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Book DetailsISBN: 9780099564973
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Book Review: Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - Reviewed by CloggieA (14 May 2012)
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.
Julian Barnes is the author of eleven 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; and three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare and The Pedant in the Kitchen. His latest book, Levels of Life was a Sunday Times Number One bestseller. He lives in London.
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