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A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters by Julian Barnes

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A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters by Julian Barnes is a novel which consists of 10 chapters.

Barnes tries to show us his view and ideas of human history.

The book starts with the chapter named “The Stowaway”. It is an alternative interpretation of the biblical story of Noah's Ark. The narrator is a woodworm which was not permitted onboard and was the stowaway during the voyage.

I was intrigued by the title of the book. And I had a really strong intention to read the novel till the end.

The title of the novel is the strong position of the text I think. But at the same time the title and the book itself is a parody of traditional history books, under a funny and strange title – it is impossible of course to retell the world's history in 10 1/2 chapters!

All the chapters are linked, with subjects and thoughts. Some of them are hidden in the book.

Barnes touches upon vital subjects. Love, death, history are among them. With every chapter comes a new idea. And in most chapters the protagonists have a choice. For instance, in chapter six “The Mountain” Amanda Fergusson climbs Mount Ararat to grant her father’s sins. She has a choice to stay there and die or to move despite the pain but stay alive.

Although the plot and the narration styles change in the book, Barnes includes repeated features to connect the chapters. Woodworms are mentioned in almost all chapters of the novel. We meet the image of the Ship or a vessel in most chapters either. It’s a sign of movement but not always a sign of progress. Barnes highlights that it’s better to learn somebody’s mistakes considering the fact that history repeats itself.

Barnes draws our attention that history or some story is a matter of interpretation. For example, chapter 4 "The Survivor" describes the

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