf and Mr Bean, and whatever I picked up in high school history class about King So and So and what a jerk he was So the nuanced satire in this book, which is largely about foreign imbeciles such as myself and our ignorance and apathy about authentic British culture, whooshed right over my head The one thing I can say for myself is that at least I knew there was a whoosh, that I had missed something But I still didn t love the book.The story follows Martha, a woman who is too smart and too cynical for her own good, at three points during her life Part I is about her childhood, and the aftermath of her parents divorce This section, which stands alone very well as a short story, was the highlight of my experience with the book It s sharp and painful, and it gives the reader a rounded understanding of the character s foundation Everything that Martha does later on as an adult and as an old woman, makes sense because we ve seen her undergo this childhood trauma.In Part II, the longest and meatiest part of the story, we see Martha in her late 30 s, as she begins working for Sir Jack Pitman, a ludicrously pompous business mogul, who has a dream He knows that tourists come to England to see historical and cultural landmarks, but it s all so inconvenient Everything s so far apart you can t see it all in one day Transportation and money can be confusing historical sites are often dingy or falling apart the English people can be so unwelcoming Tourists want to be dazzled, but reality is just so underwhelming.Pitman s solution is nothing less than to create a whole new England He buys the Isle of Wight, a small island in the English Channel, and transforms it into a perfect miniature of everything that England symbolizes except better.At first, his employees and the public assume he s building some kind of patriotic theme park, but that s not it at all Pitman s vision is nothing so artificial Although the island is filled with half size reproductions of everything from Stonehenge to Buckingham Palace, and its residents are all hired on as actors to portray everyone from Robin Hood to friendly pub patrons , Pitman sees it as the real deal Why would anyone want to go to Old England so unfriendly, so unwieldy when they could go someplace smaller and accessible, that has everything England ever had and but distilled and with the bad bits filtered out Sure enough, the tourists flock to the island which Pitman dubs England, England And it s not just tourists celebrities relocate there landmarks are dismantled and rebuilt there, even the royal family is enticed bribed, blackmailed, whatever to make the island s half sized Buckingham Palace their new home Pitman is shrewd enough to name himself the island s Governor and then to declare independence from Old England, citing a centuries old technicality as justification Within a few years, Old England is rendered totally irrelevant culturally and economically It s a slum When people say England , they now mean England, England.Martha, originally hired on as a professional cynic whose job functions mainly included shitting all over everyone else s ideas , quickly rises within the company, and ends up overseeing the entire England, England project But then, things start to go tremendously, hilariously awry, and Martha is left with the blame.So Barnes s main theme is the question of authenticity If England, England is a fake and Pitman pontificates eloquently throughout the book on why it isn t, really why does that matter In all apparent ways, it s better than the original Why mourn the fate of Old England, other than for nostalgia s sake And if you are feeling nostalgic for Old England, why not go to England, England It s exactly the same, except better In Part III, Martha, now an old woman, finally returns to Old England, which, having spent the last half century in poverty, isolation and global irrelevancy, has been transformed into a shell of its old self, something totally unfamiliar but at the same time, something completely, innately English It has undergone a different distillation, but like England, England, has become a condensed manifestation of an ineffable Englishness Or maybe not maybe that s the difference between the two Old England has reached an ineffable Englishness, while England, England is all too effable.To Martha, anyway, it s somehow just as fake as the island ever was Which is Barnes s entire point, and which is depressing as all fuck, if only because it rang so true to me.This is one of the most unique dystopian novels I have ever read I wish Barnes had spent time delving into this faux divide between real and fake , rather than spending pages and pages on the corrupt exploits of the fictional royals or Pitman s, um, very nontraditional sexual proclivities And I wish I had a better grasp of the general English Weltanschauung I kept trying to translate it into American, imagining an island full of miniature Statues of Liberty and Mt Rushs and flag waving Uncle Sams, but it s just not analogous for so many reasons the ineffable America is not anything like the ineffable England.Having typed up this review, I realize I do think highly of this book than I d thought I didn t love the experience of actually reading it, but looking back it really was a good book Which is almost too perfect The distilled, essentially fake England, England in my memory, which is the one I m really discussing in this review, is better than the real England, England that I actually bought and spent many frustrating hours reading How very metaOriginal review date 18 October 2010 Considering the fact that I m being forced to read this for my super dull post colonialism unit for college, I have reluctantly grown to enjoy it But of course, I will never admit it to my professor. This was not my book as much as i liked the noise of time , so much i disliked this one This is a talmes balmes of intelectually constructed phrases aimed at nothing really Or the message of this book was so cryptic, that i didnt get it I found it dull, boring So as there are a lot of better books waiting to be read, i have just turned the pages till the last one reading between the lines It started really good, the first part was full of lyric And starting with the second part it got worse.It is about copying the original, producing a copy which is aimed to be better than the original Ok, and Is it about patriotism, is it about Martha, is it about sex, is it about relationships, is it about distorted reality I dont know really I dont know what I read At least for the first 3 4 of the book If you have another alternative to this book, take the alternative maybe it will worth your time. Now that I ve read Flaubert s Parrot and A History of the World in 10 1 2 Chapters both incredibly clever and wonderful books, I like this novel even less than I did when I read it as my first Julian Barnes a few years ago Everything I remember about it is cringe worthy, though I must admit I don t really remember that much a lot of gratuitous badly written sex and something about Englishness, American tourists and culture as entertainment It s just bizarre and somehow spiteful coming from England s most Francophone contemporary writer There are better Julian Barnes books one could read instead of this one. Damage is a normal part of childhood I think I missed the entire point of this book. This book is in three parts.In Part I, England, a young girl absorbs the leaving of her father She had a puzzle of the map of England Her father would hide one piece Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire And when her puzzle was done except for that one piece, HE would magically find it Nottinghamshire was missing when HE went missing too All of Julian Barnes brilliance is here And this brief opening will break your heart.In Part II, England, England, Martha Cochrane, that precocious girl, is now a wizened young woman She s wonderful She passes an interview to work for an entrepreneur and becomes a resident cynic for that wealthy man set on a new idea, creating a doppelganger country of Old England, a hi tech amusement park that recreates all of England s history Crazily, it works An island with no government, just a place governed by contract and the whim of a business model The plot is, really, pretty stupid Yet, a few characters are richly drawn, especially Martha And there are some wonderful moments.Martha falls for a fella, and three pages of spectacular in bed, post coital dialogue begin with this line of hers Someone once had his hand where yours is.I learned that if you put a banana in a bowl with green tomatoes, those tomatoes will ripen much faster than a bowl of green tomatoes without a banana In case you wondered about the significance, Barnes writes Yes, Martha, but Paul isn t a banana and you aren t a pound of tomatoes.In Part III, Anglica, Barnes attempts a summing up But really, I just wanted it to end already.I loved the great female lead and several other characters I wish there was interplay between them and explanations for their actions.Stupid idea great writing This was the bowl of tomatoes without the banana. I ran out of books to read at home, so I went to my college stack in hopes of finding something interesting This book was given to me by a professor during office hours I don t remember who it was, or why she decided that I would enjoy it, but I ended up not reading it and apparently not returning it My bad.The premise of this novel is strange It centers around a powerful businessman s idea to create an ideal England on an island as a tourist attraction, showcasing all the hallmarks of typical England but without the blemishes of modern culture Caught in the mix is Martha Cochrane, a middle aged woman who feels left behind in life.The book itself is very high culture and self referential, often stopping to make long, philosophical treatises on art, imitation, and authenticity However, I felt like these expositions were in charge, relegating any notions of plot to the background The majority of the novel is a series of conversations about the island and characters opinions and interpretations of it Aside from one extremely out of place and vulgar scene, the book reads like a very highfalutin joke that I did not have the patience or sophistication to comprehend or enjoy While I did enjoy Sir Jack s larger than life trollish behavior, it wasn t enough to keep me interested in reading The novel is barely 280 pages long and it took me about two weeks to get through it What was it that I said during those office hours that inspired such a recommendation