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The Sense of an Ending

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The Sense of an Ending Cover

ISBN13: 9780224094153
ISBN10: 0224094157
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Awards

Staff Pick

A reflection on time, aging, memory, and remorse, The Sense of an Ending packs a giant sentimental (but not schmaltzy) punch. Beginning in an English boarding school (I am such a sucker for boarding school stories!), the book follows Tony Webster through school, college, relationships, marriage, work, and middle age. Tony is completely unaware of his part in a tangled relationship between himself, his ex-girlfriend, and his best friend. Decades later, Tony receives a letter from a lawyer indicating that he has inherited his best friend's diary, yet his ex-girlfriend won't give it up. Trying to somehow comprehend the relationships, his part, the results, and the nature of this mess, Tony begins to question not only his own past but his memories of that time as well. The 2011 Man Booker prizewinner, The Sense of an Ending is quiet, clever, and lovely.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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?

Review:

"Its effect is disturbing — all the more so for being written with Barnes's habitual lucidity. 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

Review:

"A highly wrought meditation on ageing, memory and regret." The Guardian

Review:

"It's a harsh tale rich in humane resonances." The Sunday Times

About the Author

Julian Barnes was born in Leicester, England on January 19, 1946. He was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964 and at Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated in modern languages (with honors) in 1968. After graduation, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary supplement for three years. In 1977, Barnes began working as a reviewer and literary editor for the New Statesmen and the New Review. From 1979 to 1986 he worked as a television critic, first for the New Statesmen and then for the Observer.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Nicole Cleary, March 28, 2012 (view all comments by Nicole Cleary)
The book is rich with the tensions between a life of contentment vs. a life filled with the kind of romance, suffering and adventure that make a great novel. The book opens with the bond between Tony and his school friends, forged with the shared experience of being philospher-kings at the age of adolescent discontent and unrest. It is a treat to read. The rest of the story unfolds like a mystery, told mostly from the vantage point of Tony's retirement. As Tony comes to understand the impact of his youthful shadow side on his life and the lives of some of his intimates, he has to question his own characterization of his life. The story's ending is quietly devastating in a really rich way.
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Amy O, September 18, 2011 (view all comments by Amy O)
I love everything by Julian Barnes. Can't wait to read this!
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780224094153
Author:
Barnes, Julian
Binding:
HARDCOVER

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Travel » General

The Sense of an Ending Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details pages - English 9780224094153 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

A reflection on time, aging, memory, and remorse, The Sense of an Ending packs a giant sentimental (but not schmaltzy) punch. Beginning in an English boarding school (I am such a sucker for boarding school stories!), the book follows Tony Webster through school, college, relationships, marriage, work, and middle age. Tony is completely unaware of his part in a tangled relationship between himself, his ex-girlfriend, and his best friend. Decades later, Tony receives a letter from a lawyer indicating that he has inherited his best friend's diary, yet his ex-girlfriend won't give it up. Trying to somehow comprehend the relationships, his part, the results, and the nature of this mess, Tony begins to question not only his own past but his memories of that time as well. The 2011 Man Booker prizewinner, The Sense of an Ending is quiet, clever, and lovely.

"Review" by , "Its effect is disturbing — all the more so for being written with Barnes's habitual lucidity. 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."
"Review" by , "A highly wrought meditation on ageing, memory and regret."
"Review" by , "It's a harsh tale rich in humane resonances."
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