It couldn't hold my attention. The narrarator spoke with a monotone and I never knew when he was changing characters. It just wasn't an audio that I could recommend to anyone. I couldn't even finish it.
I'm not certain a different narrator would have made much of a difference. It was just an overall bad listen.
My only reaction could be "boring"
In good faith I couldn't recommend that anyone waste a credit on this audiobook.
Page Turner, Avid Listener, Life-long Student.
The author does a wonderful job of creating very real and believable characters; they are well formed and interesting. The story itself is quite interesting and makes you not want to stop until you reach the end. But just when your curiosity seems to reach a fevered pitch, you are let down within two minutes and the story is suddenly ended. Well done, I guess, because it made me wish for just a little more.
I did not really like it. It was an awkward book to me. I really did not understand the point of many issues brought forth.
It's been a while since I posted a review. Let me come back in fine fashion, then, with this gem. (The book is a gem. Not my review.)
The Sense of an Ending is far from perfect, and yet is the best book I’ve read in a long time. The story is narrated by Tony Webster, a 60-something looking back on some events in his life that he’s now discovering may not have happened quite as he remembered them. This, it is pointed out, is much like history itself. We (or at least those of us with spouses) know how often we get the details of even recent events wrong. How in the world, then, can accounts of historical events be trusted?
The actual storyline is quite interesting. The conversations, philosophizing, and lessons learned are thought-provoking. The writing is superb, filled with an almost ridiculous amount of quotable passages. Finally, you won’t be hearing one of my frequent complaints that the book could have been half as long -- this one is on the compact side and I actually would have liked it to go longer!
There are a couple of plot turns that didn’t quite make sense to me, but any complaints are certainly minor to the overall experience. As a bonus, the narration was superb.
Things for my own remembrance follow.
“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”
“When we’re young, everyone over the age of 30 looks middle-aged. Everyone over 50, antique. And time, as it goes by, confirms that we weren’t that wrong. Those little age differentials, so crucial and so gross when we are young, erode. We end up all belonging to the same category, that of the non-young.”
“We live with such easy assumptions, don’t we? For instance, that memory equals events plus time. But it’s all much odder than this. Who was it said that memory is what we thought we’d forgotten? And it ought to be obvious to us that time doesn’t act as a fixative, rather as a solvent. But it’s not convenient, it’s not useful to believe this. It doesn’t help use get on with our lives, so we ignore it.”
I found myself unsatisfied and nonplussed because of how this book chooses to end things. The philosophical points of the book don't really impress me because it all remains too subjective. There really is never any imposition of objective reality to balance out the unremitting subjectiveness of the story. I'm over 50. It isn't that I can't understand some of the major philosophical points of the narrative. I do. Just as "Tony" just doesn't get it, I'm not convinced Julian Barnes does either.
Yes, but not right away. I like to give myself some time to forget the details before rereading. However, if I find myself without points at the end of the month I would probably listen again.
This is a quiet little book and the "moments" are all important and subtly rendered. If I describe my favorite scenes I may give away too much of the plot.
Morant did a wonderful job of portraying the voice of a pensive, late middle-aged man. He sounded like he knew what he was "talking" about.
Again, this isn't a book that creates an extreme reaction. You get a few ohs and ahas, however, especially toward the end.
I said in my title that I think this book is best for those over fifty. I think you need to have lived into middle age to understand Anthony, the main character/narrator. While I think "The Sense of an Ending" is beautifully written, and so would appeal to a younger reader, the experience of having a few regrets, a few unanswered questions, a few grown children, and, frankly, of being closer to death than birth deepened my enjoyment and understanding of the novel.
Some reviewers thought that the plot was not very plausible. I actually thought it was plausible and even realistic. It's just that I did not expect it to turn out that way, which made the story even better. I listened to the last 10 minutes three times because it was just so well written. But even without the ending, I enjoyed every segment of the story. The narrator was also excellent.
Wine, food and travel writer, editor, and aspiring novelist.
The narrator has an uncanny knack for sounding both young and old, which plays into the structure and sense of the story.
The candor of the narrator, who tries his best to understand, even when he is clueless.
There really is only one character that Richard Morant has to perform, and that's Tony Webster. But he does an exemplary job of giving us Tony the adolescent and Tony the 60ish retiree trying to connect with his past.
When the past you thought you knew, differs from the past your friends knew, what is the truth?
The English language is a beautiful medium for the expression of thought, and Julian Barnes is eloquent. Like Ian McEwan, it doesn't really matter what Barnes is writing about; it's about the ability of the language to express the nuance and complexity of human interaction and introspection. Stellar.
Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, The Sense of an Ending is a short, haunting novel of remembrance and remorse by the celebrated English writer, Julian Barnes. The first person narrator is Tony Webster, a retired manager, divorced and alone, rather self-absorbed and passive, a man of reduced expectations whose life is suddenly upended when he is willed the diary of a close friend, Adrian, who had committed suicide in his early twenties. Though Adrian came from a rung lower in the middle class than Tony, he was brilliant and charismatic, clearly destined for something great. But while studying philosophy at Cambridge, Adrian had hung himself, leaving behind an existential explanation for having made this choice. Adrian, however, had also stolen away Tony's enigmatic and manipulative girlfriend, Veronica, not long before his death. Back then, Tony had sent Adrian a bitter epistle cursing the new couple, then Tony had gotten on with his own life--a brief, hippy adventure in America, a cog-in-a machine job back in England, a non-enigmatic wife who eventually leaves him for a restaurant owner, a daughter, and finally single life in a tidy flat, volunteering at the hospital, a glass of wine a night and a week in Spain each winter, just treading water until the final curtain closes. And then, Veronica's mother--with whom Tony once felt a strange sympathy--dies and inexplicably leaves Tony 500 pounds and Adrian's diary. The first half of the novel consists of a long flashback of Tony's youth and his relationship with Adrian and Veronica; the second half involves Tony's efforts to get his hands on the diary, which Veronica, whom he hasn't seen in over forty years, doesn't want to hand over. The narrative pull becomes stronger as Tony undergoes a quest to recover the diary, find out what was going on in Adrian's mind before his death, and perhaps to even rekindle a flame with Veronica. Smaller mysteries, give way to larger ones, and ultimately to a shattering truth. Though I found some of Tony's philosophical musings on the nature of life a little tedious, his character comes fully alive and the story itself is deeply compelling.
Yes, there were so many good lines and thoughts. I actually bought the book after listening just to reread the many great thoughts.
I loved the beauty of the story--aging and endings--and the way the reader brought it to life.
He reads in a slow and melodic way..perfect match to the flow of the story.
It made me think!
LOVE this selection.