RaveThe Globe and MailJulian Barnes’s latest novel is for the person who likes to listen to sad songs after a breakup. The Only Story hurts while it comforts ... Barnes’s writing is exceptional. The Only Story has many sentences worth underlining. The author is skillful in presenting love clichés without eliciting the groans. Rather than a gimmick, switching between points of view serves the novel well, and fits snugly with the novel’s storytelling theme. Barnes’s protagonists earn our sympathy even if their act of adultery is not laudatory. They’re believable and if you begin to have doubts, Paul’s recurrent rationalizations keep you on his side ... to get to the truth of the narrator’s lament—to get to the truth of The Only Story—you need to ask what are all those sad love songs really about? Heartbreak.
PositiveThe Toronto Globe and Mail\"...a reading experience that\'s unmistakably set in Trump\'s America, which could make you want to stop reading, but you shouldn\'t. The Château isn\'t toxic. You won\'t choke. In the growing category of Trump novels, this entry will make you laugh ... Goldberg writes smooth prose even when he drops in Russian words, phrases and poetry, most of which add humour to the novel. If approval ratings dip on the story, the blame falls on the parts that are underdeveloped – the death of Bill\'s mother – or unnecessary (like Bill\'s not-quite ex-wife). The aspect most fully developed is Goldberg\'s humour, which floats in the same space as late-night TV. But whether you like the jokes depends on how you like your satire. Goldberg isn\'t merciless, but he\'s not Jimmy Fallon either. Thankfully.\