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The Sense of an Ending (Borzoi Books) by…

The Sense of an Ending (Borzoi Books) (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Julian Barnes

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,3433481,140 (3.86)1 / 547
Title:The Sense of an Ending (Borzoi Books)
Authors:Julian Barnes
Info:Knopf (2011), Hardcover, 176 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:memory, perception, loss, use of language, Booker Award

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 (313)  Dutch (11)  Spanish (5)  German (5)  French (3)  Norwegian (3)  Italian (3)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hebrew (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (347)
Showing 1-5 of 313 (next | show all)
Non mi viene nulla da dire.

Una vita, come tante - come troppe.
Incomprensioni di comunicazione - come spesso, come sempre.
Passaggi di tempo - accumuli di tempo, non crescita nel tempo.
Ardori giovanili - deboli vecchiezze.
I rimorsi di lettere purtroppo partite.
I conti con una fine - con il senso della propria.
Tutto fuorche' desolante, lascia pero' un senso di incompiutezza - ma non colpevole. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Irgendwann kommt ein Zeitpunkt, an dem man feststellt, dass die noch vor einem liegende Lebensspanne deutlich kürzer ist als die bereits vergangene. Es ist der Moment, ab dem man beginnt, sich öfter auf das Vergangene zu besinnen und sich Fragen stellt wie: Bin ich zufrieden mit meinem Leben? War es erfüllt? Lebte ICH oder wurde ich gelebt? Was wurde aus meinen Träumen, Wünschen, Sehnsüchten?
Tony Webster, um die 60 und im Ruhestand, geschieden, im Großen und Ganzen mit sich im Reinen, ereilt dieser Moment, als er einen Brief eines Anwaltbüros erhält, in dem ihm mitgeteilt wird, dass er von der Mutter einer früheren Freundin eine kleine Erbschaft zu erwarten hat: 500 Pfund und das Tagebuch seines bewunderten Jugendfreundes Adrian. Wie diese in den Besitz des Buches kam, ist Tony völlig unklar und er beginnt mit Nachforschungen, die ihn in seine eigene Vergangenheit zurückführen und mit manchem konfrontieren, das er in völlig anderer Erinnerung hat.
Je intensiver er sich damit befasst, umso mehr muss er erkennen, dass seine Wahrheit nicht unbedingt die einzige und wahre ist und in schonungsloser Offenheit macht er sich klar, wieviel Selbsttäuschung in seinem Leben herrscht. Immer wieder kommen Fragen auf, die man sich auch selbst stellen kann und deren Beantwortung die Lesezeit des doch recht dünnen Büchleins (174 Seiten) deutlich verlängern können.
Es ist eine leise, zurückhaltende Geschichte ohne großen Spannungsbogen und vergleichsweise handlungsarm. Dennoch hat sie einen (zumindest für mich) überraschenden Schluss und es fiel mir schwer, das Buch vor dem Ende aus der Hand zu legen. Es regt zum Nachdenken über das eigene Leben an - und hoffentlich, bevor es zu spät ist. ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
Insightful and very readable. ( )
  keithostertag | Nov 16, 2014 |
One does not usually associate easy reading with the Booker Prize, and yet this deeply thoughtful, deeply moving account of a man's youth and old age, and the friend who committed suicide long ago, is a beautiful short novel, and one of the finest winners I have read. ( )
1 vote soylentgreen23 | Nov 8, 2014 |
well-written; would recommend to males; got me thinking; good book club discussion... ( )
  rosies | Oct 11, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 313 (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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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.
"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.)
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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.
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(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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