The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending

By Julian Barnes

  • Release Date: 2011-10-05
  • Genre: Literary
Score: 4
4
From 1,047 Ratings

Description

Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & George and continued with Nothing to Be Frightened Of and, most recently, Pulse.
 
This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all 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 a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.
 
A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre.

Reviews

  • Long wind up for little payoff.

    1
    By Lisa Lefebvre
    Tedious detail that builds up to something supposedly shocking. But not.
  • Sense of an Ending

    5
    By Emmet Aloysius
    One of the best books in the last two years! EAF
  • Enigmatic

    3
    By acreads
    Hmmm... I just finished this book and I'm afraid I don't really get it. It's not that I don't understand what happened, it's just that I'm not sure the plot deserved so many pages. There's something about the prose and the thoughtful, routine, Stewart O'Nan-like focus on prosaic life that's appealing, but the final reveal left me feeling kind of empty - i.e. I read all that for that?
  • Humbling

    5
    By ShavliMa
    All of the most complimentary adjectives apply here. Sneakily beautiful, harsh, compelling, must-read. Barnes writes of both youth and late middle age so believably...and the mystery at the novel's heart is a lingering taunt.
  • Regrets anyone?

    5
    By Isobel92111
    This book should be read by anyone over 40 (50 or 60 even better). It has such a powerful writing! Its English is astonishing. It's about memories, regrets, life, future, ... I loved this book. But maybe it's just because it came at the perfect moment.
  • Great Read

    5
    By koranda
    I don't read often but found this hard to put down. Enjoyed the thoughts it provoked.
  • The sense of an ending

    1
    By Loui11
    Did I miss something? The main character felt guilty because he suggested his friend contact his girlfriends mother 40 years ago. The friend then got the mother pregnant and committed suicide? Please tell me I missed he point.
  • 100 Words or Less

    2
    By JRubino
    I know I read this. I know in the middle of the novel, I certainly continued. But now? I can hardly remember a single scene. It’s such fluff. It’s all masked in heavy sadness of life’s passing and how things change and how we look back and see different paths we might have taken. Or something like that. I’ve nothing against this type of genre – the navel-gazing of the memories of life. But I’ve read so many other better novels in this vein. Overall, it’s too insubstantial to mean anything at the end, for either the characters or the reader.
  • The Sense of an Ending

    1
    By YarbhillWoman
    The protagonist in this book, Tony, is essentially a decent, moral guy. The entire premise of the book is memory and how this guy didn't "get it" back then and still doesn't "get it." Of course he didn't get it. Amoral manipulators were not part of his decent world. That does not make him intellectually inferior, as is inferred. It just makes him a nice chap with a decent life. Gosh, the author is smugly arrogant and elitist. While he makes some good points about memory that are worth contemplating, the book stands on sad, pseudo-intellectual arrogance. Get a real life based on solid, self-affirming hard work and stop mooning around with your bankrupt "left-bankery." Mostly a waste of intellectual energy.
  • Excellent

    5
    By TWL51
    As a male age 60 I found this a compelling and thought provoking novel on many levels. Should have been a fast read, but I found myself re-reading parts and using the iPad's dictionary and search features to check out meaning and origin of words or to learn more about a town or a model of car. Enjoyable.