The Journal of a Disappointed Man
by W.N.P. Barbellion

Often compared to James Joyce and Franz Kafka, The Journal of a Disappointed Man is one of the great diaries and caused a sensation when first published in 1919.

Author: W.N.P. Barbellion

Introduction: Tim Dee

Published: October 2010


ISBN: 9780956254566Category: Tags: , ,


Out of stock

‘Funny and sad, brilliant and caustic, misanthropic and wretched’
Tim Dee

Likened to James Joyce and Franz Kafka, W.N.P. Barbellion’s Journal is one of the great diaries and caused a sensation when first published in 1919. Begun when its author was 13 years old, the Journal at first catalogues his misadventures in the Devon countryside – collecting birds’ eggs, spying girls through binoculars – but evolves into a deeply moving account of his struggle with multiple sclerosis.

Yet, for all its excruciating honesty, W.N.P. Barbellion has an extraordinary lust for life. As Zeppelins loomed above South Kensington, the humour and beauty he found in the world around him – in music, friendship, nature and love – deepens not just the tragedy of his own life, but the millions of lives lost during the First World War.


Introduced by Tim Dee
Cover illustration by Ed Kluz

216 x 156mm sewn paperback with flaps
288 pages with 3 facsimiles of handwritten letters by the author
ISBN 978 0 9562545 6 6

Additional Information

Dimensions20 x 160 x 250 mm


  1. Roy Wilkinson, journalist and former band-manager of Gene and British Sea Power, has posted a great review of The Journal of a Disappointed Man. Enjoying the poeticism of the book, Roy also sees a thread joining Barbellion to Bob Dylan and Joy Division.

    ‘The Journal’s high-wire angst and erudite near stream-of-consciousness,’ he writes, ‘place it in continuum with the voices of doubt and estrangement that would lead us through the modern era into the rock epoch: Kafka, Camus, Dylan, The Velvet Underground. Maybe, for my father’s generation, The Journal Of A Disappointed Man carried something of the fatalistic brilliance of a Nick Drake or Joy Division – “the young men, the weight on their shoulders”. But with an added dimension – impassioned exposition on how best to dissect a Corncrake.’

    Read the rest of his review at Caught by the River.

Add a review


With postal charges ever on the up, we charge postage and packing on all our titles. But if your total order is over £20 for books it will be delivered free of charge. However, charges for artworks vary - please contact us for details.

If you like what we publish, please support us by ordering directly or from your local independent bookshop.

Depending on the size of the order and how promptly you would like to receive it, you will have various delivery choices by Royal Mail or courier. We now also ship worldwide via Royal Mail International Tracking.