Melon Criticism

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Julian Barnes has been long considered one of England's finest novelists, and his reputation grew to international acclaim with the 1993 publication of his breakout novel, Flaubert's Parrot. Still, as of 2006, he had not established much of a reputation as a short story writer. Cross Channel, the book that contains “Melon,” was his first collection of short stories, published at a time when his reputation as a fiction writer was already well established. Reviews of the stories were mixed, but generally positive. Barbara Hoffert, writing in the Library Journal, refers to Barnes's “typically luminous, literate, restrained prose,” noting, “Throughout, Barnes exhibits a wonderful sense of time and place and an exactitude of detail.” She recommends it for most library collections. A brief review in the Virginia Quarterly Review expresses the opinion that Barnes proved with Flaubert's Parrot that he is the rightful heir to Russian novelist Vladimir...

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