A brilliant short novel from a writer at the very height of his powers
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.
About the Author
Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including The Sense of an Ending, Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters and Arthur & George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.
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Comments about The Sense of an Ending:
15 March 2013
Book Group Notes on 'The Sense of an Ending' by Julian Barnes
I found this a well written and interesting novel.
The narrator gives us an account of growing up with close friends at high school and then his student years when he meets and forms a relationship with a very complex girl. When he is invited to her home for a weekend it becomes clear that she is the product of a rather dysfunctional family and background. This experience appears to have a lifelong effect on him.
The relationship ends and the girl then has a relationship with his closest friend.
He later marries, has a family, but even though all seems amicable on the surface, the marriage ends in divorce. He still is on good terms with his ex wife and daughter. He philosophises a lot and would have been a psychologist's delight.
His past comes to haunt him when he receives an unexpected lawyer's letter and old memories surface. The outcome of the story is quite unexpected.
My main impression was how experiences in a young person's life can have lifelong repercussions and consequences.
Young people, especially when they have grown up in a sheltered environment, are vulnerable and may be unprepared for situations life may throw at them. Most parents have plenty of worries at this time. Hopefully in this day and age, with young people being exposed to modern media, they are more 'worldly-wise' when are faced with unusual situations.
"A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending" Daily Telegraph "Mesmerising... the concluding scenes grip like a thriller - a whodunit of memory and morality" Independent "A very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived... Barnes has achieved...something of universal importance" -- Justin Cartwright Observer "A precise, poignant portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A small masterpiece" -- Erica Wagner The Times "A wonderful story that is all too human and all so real" Irish Times
Number Of Pages: 160
Published: 1st March 2012
Publisher: Random House
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 13.1 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.16