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The Sense of an Ending: A Novel | [Julian Barnes]

The Sense of an Ending: A Novel

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, rumor, 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Man Booker Prize, Fiction, 2011

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, rumor, 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.

©2011 AudioGO (P)2011 Julian Barnes

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)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (901 )
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3.6 (772 )
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4.0 (770 )
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  •  
    Susan Eliason US 08-06-12
    Susan Eliason US 08-06-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What is true?"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sense of an Ending the most enjoyable?

    I found the book thought-provoking. It made me think about memories and my perception of events. I found much truth in the quote on page 18: “History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation”


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

    Mrs Ford


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

    Veronica because she was unpredictable and forced Tony to think.


    Any additional comments?

    Very enjoyable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaui 07-12-12
    Kaui 07-12-12 Member Since 2009

    I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Provocative, absorbing read"
    Any additional comments?

    2011 Man Booker Prize. AWESOME book – a cliffhanger. Sparsely written, very descriptive, evocative, transportive. The ending is a compelling reason to re-read immediately, which, given its short length (150pp +-) is possible. I did. Highbrow, worthwhile – this book singlehandedly has changed my mind about Man Booker winners – I think I can access them!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine 06-26-12
    Christine 06-26-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well-narrated, but you should read this one"

    The narration of this book was terrific, but if you are only going to experience this book in one format, I would recommend that you read it.

    *Possible spoiler* The ending of the book causes you to re-assess many earlier scenes to try to fit them in with what you learn, and it is much more difficult to go back to a particular place in an audiobook. In addition, there were many passages that were so well-crafted that I wanted to linger over them, also not possible in an audiobook.

    That being said, the audiobook was excellent and I do recommend it, but as an adjunct to the printed word, rather than a substitute for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trecy 06-25-12
    Trecy 06-25-12
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    Story
    "Worth a read but not heart stopping for me."
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend i, but that may be just my taste in books. Others may like it.


    Any additional comments?

    This book was recommended to me by a friend, but I found the protagonist very self absorbed, and I just didn't get some of the situations that occurred. It seemed like a mystery story in which the mystery isn't fully solved. Maybe it was supposed to be that way or maybe I just missed the point.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy schmidt newport beach, ca USA 06-04-12
    judy schmidt newport beach, ca USA 06-04-12 Member Since 2011
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    "Channeled John Hurt"
    What made the experience of listening to The Sense of an Ending the most enjoyable?

    the reader


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    i couldn't stop thinking about my own past and my own processing of memories


    What about Richard Morant’s performance did you like?

    everything


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elena New York, NY, United States 05-08-12
    Elena New York, NY, United States 05-08-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Great literary piece you need to ease into"

    A story starts a bit slow as a "coming of age" novel, and then speeds up to a lightening pace with 40 years of life covered in a handful of chapters and before the middle of the book. Just when you begin wondering what the other chapters are there for, the real story starts! All of a sudden, seemingly disconnected events of the author's/protagonist's history become related, change their meaning, get reevaluated and are seeing in a different light both by the author and by the audience. It is fascinating to participate in a self-discovery process with the author, relate to the tricks the memory plays with us, get the insights that are usually uncovered only by accident or after a large investment in a good shrink.

    Great, spot-on narration. You will enjoy it, especially after the first 20 minute.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Brandman 04-16-12
    M. Brandman 04-16-12 Member Since 2007
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    "One of the best books of the year"

    Flawless. Both an excellent book and audiobook. Bridges the gap between lit fiction and popular fiction without dulling the product.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-31-12
    Geoffrey Ottawa, Ontario, Canada 03-31-12 Member Since 2009

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Whimpering of a Nihilist"

    Great narration, well written story, quick read and bought on sale, so what's wrong with this audible book? The story of faded youth and idealism, acceptance of mediocrity through out middle age, and an unnecessary twist to finish with, The Sense of an Ending, though beautifully written, seems a sad waste of promise. A huge shoulder shrug from me.....whatever.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gaybeth 03-30-12
    Gaybeth 03-30-12

    daydreamer

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    2
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    "Great read"
    Where does The Sense of an Ending rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It ranks at about 80 %.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Sense of an Ending?

    When the friend found out the father of the young man.


    What about Richard Morant’s performance did you like?

    His voice was clear and consistent throughout.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elaine Shaker Heights, OH, United States 03-26-12
    Elaine Shaker Heights, OH, United States 03-26-12 Member Since 2010
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    "So thought=provoking"

    A thoughtful, reflective book with unusual turns as it proceeds. Made me (at 65+) reconsider some of the stories I tell myself about my own history.
    the reader's voice fits the character so well, I may actually get the hard copy and read it
    again!
    If you want plenty of action, this book is not for you !

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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