Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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Sense of an Ending
By Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending

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Format: Hardback

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Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Book Awards

  • Winner of Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2011.
  • Shortlisted for Costa Novel Award 2011.
  • Shortlisted for Galaxy National Book Awards: Waterstone's UK Author of the Year 2011.
  • Long-listed for Warwick Prize for Writing 2013.

Book 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.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780224094153
ISBN-10: 0224094157
Format: Hardback
(204mm x 138mm x 20mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Jonathan Cape Ltd
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 4-Aug-2011
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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YouTube Videos

Julian Barnes on his win of the Man Booker Prize 2011 for The Sense of an Ending

Author Julian Barnes speaks after winning the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction for his novella 'The Sense of an Ending' at the Guildhall in London.

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When it comes to death, is there ever a best case scenario? In this book, the author confronts our unending obsession with the end. He also reflects on what it means to miss God, whether death can be good for our careers and why we eventually turn into our parents.

Noise of Time by Julian Barnes Noise of Time, Paperback (January 2017)

In May 1937, a man in his early thirties waits by the lift of a Leningrad apartment block. He waits all through the night, expecting to be taken away to the Big House. Any celebrity he has known in the previous decade is no use to him now. And few who are taken to the Big House ever return.

Metroland by Julian Barnes Metroland, Paperback (October 2016)

Christopher and Toni found in each other the perfect companion for that universal adolescent pastime: smirking at the world as you find it. Longing for real life to begin, Christopher makes for Paris in time for les evenements of 1968, only to miss it all in a haze of sex, French theatre and first love.

» View all books by Julian Barnes


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Book Review: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Reviewed by (24 Jan 2012)

This book is an intriguing as it is brief. Even if you don't like it (which I did), it's all over too soon.

It is the musings and reflections of a man who was a father, who was a youth, who was a boy as he approaches and waits for death.

The characters who move in and out of his life play some part in it and yet he is alone.

Life's mysteries and what if's are investigated and observed by the protagonist and some unexpected revelations are made....but even though at the end of the book there is a sense of an ending there are still unanswered questions.

Book Review: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Reviewed by (21 Dec 2011)

Narrated by Tony as he reflects on his life (we don’t know the retiree’s age, only that he feels old) the story follows an encounter with a girlfriend from his past which leads to the biographical introspection and a return to his youthful ways.

The story is divided into two sections. The first is Tony’s recollections of his school days, the tale of his first relationship with a girl named Veronica and a summary of his adult life to present.

Part Two brings the long-forgotten Veronica back into the picture in a surprising manner. Veronica holds the same mystery Tony found so intriguing forty years earlier and had sworn off, and leads him on a chase to obtain not only an item that has been bequeathed to him in her mother’s will but also information about her former lover that she seems intent on hiding from Tony.

As he spends more and more time with Veronica Tony finds himself questioning his own recollection of their shared history and...

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Book Review: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Reviewed by (27 Nov 2011)

"some approximate memories, which time has deformed into certainties", that's how Barnes's narrator, Tony Webster, describes this exploration of his past. He begins with schooldays, because, "that's where it all began". And in his memory he re-creates the friendships, the teenage ambitions and uncertainties, a youthful love affair, a marriage and an amicable divorce, all culminating in a comfortable, reasonably active retirement. It is an ordinary story of an ordinary man, until a lawyer's letter arrives to disturb his complacency.

Barnes is very good at capturing what it is like to be a bright boy at school testing a growing awareness of the world in interactions with friends and school masters. Tony and his good friends, Colin and Alex, share this experience. The inclusion of Adrian, clever and more serious, in their group changes the dynamics subtly but the friendships last until university, careers and marriages draw them apart. It...

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» Read all 3 book reviews for Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Author Biography - Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, including Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the World in 10� Chapters and Arthur & George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Medicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.

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