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The Noise of Time
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The Noise of Time


A compact masterpiece dedicated to the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich: Julian Barnes’s first novel since his best-selling, Man Booker Prize–winning The Sense of an Ending.

In 1936, Shostakovitch, just thirty, fears for his livelihood and his life. Stalin, hitherto a distant figure, has taken a sudden interest in his work and denounced his latest opera. Now, certain he will be exiled to Siberia (or, more likely, executed on the spot), Shostakovitch reflects on his predicament, his personal history, his parents, various women and wives, his children—and all who are still alive themselves hang in the balance of his fate. And though a stroke of luck prevents him from becoming yet another casualty of the Great Terror, for decades to come he will be held fast under the thumb of despotism: made to represent Soviet values at a cultural conference in New York City, forced into joining the Party and compelled, constantly, to weigh appeasing those in power against the integrity of his music.

Barnes elegantly guides us through the trajectory of Shostakovitch's career, at the same time illuminating the tumultuous evolution of the Soviet Union. The result is both a stunning portrait of a relentlessly fascinating man and a brilliant exploration of the meaning of art and its place in society.

Title:The Noise of Time
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:180 pages
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    The Noise of Time Reviews

  • Marita
    Dec 22, 2015

    “Art belongs to everybody and nobody. Art belongs to all time and no time. Art belongs to those who create it and those who savour it. Art no more belongs to the People and the Party than it once be...

  • Elyse
    Jun 15, 2017

    Having recently read "Do Not Say We Have Nothing", by Madeleine Thien where music came alive for me during heartbreaking times.....I naturally grabbed "The Noise of Time" to read next, ( which I've be...

  • Adina
    Mar 24, 2017

    3.5 *“What could be put up against the noise of time? Only the music which is inside ourselves –the music of our being –which is transformed by some into real music. Which, over the decades, if ...

  • Violet wells
    Mar 19, 2017

    A bit unfair but there were times when I couldn’t help wishing Milan Kundera in his prime had written this and not Julian Barnes. Just for that extra bit of zest and wit and daring of which Kundera ...

  • Kalliope
    Jan 24, 2017

    Here I am listening to Shostakovich First Piano Concerto and wondering about Julian Barnes latest novel (?) biography (?). Throughout my reading I was asking myself why had he written this book. I kno...

  • Susan
    Nov 12, 2015

    This latest work by Julian Barnes looks at the life of the composer Shostakovich. Rather than give us a straightforward, fictional biography, the author takes three key points in his life. He begins i...

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    Oct 18, 2016

    The noise of time, Julian Barnes عنوانها: همهمه زمان؛ هیاهوی زمان؛ عنوان: ههمه ی زمان؛ نویسنده: جولین بارنز؛ مترجم: مرجان محم...

  • Michael
    Jul 21, 2016

    A quiet book of the tough moral choices of a famous composer who has to survive in the controlling atmosphere of the Soviet system over the decades. This channeling of the life of Shostakovich takes a...

  • Hugh
    Sep 02, 2016

    A magnificent reimagining of three pivotal moments in the life of Dmitri Shostakovich, focusing on three occasions when the direction of his life was determined by conversations with the Soviet author...

  • Maciek
    Feb 14, 2016

    Move over, Martin Amis! It's time for another episode of English author does Russia - after a fictional love affair in the Gulag as described in House of Meetings , this time it is Julian Barnes who s...