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The Noise of Time (Hardcover)

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    Staff Reviews

    Here is Julian Barnes doing what he does best, exploring the gigantic significance of small moments and the personal side of historic events. The power of group thing and the struggle against the weight of expectations fight within the breast of Barne's characters in Noise, bringing personal pain to 1930s, 20th century New York, and the Soviet Union. Caught between survival, artistic integrity, and family, Dmitri Shostakovic is at time aggressive, small, and always real. 

    — From Hannah


    A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes's first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize-winning The Sense of an Ending.

    In 1936, Shostakovich, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovich reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children--and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music. Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovich's career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society.

    About the Author

    JULIAN BARNES is the author of twenty previous books including, most recently, Keeping an Eye Open: Essays on Art. He has received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina; in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in London.
    Product Details
    ISBN: 9781101947241
    ISBN-10: 1101947241
    Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
    Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
    Pages: 224
    Language: English