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
“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)
Cunningly and painfully insightful
The structure. Barnes plays the same tricks of the human psyche on the reader touching deeply and devilishly into it.
Beautiful. While I would have loved a change of voice for each character, the somber one voice he read with has its charm and goes along with the novel's mood.
Remembering to Forget
The novel is short, yet is packed with a whole world of emotions and quite some surprises. The writing is wonderful and the insights are deep and invigorating.
Within the 150 or so pages of this novel, Barnes packs a man's life! In listening to the book narrated by Richard Morant, I felt I developed a better understanding of the main character Tony Webster. He is not a likeable man. A careful listen helped me see more clearly the failings of this man and his inability to "get it".
This was not a fast moving story but it comes together in a way that leaves you thinking about it after it is over. The British accent of the male narrator got on my nerves but that is just a personal thing. I would reccomend it.
This was well written, but ultimately kind of disappointing. I wanted more from it.
The perspective on the main character's life, from his point of view, was the most interesting. The plot itself was listless.
I found the insight into the male perspective from teen to retiree very interesting!
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”
Veronica because she was unpredictable and forced Tony to think.
Very enjoyable listen.
I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks
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!
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.
I would not recommend i, but that may be just my taste in books. Others may like it.
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.
i couldn't stop thinking about my own past and my own processing of memories
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