In 10 1/2 chapters, Barnes wavers between plots, characters, narrative forms and points of view with dizzying speed and skill. It is a collection of short stories, loosely tied together by the motif of navigation and shipwreck.
My two favourite chapters :
The first : A stowaway woodworm spills the beans on Noah, his family and life on the Ark.
History has worked wonders on that one, at least according to the narrating woodworm!
The fifth : The first part narrates the 1816 shipwreck depicted by Géricault on The Raft of the Medusa. The second part is an analysis of the canvas itself; Géricault's narrative choices and the conditions under which it was painted.
In all, this was a brilliant book, yet I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have.
Perhaps my brain is already on vacation.
The Raft of the Medusa, Théodore Géricault, 1818-19