Levels Of Life by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape) ISBN: 9780224098151
How I wish Julian Barnes had written a grief memoir without the air ballooning – ‘The Sin of Height’ and ‘On the Level’ – that clogs up the first two thirds of this very short book. I almost put the book down. I’m truly grateful I didn’t.
The third section, ‘Loss of Depth’, is the most truthful silent scream of grief, written in the most beautiful eloquent words, I’ve ever read. Barnes questions, examines, and thinks about grief in a way you can only understand if you know that grief is unimaginable until you have experienced it.
I would have given the last 50 pages of the 117 full marks without the unnecessary beginning.
Levels Of Life is the story of the profound love Barnes has for his wife, Pat Kavanagh, who died in 2008. It is also the story of the opposite of that love, which is a grief equal in depth.