Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award for a First Novel
Metroland by Julian Barnes Metroland by Julian Barnes

Metroland was Julian Barnes's first novel. It took between 7-8 years to write and draws heavily on his personal experiences growing up in the suburbs of London.

Written in three parts, the first section focuses on the friendship of Christopher and Toni and their childhood disgust for the bourgeoisie. The second section finds Christopher in Paris during les événements of 1968, where he misses out on the events because he is too busy having sex. The last section outlines Christopher's life back in the London suburbs, his marriage, his child, and his stable job.

When Toni returns to question Christopher's loss of their early childhood philosophy, Christopher is faced with the dilemma of turning his back on his wife and child or acknowledging that he has become what he once despised.



NOTE: When possible, editions are linked to entries in the online Julian Barnes Bibliography. These entries feature multiple images of the book and additional bibliographic details.
English Editions

Metroland. London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. [Uncorrected Proof, 1980]. Second hardback printing: Jonathan Cape, 1992.    

Metroland. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1980.

Metroland. London: The Book Club, 1980.

Metroland. London: Robin Clark, 1981. Other printings: Robin Clark, 1984; Robin Clark, 1986.  

Metroland. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1987.

Metroland. London: Picador, 1990.  

Metroland. London: Picador, 1995. [ Rejacketed 2005]

Metroland. New York: Vintage International, 1992.

Metroland. London: Vintage Books, 2009. [Rejacketed in 2013]

Metroland [Archive Edition]. London: Vintage, 2016.

Audio Editions

Metroland. AudioGO Ltd, 2011: Read by Greg Wise.   
[Unabridged, 5 hours, 48 minutes]

Translated Editions

Dutch - Metroland. Amsterdam: Uitgeverij de Arbeiderspers, 1992. Translated by Else Hoog. Other edition: Atlas Contact, 2020

French - Metroland. Paris: Denoël, 1995. Translated by Jean-Pierre Aoustin. Other edition: Gallimard (Folio), 1997.

German - Metroland. Köln: Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2013. Translated by Gertraude Krueger. Other editions: Zürich: Haffmans Verlag, 1989 (hardback); Haffmans Verlag, 1989 (paperback); München: Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, 1995; Diana Verlag, 1999Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2007.

Italian - Metroland. Torino: Einaudi, 2015. Translated by Daniela Fargione.

Korean - 메트로랜드 | Metroland. 경기도파주시: 열린책들 [Paju: Open Books], 2007.

Romanian - Metroland. Humanitas, 2004. Translated by Mihai Moroiu; Bucuresti: Nemira, 2014.

Russian - Metrolend. Moskva: AST, 2001. Translated by T. Pokidaevoi.

Spanish - Metrolandia (Metroland). Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1989. Translated by Enrique Juncosa; Other edition: Anagrama, 2000

Swedish - Metroland. Lund: Bakhåll, 2019. Translated by Andreas Vesterlund.

Turkish - Metroland. Istanbul: Mitos, 1996. Translated by Serdar Rifat Kirkoglu. Other edition: Ayrinti Yayinlari, 2005.



1998 - Metroland - Directed by Philip Saville. Lions Gate Home Entertainment. Starring Christian Bale and Emily Watson.

The sudden reappearance of his best friend Toni, after ten years absence, causes Chris to remember his past, to question some of his lifestyle decisions and to re-evaluate his life and marriage to Marion. IMDb.com


07/31/1981 - Escape from Metroland - Caroline Holland, Islington Gazette (31) p.16
[Conversations with Julian Barnes]

05/1980 - Julian Barnes in Interview - Ronald Hayman, Books & Bookmen p.36-37
[Interview upon the publication of Metroland and Duffy; Conversations with Julian Barnes]


05/03/1987 - Two Clever Lads From London - Jay Parini, New York Times Book Review (92) p.26

05/16/1980 - Metroland - Philip Sturgess, Literary Review p.10

05/02/1980 - Growing Up - Edward Blishen, Times Educational Supplement p.22

04/06/1980 - Metroland: Thanks for the Memories - Bernard Levin, Sunday Times (London) p.42

03/28/1980 - Settling for Suburbia - Paul Bailey, Times Literary Supplement p.345

03/27/1980 - Smirking - John Naughton, Listener p.419

03/27/1980 - Untitled - Michael Church, Times (London) p.11

French Translation

12/1998 - Excentricité et interlinguisme dans Metroland et Talking It Over de Julian Barnes - Vanessa Guignery, Etudes Britanniques Contemporaines (15)

04/06/1995 - Un Anglais à Paris - Frédéric Vitoux, Nouvel Observateur p.99

04/01/1995 - Les farces et attrapes de la littérature - Ah quels titres France 3 (Television interview.)

03/30/1995 - Les terrains vagues de la mémoire - Renaud Matignon, Figaro Littéraire p.1