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The Sense of An Ending

Barnes, Julian (Book - 2011 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Sense of An Ending


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This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about until his oldest friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all of this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider various things, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and his place in the world.
Authors: Barnes, Julian
Title: The sense of an ending
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2011
Characteristics: 163 p. ;,20 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Julian Barnes
Notes: "Originally published in Great Britain by Jonathan Cape, an imprint of The Random House Group Limited, London, in 2011"--T.p. verso
Summary: This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about until his oldest friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all of this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider various things, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and his place in the world.
Awards & Distinctions: Man Booker Prize for Fiction, 2011
ISBN: 9780307957122
0307957128
Branch Call Number: FICTION BARNES 2011
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Report This Mar 05, 2014
  • rdw39 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I was looking forward to reading this book, but after half way through, I became disappointed. I finished it and was surprised with the ending. The problem I had was that a man of his age fixated so intensely on a past relationship that he seemed to be missing the rest of his life. He had no friends, a distant relationship with his daughter & a very estranged relationship with his ex-wife. All in all I felt it spent too much time on his inner feelings about one area of his life over 40 years ago. I wanted to say "Get over it!"

Report This Nov 23, 2013
  • sharonb122 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was absolutely facinating! The sybolism, the strange characters, the endless possibilities of what was really going on, topic of memory and more. Some sentences I wanted to read over and over and contemplate their meaning. I'm saying little because if I said more, I would go on and on and need to have many spoiler alerts. You must read this book. Inaddition, I was very glad to be able to discuss this book with our Crystal Lake "Bookies" group to bring out even more questions and answers.

Report This Oct 22, 2013
  • PolarBear92 rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, the author used wonderful language to approach the complex notions of memory, time, and connection. On the other, I very much felt this was a "man's" story and, as such, fell short of what it could have accomplished. I rarely am conscious of being a female reader, but I felt strongly that the protagonist had a simplified view of the women in his life (they are either mysteries or straightforward) but a more complex, nuanced, and accepting view of his closest male friend from childhood. Some might say this is one of the points of the book, which is a fair observation, but I was left thinking about what more could have been done with a more compellingly drawn protagonist.

Report This Sep 25, 2013
  • CCSCANLON rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

SUCH a great book!

I found this to be a disappointing read, not worthy of the UK's top literary prize. Neither the narrator nor the mystery involving his long dead friend engaged me, since both characters were too passive and one-dimensional to be interesting. It was hard to believe our narrator did not figure out the "secret" long before he actually did, since it was obvious to this reader fairly early in the story. The one aspect that worked rather well was the reunion scenes with the bad-breakup girlfriend.

Report This Jul 19, 2013
  • empbee rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great style with humour ("I wish I wrote like that" kind.) Forty years later - what we were, what we are, how we changed how we did not.

Report This Jul 15, 2013
  • nicolenozick rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

oh my goodness, i loved loved loved this book. i read it in the weeks following my dad's death and it spoke to me on many levels. memory. loss. friendship. aging. loneliness. am reading it again. brilliant.

Tony first met Adrian at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. They swore to stay friends forever. Then Adrian's life took a turn into tragedy, and Tony moved on, doing his best to forget. Now content in middle age, Tony is surprised by a lawyer’s letter. The unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged search through a past suddenly turned murky. The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Barnes's Man Booker Prize-winning novel is laced with precision, dexterity and insight.

Report This Apr 15, 2013
  • ingramc rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Confusing book with a lot of 'navel-gazing.' Why did Veronica expect this gent to understand where she was coming from? She was, indeed, a 'fruitcake.' At least by the end we understand why the diary was meant for Tony.The redeeming bits were the observations about how life unfolds, such as the thoughts on experience being accumulative vs. additive.

Report This Mar 25, 2013
  • agbookclub2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

The Angus Glen Book club really enjoyed this book. We would recommend this title as a great book club read as well as the author's book "Arthur and George"

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Report This Jun 28, 2012
  • missmarple88 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

missmarple88 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

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Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It strikes me that this may be one of the differences between youth and age: when we are young, we invent different futures for ourselves; when we are old, we invent different pasts for others.

Report This Oct 27, 2012
  • becker rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”

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Quotes from The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes Music: October by Eric Whitacre

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