The Sense of an Ending
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The Sense of an Ending

3.69 (108,859 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 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, 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 in middle age. 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.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 108 x 176 x 12mm | 120g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099570335
  • 9780099570332
  • 2,678

Review quote

"A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending" * Daily Telegraph * "Mesmerising... the concluding scenes grip like a thriller - a whodunit of memory and morality" * Independent * "A very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived... Barnes has achieved...something of universal importance" -- Justin Cartwright * Observer * "A precise, poignant portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A small masterpiece" -- Erica Wagner * The Times * "A wonderful story that is all too human and all so real" * Irish Times *show more

About Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of twelve novels, including The Sense of an Ending, which won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. He has also written three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; four collections of essays; and two books of non-fiction, Nothing to be Frightened Of and the Sunday Times Number One bestseller Levels of Life. He lives in London.show more

Review Text

"A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending " Daily Telegraphshow more

Rating details

108,859 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 22% (23,870)
4 40% (43,163)
3 27% (29,590)
2 9% (9,434)
1 3% (2,802)

Our customer reviews

The Sense of an Ending is the 11th novel by Julian Barnes. In his sixties, retired, Tony Webster sees his life as pretty ordinary: career, marriage, amicable divorce, one child, two grandchildren. So the letter from a lawyer, informing him of an unexpected bequest of money and some documents, is surprising and intriguing. A blast from the past, it has him thinking back to high school friends, Adrian Finn in particular, and his first girlfriend at college, Veronica Ford. As Tony examines his memories of 40 years ago, present day events have him wondering just how true his memories are, and how justified his actions really were. Quotes from his sixth form History class come to mind: "Is history the lies of the victors? Or the self-delusions of the defeated?" Tony decides it's the memories of the survivors, who are neither victorious nor defeated. Barnes has given the reader a clever plot and realistic characters. I found the suicide philosophy (life is an unsolicited gift you can refuse to accept) thought-provoking and the twist at the end left me gasping. This is a short but very powerful read.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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