The Sense of An Ending

The Sense of An Ending

Book - 2011
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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 leftt 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 legacythat obliges him to reconsider various things, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and his place in the world.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2011.
ISBN: 9780307957122
Branch Call Number: FIC BARN
Characteristics: 163 pages ; 20 cm


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Jun 07, 2019

I enjoyed Part One with its clever humor and interesting insights into Tony’s rather maddeningly mediocre personality. However, Part Two goes completely off the rails with an ending that’s a total confusing stretch, leaving the reader with a “I’m not sure I get it” feeling. Disappointing.

Apr 13, 2019

superb book. Tough reading. Excellent writing. Very short, almost a novella. Wonderful discussions about memory and time. Definitely worth reading.

Mar 08, 2019

A rather quiet and gentle book which nevertheless digs at all the existential questions - what is my life for, why didn't I amount to more? There's an intriguing strand weaving in and out of the book about history and especially how our own history is built. The girlfriend Veronica is my only real complaint in an otherwise very good read. She remains enigmatic, her character unreadable, and even though Barnes probably did that on purpose to reflect the main character's ongoing puzzlement about women and life (she keeps telling him "You just don't get it") but for me as the reader it was pretty uncomfortable not to be able to know her better. I can see to some extent why this author/book was awarded the Man Booker Prize.

Aug 05, 2017

Should be titled "The Nonsense Of An Ending." It simply was not reasonably foreseeable that, when Tony, the main character, introduced his guy friend to the mother of his girlfriend, the mother and the guy friend would procreate. Even more unforeseeable that they would produce a special needs child. There's much to be guilty over as we pass through life. But, Tony's guilt was unfounded - in the extreme.

May 02, 2017

How wise the reviewer was, who mentioned age as a determiner of responses to this book. I would also suggest that a reflecting nature and a strong affinity for books emphasizing character. As for the reviewer who shared his view of females, your personal gender perspective doesn't belong on a book review website.
I loved this book and will read more Barnes.

Mar 28, 2017

I saw the film recently at the Bytown - then I read the book. The book (unlike the film) explains some things on the second last page. In the film you are left to guess how the story unravels. SPOILER ALERT However the film does not explain why Sarah left money to Tony (Anthony) in her will. It does not explain why Sarah left Adrian's diary to Tony. It does not explain why Veronica (Mary) burnt the diary. So we are left with an ending that makes no sense! Well, it is a novel!

Mar 15, 2017

Part one was exceptional; if you only read the first part it is a wonderful novella.

Jul 29, 2016

I thought it was quite good for awhile, but it got pretty tedious around the halfway point and seemed to stay that way, so I eventually gave up on this one.

Jul 05, 2016

Profound. How what we perceive to be the truth about something that happened in the past isn't necessarily the reality of the situation.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 03, 2016

The Sense of an Ending is a quiet novella of intrigue. It is captivating for its equal share of simplicity and suspense. Its tension is built on a subtle feeling that something is not right. From early pages it is clear that Barnes' narrator is unreliable and that his perspective of events may be ajar. Barnes frequently delves into philosophy and psychology without losing track of the story. The language is sparse; the author does nothing in excess.

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Feb 27, 2018

Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving however long it takes, that life isn't all it's cracked up to be."

Sep 27, 2017

Fabulous book, remarkable. And yes, my opinion probably directly relates to my age. Unbelievable story, that has every chance of actually happening. Wonderful, wonderful book.

TSCPL_ChrisB Jun 06, 2016

This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature.

cmlibrary_emcdonald Dec 14, 2015

"What you end up remembering isn't always the same as what you have witnessed."

Oct 27, 2012

“History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.”


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missmarple88 Jun 28, 2012

missmarple88 thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over


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