Friday, 14 April 2017

The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes
First published in the UK by Jonathan Cape in August 2011. Won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Borrowed from my partner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life. Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. 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 Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

I have reblogged my A Sense Of An Ending review from Stephanie Jane today to celebrate the release of the film version starring Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.

I thought that this novel was an interesting addition to the man-looking-back-to-his-youth genre. It examines what we think we know about ourselves and our personal history and, in contrast, how others see us in the context of the same events. I liked the story and the character developments, but unfortunately didn't see Veronica's behaviour as particularly outrageous in the first part of the book so consequently had to 'play catch up' later on in order to understand our protagonist's sense of victimisation. Barnes' does come across as self-consciously trying to be profound when he launches into his periodic philosophising. I didn't think that so much of this added value to the novel though, leading these passages to feel more like excessive padding by the end.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Julian Barnes / Contemporary fiction / Books from England

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