Top critical review
on May 15, 2011
For the most part I found Barney's Version tedious. Very few of the characters captivated me and the self indulgence of the protagonist was boring. However, I am glad I persevered to the end, because the conclusion was, indeed, unique, surprising and gratifying.
There is one definite redeeming feature of the book, and that is the portrayal of a very controlling, manipulative individual suddenly confronting the onset of a debilitating disease. The book is written in the first person, and although the individual keeps referring to himself as old, he is only in his late sixties (old in neither the 1990s when the book takes place, nor today). However, the disease from which he suffers is definitely an aging disease, and his frustration is well portrayed.