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The Sense of an Ending [Deckle Edge]…
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The Sense of an Ending [Deckle Edge] (Vintage International) (original 2011; edition 2012)

by Julian Barnes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,4353521,106 (3.86)1 / 557
Member:hfineisen
Title:The Sense of an Ending [Deckle Edge] (Vintage International)
Authors:Julian Barnes
Info:Vintage (2012), Paperback, 176 pages
Collections:read
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (2011)

  1. 91
    On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Cariola)
    Cariola: Another brief but powerful novel that explores how our perceptions vary and memories change over time, as well as regrets over lost oppotunities. McEwan is, like Barnes, a master of words and character development. On Chesil Beach made the Booker short list in 2007--and should have won!… (more)
  2. 93
    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Laura400)
  3. 60
    The Sea, the Sea by Iris Murdoch (Queenofcups)
    Queenofcups: I found myself thinking of Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea as I read this book. There is some affinity in theme and story. Murdoch is expansive, where Barnes is elegant and economical. It won the Booker in 1978, and it's well worth another look.
  4. 20
    The Woman in the Dunes by Kōbō Abe (freddlerabbit)
  5. 21
    The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (AlexBr)
    AlexBr: If you like unreliable narrators.
  6. 10
    A Partisan's Daughter by Louis de Bernières (jayne_charles)
    jayne_charles: Intelligently written account of an old guy reminiscing, with the added bonus in this case of an education in Balkan history along the way
  7. 00
    Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (kara.shamy)
  8. 22
    The Sea by John Banville (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Men looking back on their youth, similar issues with memories. Both beautiful reads.
  9. 00
    The Newton Letter by John Banville (StevenTX)
  10. 01
    The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides (yokai)
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English (319)  Dutch (11)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  French (3)  Norwegian (3)  Italian (3)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (353)
Showing 1-5 of 319 (next | show all)
A bit for the Anglophile, but the main character is fully drawn and It is seeded with the occasional astounding sentence.
  Kelley.Logan | Jan 16, 2015 |
It's quite sad that back in December, when I finished this book, I decided to rate it at 4 stars. I didn't bother writing a review back then. Today, about 2.5 months later, I finally log back into Goodreads and find that I don't remember what the fuck this book is even about.

So yeah. It either wasn't as good as I initially thought, or my memory is just getting really really bad.

I suppose a third possibility exists. But I forget what that was now. ( )
  zenslave | Jan 13, 2015 |
Has the virtue of being short ( )
  cjeskriett | Jan 1, 2015 |
This is a difficult book to describe, as I did not like it so much as I respected it. That is to say, the writing and message appealed to me, even as the story was certainly not one that I loved. Basically, it is all about how our memory and the truth of things do not necessarily agree with each other. It is a compelling and honest message, buoyed by strong writing skill, which effectively carried me through to the end even as parts fell a bit flat to me. The main issue is, I suppose, the lack of likability on the part of any of the characters within the narrative. That may not bother you, but I was left wanting to yell at the primary narrator that he was not as great of a guy as he thinks, and the only real redemption granted the reader is that the guy does at least somewhat realize it in the end. If that sounds okay to you, then it's worth checking out. ( )
  TiffanyAK | Dec 31, 2014 |
This short, little book packs a powerful punch! This is my first Julian Barnes which I grabbed because I never miss a shortlisted Man Booker prize and this book truly deserves to be among the nominated.
This is the story of Tony Webster told as he remembers it. We take a glimpse into his, in my opinion, very pathetic life and certain events that take place in it.
It is a book that makes you wonder about your 'what ifs' and about what you see when you take a look back, what you choose to remember and, most importantly, how you choose to remember it.
With a super good surprising ending, this is one quick read not to be missed. ( )
  AleAleta | Dec 31, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 319 (next | show all)
By now, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes has gained itself a reputation for being the novel you must read twice.....

Nearly every paragraph in this book has multiple interpretations. Once all the questions are answered, the reader is left in the same state that Tony is in the book’s final pages—floored at life’s essential mysteries, and frustrated that they cannot be relived. Fortunately for us, we can just read the book again.
added by Nickelini | editForbes, Geoff Mak (Mar 29, 2012)
 
Barnes' work is one in which, event-wise, not a whole lot happens. Unless we’re talking about the events of the brain and the tricks of time and memory. If that's the case, then Barnes has impressively condensed an undertaking of biblical proportions into a mere 163 pages.
added by WeeklyAlibi | editWeekly Alibi, Sam Adams (Nov 10, 2011)
 
Deservedly longlisted for the Man Booker prize, this is a very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived, full of bleak insight into the questions of ageing and memory, and producing a very real kick – or peripeteia – at its end. As Kermode wrote: "At some very low level we all share certain fictions about time, and they testify to the continuity of what is called human nature…" Barnes has achieved, in this shortish account of a not very attractive man, something of universal importance.
 
As ever, Barnes excels at colouring everyday reality with his narrator's unique subjectivity, without sacrificing any of its vivid precision: only he could invest a discussion about hand-cut chips in a gastropub with so much wry poignancy.
 
A man's closest-held beliefs about a friend, former lover and himself are undone in a subtly devastating novella from Barnes. It's an intense exploration of how we write our own histories and how our actions in moments of anger can have consequences that stretch across decades. The novel's narrator, Anthony, is in late middle age, and recalling friendships from adolescence and early adulthood. What at first seems like a polite meditation on childhood and memory leaves the reader asking difficult questions about how often we strive to paint ourselves in the best possible light.
added by kthomp25 | editKirkus Reviews. (Nov. 1, 2011)
 

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Barnes, Julianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gombau i Arnau, AlexandreTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hörmark, MatsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
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People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
for Pat
First words
I remember, in no particular order:
   -a shiny inner wrist;
   -steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it;
   -gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house;
   -a river rushing nonsensically upstream, its wave and wash lit by half a dozen chasing torchbeams;
   -another river, broad and grey, the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind exciting the surface;
   -bathwater long gone cold behind a locked door.
Quotations
"We could start perhaps with the seemingly simple question. What is History? Any thoughts, Webster?
'History is the lies of the victors,' I replied a little too quickly.'
Yes, I was rather afraid you'd say that. Well as long as you remember that it is also the self-delusions of the defeated...' (p. 25, large print ed.)
We muddle along, we let life happen to us, we gradually build up a store of memories. There is the question of accumulation, but not in the sense that Adrian meant, just the simple adding up and adding on of life. And as the poet pointed out, there is a difference between addition and increase.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & George and continued with Nothing to Be Frightened Of and, most recently, Pulse.

This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre. .
Haiku summary
Middle-age memories
of times past, both good and bad.
What is the meaning?
(sushitori)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

This intense new novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about until his oldest friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all of this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. but he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider various things, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and his place in the world.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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