Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2011
The powerful, unsettling, and beautifully crafted new novel from one of England’s greatest contemporary writers.
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 retired. 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.
A complete and unabridged reading by Richard Morant.
©2011 Julian Barnes (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
“Elegant, playful, and remarkable.” (The New Yorker)
“A page turner, and when you finish you will return immediately to the beginning . . . Who are you? How can you be sure? What if you’re not who you think you are? What if you never were? . . . At 163 pages, The Sense of an Ending is the longest book I have ever read, so prepare yourself for rereading. You won’t regret it.” (The San Francisco Chronicle)
“Dense with philosophical ideas . . . it manages to create genuine suspense as a sort of psychological detective story . . . Unpeeling the onion layers of the hero’s life while showing how [he] has sliced and diced his past in order to create a self he can live with. (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times)
“Barnes seems equipped to write with humour and elegance about anything he turns his attention to” (Financial Times)
The story was though provoking and beautifully written with excellent narration. Do not be put off by the fact that it is relatively short, it is still value for money.
Former English and drama major, bookaholic.
Such a treat to read something as well written as this book. But like so many of the books I have read, the story settles into you over time and stays with you. I highly recommend it.
Just when you think you've figured it out, the plot twists yet again. My only complaint on this selection is it is a bit short for a Booker winner. It is, however, an enjoyable listen.
This is a book that I expect I will reread again and again over the years. I haven't read Barnes since "Flaubert's Parrot;" however, after reading this I intend to read his other works. There is no way this book could have not not won the Booker.
I am sure they are both good. The audio edition has a terrific narrator who succeeds in good pacing, mellifluous presentation, and makes you live the story.
One character dominates the story, the narrator, Tony. It is hard to imagine having another character as
Tony, the main character & narrator of the story.
Tony, and Veronica I suppose, who operates like a shadow over the whole story.
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