- Publisher: Random House Canada; First Edition edition (1976)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0307360814
- ISBN-13: 978-0307360816
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2 x 21.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 318 g
- Average Customer Review: 33 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #283,932 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Sense of an Ending Hardcover – 1976
|New from||Used from|
Audio Download, Unabridged
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
No Kindle device required. Download one of the Free Kindle apps to start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
#1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE
LONGLISTED FOR THE IMPAC DUBLIN LITERARY AWARD
A New York Times Notable Book
“Exquisitely concise, The Sense of an Ending...offers a merciless portrait of late-twentieth-century males.... This novel lingers.” The Globe and Mail
“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
“A dexterously crafted narrative of unlooked-for consequences.” The Sunday Times
"A brief but potent work about memory, class, sex and the way we imperfectly bear witness to our own lives.... Each of Barnes's meticulously written sentences bears lingering over, and the novella's impact has a visceral power." Winnipeg Free Press
"Julian Barnes may well have written his best novel--he has certainly told a wonderful story that is all too human and all so real." The Irish Times
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, three books of short stories, and three collections of journalism. In addition to the Booker Prize, his other honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E.M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in London. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Tony Webster is a man in his later sixties, divorced, the father of a grown daughter, and comfortably retired. Then a letter arrives that sends him back in memory to his high-school days and his friendship with Adrian Finn, a brilliant student clearly destined for great things. While Adrian is indeed achieving academic success at Cambridge, Tony pursues his studies at a provincial university, devoting as much time to a mostly-unconsummated relationship with Veronica Ford, his girlfriend from a rather more upscale family. Then, when Tony is visiting in America, Adrian dies. There seems no mystery about it at the time, but when Tony is forced to reconsider after a gap of forty-some years, his search becomes a moral calculus, weighing the value of that one life against what he's made of his own, settling for an undistinguished career and marriage, calling it comfort but really meaning cowardice.
The opening sections of the novel have strong similarities to Alan Bennett's play THE HISTORY BOYS, and the question of what constitutes history runs all through the book. The teenage Tony quotes Churchill's aphorism that "History is written by the victors," but his teacher counters that "it is also the self-delusion of the defeated." As Tony looks back on his life, different and sometimes surprising versions of the truth will emerge, and the question of winners and losers will by no means be so clear. This is the intellectual mystery of the book, and I found it fascinating. But you cannot write a novel on philosophical and literary reflections alone; there need also be events, shifts of direction, surprise revelations. Here I think Barnes falls short. The disclosures in the last section of the story, pulled like rabbits out of the hat, are in my opinion inadequately prepared in the first half. So while Barnes ties up the mysteries with the neatness of a PD James or Agatha Christie, he leaves Tony's personal calculus disappointingly open-ended.
I guess I'll just have to work out my own past in my own way!
Part One is Tony's admittedly selective and possibly faulty memory of his school days and his faltering romance with Veronica. His marriage to Margaret and the birth of a daughter, subsequent divorce and the marriage of his daughter are summarily dismissed in a page or two. Part Two finds Tony in advanced middle age realising that he never accomplished much and just flowed along the river of life going wherever it carried him. A fragment of a diary left to him in Adrian's will starts him on his quest of trying to set things right by reconnecting with Veronica. In the last couple of pages we learn Tony got it all wrong, "you just don't get it" as Veronica had always told him. Barnes has left us with a bit of a cliff hanger or at least makes us reread sections of the book much as Tony has had to re-interpret his own life.
Book reviews in the Guardian and Globe and Mail do the book more justice. A true gem, Julian Barnes will be remembered.
Want to see more reviews on this item?
Most recent customer reviews