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book cover of The Only Story

The Only Story

(2018)
A novel by

 
 
From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sense of An Ending, a novel about a young man on the cusp of adulthood and a woman who has long been there, a love story shot through with sheer beauty, profound sadness, and deep truth.

Most of us have only one story to tell. I don't mean that only one thing happens to us in our lives: there are countless events, which we turn into countless stories. But there's only one that matters, only one finally worth telling. This is mine.

One summer in the 60s, in a staid suburb south of London, Paul comes home from university, aged 19, and is urged by his mother to join the tennis club. In the mixed-doubles tournament he's partnered with Susan Macleod, a fine player who's 48, confident, ironic, and married, with two nearly adult daughters. She is also a warm companion, their bond immediate. And they soon, inevitably, are lovers. Clinging to each other as though their lives depend on it, they then set up house in London to escape his parents and the abusive Mr. Mcleod.

Decades later, with Susan now dead, Paul looks back at how they fell in love, how he freed her from a sterile marriage, and how - gradually, relentlessly - everything fell apart, as she succumbed to depression and worse while he struggled to understand the intricacy and depth of the human heart. It's a piercing account of helpless devotion, and of how memory can confound us and fail us and surprise us (sometimes all at once), of how, as Paul puts it, "first love fixes a life forever."

Genre: Literary Fiction    

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Used availability for Julian Barnes's The Only Story

Hardback Editions

July 2018 : USA Library Binding
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Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 1-68324-837-6 / 978-1-68324-837-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: Center Point Pub
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Only Story: A novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 0-525-52121-6 / 978-0-525-52121-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2018 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Only Story: A Novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 0-7352-7473-8 / 978-0-7352-7473-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : Hardback
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Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 1-78733-069-9 / 978-1-78733-069-6
Publisher: Jonathan Cape
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

February 2019 : UK Paperback

Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 1-78470-831-3 / 978-1-78470-831-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Vintage
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


Audio Editions

April 2018 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Only Story: A Novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


April 2018 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Only Story: A Novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


February 2018 : UK Audio CD
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Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
ISBN: 1-5100-9849-6 / 978-1-5100-9849-7 (UK edition)
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


February 2018 : USA Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon   


February 2018 : UK Audio edition
thumb

Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

April 2018 : USA Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Only Story: A novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Knopf
Availability: Amazon   


April 2018 : Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Only Story: A Novel
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Random House Canada
Availability: Amazon CA   


February 2018 : UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: The Only Story
Author(s): Julian Barnes
Publisher: Vintage Digital
Availability: Amazon UK