A literary Rashomon--three diff narrators tell the same story. Or is it the same story? Beautifully written, of course--typical Julian Barnes.
Stuart Hughes and Oliver Russell have been friends since childhood. When the fiscally astute but socially inept Stuart meets the beautiful and artistic Gillian Wyatt at a London wine bar, Oliver can hardly believe it. Gillian clearly deserves someone more cultured, more sophisticated--someone more like Oliver himself. Oliver tags along on the couple's first dates, stands as best man at their wedding, and only when it is too late declares his love for his best friend's wife. It's rather like a British version of the film Jules and Jim , he jokes. In fact, the narrative strategy has more in common with TV documentary than prose fiction. The characters are "talking heads" who address the reader directly, in three autonomous though interrelated harangues. There is no omniscient narrator to interpret the story; each character is defined entirely by speech. A witty and provocative novel from the author