Pulse by Julian Barnes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Barnes' short stories are little jewels, with insight into the life or situation that leaves you wanting slightly more than you're given but still feeling very fulfilled.
I really wish there were the 4.5 star option, because that's where I'd grade this collection. Why not the full 5 stars? It's the "At Phil & Joanne's" episodes, which made me think of a Woody Allen movie (think "Hannah and Her Sisters" type dialogue) and that irritated me. However, "The Limner", "Sleeping with John Updike" and "Carcassone" are worth re-reading. The notes say that "Marriage Lines" was written for Alan Howard (whom I saw years ago in "Good") and now I'm going to try to find a recording.
US readers will have to wait, or do as I did and order via Indigo.ca (or Amazon.co.uk).