Bar None Paperback – June 19, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
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About the Author
Tim Lebbon is the "New York Times" bestselling author of the movie novelizations of "30 Days of Night "and" The Cabin in the Woods". He has also written many critically acclaimed dark fantasy and crime novels. Tim has won three British Fantasy Awards, a Bram Stoker Award, a Shocker, a Tombstone and been a finalist for the International Horror Guild and World Fantasy Awards.
- Publisher : Night Shade; 1st edition (June 19, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 193 pages
- ISBN-10 : 159780097X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1597800976
- Item Weight : 8 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.52 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,934,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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A stranger arrives one day, causing some paranoid curiosity among the five as they had not seen another live soul, not human anyway, in a very long time. He tells the group that there is a place, a bar where they can all be safe and where the beer never runs out. I know, this sounds like it might be a humorous plot but it's not, all eventually makes sense. The stranger calls himself Michael, but admits that's just his name for today. He meets with each of the group and gives them the same warning about getting out of the manor. With much trepidation, the group sets out on the bizarre quest, through a world they no longer recognize, to find the Holy Grail of pubs.
Bar None is a strange book that doesn't give up its secrets too easily. It's told in the first person which I've never been crazy about but Lebbon makes it work here, due in part to the main character's name never being revealed. Bar None is dark and dreary...nature has reclaimed the world quickly. At under 200 pages it's a short read, somewhat slow in parts but Lebbon manages to keep the readers attention with the quirky world he's fashioned.
This is post apocalyptic book about 5 strangers holed up in a pub in England. They are visited by a stranger named Michael who warns them to leave and find another pub far way in Cornwall. It's called Bar None, which is also the name of the book.
It is a not an intellectual read that will cause you to question your moral beliefs or faith. It's not a great, thought provoking toothsome book like The Road by Cormac McCarthy. It *is* an enjoyable, easy read that you can probably finish in a weekend.
I recommend that you enjoy it from your local library.
Drinks (beer specifically) causes memories.
(more likely, A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously")
Then, everyone on earth died or turned into plants, so the beer drinkers need to remember the world for everyone else. Make sense? No? I didn't think so.
Top reviews from other countries
There are many end-of-the world stories out there and I've read quite a few but this one I thoroughly enjoyed because the characters are so interesting. They struggle to come to terms with what has happened, question why they survived when their loved ones did not, but mainly they drink. Ale is a main point of this story and although it sound bizarre, the topic fits well into the tale as it is used as a medium, not for forgetting but for recalling lost memories, which I think is quite novel. Beautiful descriptions of just the taste of certain ales is enough to conjure up the glory of the past. Plus, the promise of unlimited alcohol is the catalyst for the survivors to keep moving forward. The story is fast paced and entertaining, there is a little gore and violence, some conventional apocalypse horror (a narrow escape from a bunch of cannibals), some supernatural elements strange flying things that go unexplained) and some just plain weird things (trees and nature behaving unnaturally) all mixed together to make reading this unpredictable and involving. At just under 200 pages, I got through this book quickly but I felt the story was deep enough and it never felt to me that the story was being padded just to pointlessly extend it. Sometimes, a story is good whether it be short or long and this is defiantly on the good list. Give it a try. Also, if you like a little more visceral gore in your apocolyptic fiction , try this The Devil Next Door Thank you.
Bar None is a love story, a dark, tragic occasionally horrific love story but a love story none the less, based around relationships and the love of beer. Set in a post apocalyptic England we meet a band of survivors holed up in an old estate with only a few bottles of beer for company. A visit by a mysterious stranger prompts the survivors to risk a deadly road trip to find Bar None.
The story is told by way of chapters named after beer. Each chapter links current events with a memory or two from the characters previous (normal) lives. It is the beer which evokes these memories and the beer which links present and past. As the story progresses we learn more about the characters, their past, their motivations and get a lesson in advanced beer tasting.
This really is a beautifully written book there are several passages, particularly one close encounter with a fox, that left me deeply touched, why, if I wasn't a rugged highlander I might have even shed a tear or two. Tim Lebbon has really created a novel which transcends the genre. Its ambiguous, it's disconcerting, it's deeply moving but it's all those things whilst still being a really good, thrilling read.
It's hard to believe that this is not at least partly autobiographical, the memories of the sights and sounds which are linked to the various types of beer are so detailed, so intense, so real. And at the end the whole book retains its aura of mysterious ambiguity beautifully, right up to the final page (and beyond). Strange creatures are glimpsed, strange places visited, strange characters are met on the journey. It's dreamlike, almost mythic.
This is a book every bit as good as Cormac McCarthy's critically acclaimed The Road. In many ways it's similar, a post apocalyptic road trip, but for me this is the more successful book infused as it is with much more mystery, narrative drive and character development.
Regular visitors to this site will know that I have a lot of time for Tim Lebbon's work, his recent fantasy novels have been immense, so any new book comes with a huge degree of anticipation and a certain amount of trepidation (he's bound to write a bad one sooner or later) but this is a book that more than lives up to it's promise.
It's a book I will be reading again (and again), there are so many layers here, it's impossible to dig through them all on a first reading. No, like the beer it so beautifully describes this is a book to savor time and time again to get all the subtle nuances. Tim Lebbon goes from strength to strength in my mind, this isn't horror writing of the highest order, this is writing of the highest order. Now I am off to crack open a bottle of Green Goblin and see where it takes me.