The Sense Of An Ending

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The Sense Of An Ending

by Julian Barnes

Random House of Canada | February 21, 2012 | Trade Paperback

The Sense Of An Ending is rated 3.5714 out of 5 by 7.
Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and #1 international bestseller, The Sense of an Ending is a masterpiece.

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 distinguished writers.

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 truths?

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 160 pages, 8.01 × 5.39 × 0.47 in

Published: February 21, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307360822

ISBN - 13: 9780307360823

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Soul baring book The book seems to generate polar opposite opinions from readers. I think it is excellent, a man reviewing his life. You see the decisions made, perhaps not fully remembered, perhaps too one sided. But it delivers as a book about a man looking back on his life. If I were a younger man, perhaps I would not have enjoyed as much but as an older reader, I see the life of this man only too well. It is a book I have read twice over the last year. The writing is clear and to the point. Highly recommend it.
Date published: 2014-06-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not sure why I added this to my wish list I cant remember why I added this to my wish list, it did not become any clearly either during or after reading it. Honestly I would not recommend it unless you want an idea of what you might expect to happen to your memory as you get older. I can save you some time and tell you to live life to the fullest and never waste an opportunity even if it presents like a huge challenge. Not that I think that is the authors message but reading about a someone else self professed mediocre life, that's how it made me feel.
Date published: 2013-01-23
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Aims to be Plain and Achieves The thing about award-winning books that you read AFTER they've won the awards is you spend the entire time trying to fathom just what IT is, if this book is deemed to have had IT. This was my first encounter with the already-acclaimed Barnes, and upon completion of it, I've decided that it is a fine attempt to express something surprising, a Dickensian twist, but to do it in an intentionally normal, boring, and to use the author's word "average" life. The intent was to make it as human as possible, and though that's something many writers aspire to, there is much that leaves you wondering what the point is. The voice is not distracting, but nor does it make you thrill as many Man Booker winners in the past have made me do. It's fairly conventional, and yet there are times when it dives into the rumination of time or life or epitaphs that we find some of the most riveting work. And yet, it still just comes together too nicely, with a fairly plain mystery and a fairly plain explanation in the end. In the real world, it would be noteworthy, but in fiction it is just life.
Date published: 2012-10-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Couldn't wait for it to end I should have known that as a winner of the Man Booker prize, this book and I were not going to get along. This is a book about a man who mis-remembers his youth, is confronted with his self-righteous smug judgments of the past, and in the end nothing of any consequence really happens. At a scant 160pp, this book dragged on forever. Couldn't wait for it to end, but persevered to the last out of bookclub commitment only.
Date published: 2012-09-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wow I have not read a novel so polarizing as The Sense of an Ending. Just look at some of the other reviews. It is so well crafted and achieved that the reader may question the fact it was on purpose. But all one needs to do after reading is look to the title and I defy you not to at least smirk. If you are the type of reader who enjoys a novel that is tied up in a nice bow by the end I would avoid this book. This novel seems ideal for any book club. The desire to discuss and confirm the narrator’s take on events in book make it self-reflexive. You look to other people around you to help you make ‘sense’ of the book. This process may be fun it is ultimately futile. The reader should try and decide for themselves before seeing what other readers have to say. This fact makes the book difficult to review or even describe to friends. All you can say is just read it. This book may not engage your heart but it will engage your mind. The Sense of an Ending is about, “Making sense of the ways we try to make sense of our lives.” Deep. Check out my first published work Defenseless
Date published: 2012-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Riveting! You will not be able to put this book down--it is absolutely compelling.It is well written, clever, humorous and unpredictable.
Date published: 2012-03-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from One of the best novels The best novel I have read in a long time. This was my first time reading Julian Barnes. The language, character development, the movement of the story were exceptional. I am now curious to read more by him. Truly enjoyed the book and have no reservation recommending the book.
Date published: 2011-11-14

– More About This Product –

The Sense Of An Ending

by Julian Barnes

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 160 pages, 8.01 × 5.39 × 0.47 in

Published: February 21, 2012

Publisher: Random House of Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307360822

ISBN - 13: 9780307360823

Read from the Book

I remember, in no particular order:   – a shiny inner wrist; – steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it; – gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house; – a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams; – another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface; – bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door.   This last isn’t something I actually saw, but what you end up remembering isn’t always the same as what you have witnessed.   We live in time – it holds us and moulds us – but I’ve never felt I understood it very well. And I’m not referring to theories about how it bends and doubles back, or may exist elsewhere in parallel versions. No, I mean ordinary, everyday time, which clocks and watches assure us passes regularly: tick-tock, click-clock. Is there anything more plausible than a second hand? And yet it takes only the smallest pleasure or pain to teach us time’s malleability. Some emotions speed it up, others slow it down; occasionally, it seems to go missing – until the eventual point when it really does go missing, never to return.   I’m not very interested in my schooldays, and don’t feel any nostalgia for them. But school is where it all began, so I need to return bri
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From the Publisher

Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize and #1 international bestseller, The Sense of an Ending is a masterpiece.

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 distinguished writers.

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 truths?

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.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

WINNER 2011 - Man Booker Prize LONGLIST 2013 – IMPAC Dublin Literary Award A New York Times Notable Book " The Sense of an Ending has the markings of a classic of English Literature. It is exquisitely written, subtly plotted and reveals new depths with each reading." —Dame Stella Rimington, Chair of the 2011 Man Booker Prize judges     “Barnes builds a powerful atmosphere of shame and silence. . . . As ever, Barnes excels at colouring everyday reality with his narrator’s unique subjectivity, without sacrificing any of its vivid precision. . . . Novel, fertile and memorable.” —The Guardian   “Compelling. . . . His reputation will surely be enhanced by this book. Do not be misled by its brevity. Its mystery is as deeply embedded as the most archaic of memories.” —Anita Brookner, The Telegraph   “Short and sharp. . . . A true master of his craft, Barnes’s precise and economic prose is often a delight, and he packs in some vivid characterisation, scene-drawing and emotional insight within his brief 150 pages.” —The List   “Barnes has effectively doubled the length of the book by giving us a final revelation that obliges us to reread it. Without overstating his case in the slightest, Barnes’s story is a meditation on the unreliability and falsity of memory. . . . Such a slyly subversive book.” —London Evening Standard   “A dextero
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Bookclub Guide

1. Would you describe Tony Webster as an ‘unreliable yet sincere narrator’?

2. To what extent do you think Julian Barnes uses “peripeteia”, the unexpected twist in plot, to encourage the reader to adjust their expectations?

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 unease?
 
Copyright ©2011 The Man Booker Prize 2011 at www.themanbookerprize.com

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