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The Diary of A.O. Barnabooth (Recovered Classics) Paperback – January 1, 1991

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Editorial Reviews


The book is a sparkling one from beginning to end and there is a deal of profound observation in it. It is unique among diaries, the sort of thing that is based on a philosophical concept. --New York Times [1924]

Larbaud writes self-conscious, decadent and hilarious prose...--Publishers Weekly

Barnabooth's reflections are subtle, his desires intelligible, his style exquisite.--Saturday Review [1924]

Ably translated by Gilbert Cannan, The Diary of A.O. Barnabooth is simply wonderful reading! --Midwestern Book Watch

This beguiling novel [originally published in 1924] traces the misadventures and romantic exploits of the 23-year-old A.O. Barnabooth... as he wanders across pre-World War I Europe by train. Barnabooth has liquidated his fortune to pursue a luxurious, existentialist life, meditating on himself and the world, listening to stories told by chance companions, living out of a single suitcase -- albeit one filled with currency. --Washington Post Book World

On one hand it's a sly and clever evocation of Edwardian high society, that last gasp of European aristocracy that was blown to smithereens by the Great War. At the same time, it's quite modern in spirit, not an antique read at all. Which is exactly how Larbaud planned it. --New York Press

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Recovered Classics
  • Paperback: 317 pages
  • Publisher: McPherson (January 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929701151
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929701158
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 6.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By on December 15, 1998
Format: Paperback
Valery Larbaud sums up the entire of pre-War generation of "cosmopolitan" writers, from Joyce and Pound to Paul Morand and Apollinaire. The European wanderings by this eccentric American millionaire represent a new vision of places and cities, unheard-of in the history of French literature. Anyone looking for a vicarious trip on the Orient Express will enjoy criss-crossing the contient with this consumate traveler and revel with the characters with whom he resides (albeit temporarily). Landscapes, love and loneliness are all transmitted through a supple, quick prose which at once seizes reality in its immediacy and filters the world through Barnabooth's literary consciousness. Larbaud's alter ego carves out his own place on the cultural map of Europe and represents one of the major literary achievements of the first part of the 20th Century in the French tradition. Read Larbaud and die. See Naples later.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By kris28 on March 19, 2014
Format: Paperback
...a much better (more natural) translation & the poems are the best translations you can find. I have loved this book for years & given away plenty of them.
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