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The Sense of an Ending | [Julian Barnes]

The Sense of an Ending

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 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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

“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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Dr N. 11-22-11
    Dr N. 11-22-11 Listener Since 2009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Story
    "Engaging and beautifully written story"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Vashon, WA, United States 11-22-11
    Molly Vashon, WA, United States 11-22-11 Member Since 2007

    Former English and drama major, bookaholic.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Quiet, lovely book"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sheila McGee-Smith Amherst, NH USA 11-22-11
    Sheila McGee-Smith Amherst, NH USA 11-22-11 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting Plot Twists"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Wellesley, ON, Canada 11-21-11
    Paul Wellesley, ON, Canada 11-21-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absorbing"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    pat dubus 11-21-11
    pat dubus 11-21-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful writing"

    Such wonderful prose, character development, made me buy the book so I could reread portions of it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Littman OH 10-23-11
    D. Littman OH 10-23-11 Member Since 2003

    history buff

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    147
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    "great story, many twists & turns"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Sense of an Ending to be better than the print version?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    One character dominates the story, the narrator, Tony. It is hard to imagine having another character as


    Which character ??? as performed by Richard Morant ??? was your favorite?

    Tony, the main character & narrator of the story.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Sense of an Ending and why?

    Tony, and Veronica I suppose, who operates like a shadow over the whole story.


    2 of 8 people found this review helpful
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