The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is a literary author. I’ve read a handful of his books over the years, going right back to when I was at school. So when I saw The Noise of Time in Waterstones, I thought I would give it a go. The blurb certainly sounded interesting.

But then I realised that I read Julian Barnes books so rarely that I can’t actually remember whether I like them or not…

The Noise of Time is a tiny little book – just 180 pages, yet it took me forever to read it, because it was really heavy going. What I didn’t realise until I’d finished reading it, was that it is based on the true life story of composer, Dmitri Shostakovich, who I had assumed was a fictional character.

Shostakovich was a Russian composer during Stalin’s time. The book talks about government corruption and the many times Shostakovich feels his life is at risk. At one time, he waits by the lift of his apartment block all night, every night. He feels it would be better for his family if he was ready to be taken away, than if they had to witness it happening at home.

It is an interesting read on power and corruption, but it was just a bit heavy for me. I don’t like very light books, but I do like my books to be page turners and not to require too much thinking. The book has got some very good reviews, but it’s just not my cup of tea.

If you are interested in history, power and corruption, The Noise of Time would be well worth a read. But if you just want some escapism from your reading, I wouldn’t recommend it!

The Noise of Time, The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes, Julian Barnes, Book review


Author: Sarah Mummy

Share This Post On


  1. Sounds like a book that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy. I’m similar to you that I prefer books that aren’t overly easy to read but I also want to be gripped by them! Thanks for sharing with #readwithme

    Post a Reply
    • I really wouldn’t recommend it to anyone, unless they’re really intellectual!

      Post a Reply
  2. I read something of similar length that took me just as long to read recently so I know how you feel! Not sure this would be for me but my MIL would probably love it.

    Post a Reply
    • I wouldn’t recommend it to many people, but if your MIL is interested in history, Russia or just likes really heavy going novels, I’m sure she wold enjoy it!

      Post a Reply
    • I would definitely give it a miss!

      Post a Reply
  3. Sounds like this book was hard going, good job it was so short! I always like reading books based on real life. #Readwithme

    Post a Reply
    • It was really hard going! I generally like reading books based on real life, but this one wasn’t for me!

      Post a Reply
  4. If I remember rightly I have read A Sense of an Ending and quite frankly found it hard work so never read any of his other books. #readwithme

    Post a Reply
    • I don’t blame you! Although I do remember enjoying a couple of his books years ago. I don’t think I’ll be reading any more after this one though.

      Post a Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: