A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters

  • by Julian Barnes
  • Narrated by Alex Jennings
  • 10 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is one of the defining novels of English writer Julian Barnes. An entertaining melange of stories, starting with a contemporary account of the launch of Noah's Ark, takes us into unexpected areas of human foibles, activities, and tendencies.
After success with the main novels of Haruki Murakami, Naxos AudioBooks turns its attention to other major literary works of recent times.


What the Critics Say

“Barnes's witty and sometimes acerbic retelling of the history of the world. The stories are connected, if only tangentially, which is precisely Barnes's point: historians may tell us that "there was a pattern," but history is "just voices echoing in the dark . . . strange links, impertinent connections." Fascinating reading from the author of Flaubert's Parrot.” (Library Journal)
"Frequently brilliant, funny, thoughtful, iconoclastic and a delight to read." (Salman Rushdie)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More Great Julian Barnes

Where does A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

HISTORY OF THE WORLD is one of the best books I have yet to listen to, and I have listened to hundreds. Barnes is brilliant with his wide ranging intelligence and splendid writing style. Alex Jennings is one of my favorite narrators and has done equally well with other of Julian Barnes' books.

What did you like best about this story?

These are stories that are linked in the most subtle (and not so subtle) way.

Have you listened to any of Alex Jennings’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Alex Jennings' narrations of other Julian Barnes books are truly wonderful.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Some of these stories are quite funny, and others serious and philosophical.

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- Richard

An uneven collection of smart short stories

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

The stories were "smart" as contrasted with "interesting" or insightful, though some were better than others. It seemed like more of an intellectual exercise by a clever man rather than the kind of literature Barnes has written before, and the stories are tied together very loosely, if at all. Not close to his best work and not as good a style as his novels.

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- Lewis

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-01-2007
  • Publisher: Naxos AudioBooks