I'm not a serious reader. I don't program my reading. Of course I have a list (actually it's a very nice notebook with excerpts from "Le petit prince" typed on the cover), of course I try to read what's on the list, even if many times I don't even remember who recommended the books, where I read the reviews or why I wanted to read those books in the first place.
As I said, I'm not a serious reader. If I were, I would have known that Love, etc.
is a sequel to Talking It Over. It's quite frustrating to see a whole shelf of Barnes in every possible book shop or library and not know how he writes. There must be a reason for him being published, read and awarded quite many prizes. So, here I am, facing the dilemma: what do I choose? The only one I was sure I wanted to read was Something to Declare: Essays on France - aka Tour de France (Mr. Barnes and I are both francophiles), but it wasn't there so I had to make up my mind. I chose based on looks :); I liked the cover and the title.
The fact that it's a sequel it's not very problematic, you get the story anyway, everything happens 10 years later. And now, the surprise: the narrative technique. Barnes lets all his characters speak directly to you, the reader. It's like an attorney defending his case. It's like multiple recorders turned on at the same time, recording people's thoughts on the same matter. I really liked that, it made the reading vivid and challenging. And yes, I have to admit I like Barnes, he's writing is smart, witty and funny.
The plot is obvious: love triangle, problems, children, marriage, divorce. Love, etc.