From the Publisher
Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and #1 international
bestseller, The Sense of an Ending is a
The story of a man coming to terms with the mutable past, Julian
Barnes''s new novel is laced with his trademark precision,
dexterity and insight. It is the work of one of the world''s most
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school.
Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they navigated the girl drought of
gawky adolescence together, trading in affectations, in-jokes,
rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the
others, certainly more intelligent, but they swore to stay friends
forever. Until Adrian''s life took a turn into tragedy, and all of
them, especially Tony, moved on and did their best to forget.
Now Tony is in middle age. He''s had a career and a marriage, a
calm divorce. He gets along nicely, he thinks, with his one child,
a daughter, and even with his ex-wife. 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
unexpected bequest conveyed by that letter leads Tony on a dogged
search through a past suddenly turned murky. And how do you carry
on, contentedly, when events conspire to upset all your vaunted
About the Author
JULIAN BARNES is the author of three books of stories, two
collections of essays, eleven novels, including A History
of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters and Arthur &
George (finalist for the Man Booker Prize), and a
non-fiction book, Nothing to Be Frightened Of. His
honours include the Prix Medicis, the Prix Femina, the Somerset
Maugham Award and the E. M. Forster Award. He lives in London.
1. Would you describe Tony Webster as an 'unreliable yet sincere
2. To what extent do you think Julian Barnes uses "peripeteia",
the unexpected twist in plot, to encourage the reader to adjust
3. Do you agree with Anita Brookner's review, "his [Julian
Barnes] reputation will surely be enhanced by this book". The
Telegraph, July 2011.
4. The Sense of an Ending is a novel
about the imperfections of memory. What insight does it give the
reader into ageing and memory?
5. Is the ending unforeseen, does it leave you with a sense of
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