The book examines each of Barnes' novels under his own name, indicating how his treatment of common themes in inventive structures helps to invigorate both the themes and the novel form itself. The book provides a brief introductory overview of Barnes' career and then offers a discussion of each of the novels written in his own name. Focusing on the novels themselves, the chapters offer close readings that seek to highlight the dominant ideas of each text. These range across such areas as narrative inventiveness, questions of love, notions of truth and justice, friendship and betrayal, cynicism, faith, politics, and art. While each novel is talked about in its own right, the book aims to demonstrate that Barnes' writings constantly attempt to push the limits of the novel form, however subtly, and that, as such, he is one of the most important writers in Britain today.