The Sense Of An Ending
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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.
- Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- Publication Date:
- Jonathan Cape LTD
- Country of origin:
Average Rating by customers
Read customer reviews on The Sense Of An Ending
a powerful read
21/05/2012The Sense of an Ending is the 11th novel by Julian Barnes. In his sixties, retired, Tony Webster sees his life as pretty ordinary: career, marriage, amicable divorce, one child, two grandchildren. So the letter from a lawyer, informing him of an unexpected bequest of money and some documents, is surprising and intriguing. A blast from the past, it has him thinking back to high school friends, Adrian Finn in particular, and his first girlfriend at college, Veronica Ford. As Tony examines his memories of 40 years ago, present day events have him wondering just how true his memories are, and how justified his actions really were. Quotes from his sixth form History class come to mind: Is history the lies of the victors? Or the self-delusions of the defeated? Tony decides its the memories of the survivors, who are neither victorious nor defeated. Barnes has given the reader a clever plot and realistic characters. I found the suicide philosophy (life is an unsolicited gift you can refuse to accept) thought-provoking and the twist at the end left me gasping. I found it very reminiscent of Ian McEwans writing. This is a short but very powerful read.