Thursday, May 14, 2009

A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes A History of the World In 10 1/2 Chapters is a set of loosely connected stories revolving mostly around the story of Noah and the Great Flood. The first is a hilarious retelling of the story by a "stowaway" on the Ark. The second is an even funnier story of insects being tried in a criminal proceeding, made even funnier by the fact that the story appears to be based on actual historical documents of animals being tried during the middle ages. While the first two stories are funny, others are deeper, more thought-provoking. For example, Barnes tells the story of the Wreck of the Medusa and Gericault's famous painting of the same.

Barnes is known for irony and satire, and this book is no exception. If you like your humor sly and subtle, give A History of the World In 10 1/2 Chapters a try.