The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending: Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2011 (for good reasoning)

Before writing this post, I looked back at some of the comments I’d noted when I finished this book, and it basically goes as follows: ‘what, wow, I am in awe, baffling, beautiful’ (that’s all Nicole can produce at 2:42am, apparently).

The Sense of an Ending: the ending of life, the ending of love, the ending of our actions, the actual ending of this book (oh my god).

The plot:

The Sense of an Ending is split into two parts – the first inviting us in to uncover the childhood friendship between Tony Webster (the protagonist) and Adrian Finn, “book-hungry, sex-hungry, meritocratic, anarchistic” characters. In part two, we follow Tony through University to middle-aged with reoccurring themes of love, death, family and friendship. In part two, Tony receives a letter from a lawyer informing him that a diary has been left in Adrian’s will.

From here on out, Barnes focused on ageing, memory and regret to create a wonderful piece of literature. This novella has been beautifully written and the last 15 pages or so grip you like a thriller. Everything unravels and we understand what, why, how, who and when. THE WHOLE FIVE, LADIES AND GENTLEMAN.

“Within a matter of pages, the novel becomes darker and frankly, quite shocking.”

Within a matter of pages, the novel becomes darker and frankly, quite shocking. I had to re-read the last couple of pages several times to understand what the hell was going on; I was (still am) baffled and thinking “no, that can’t be right” and then the sense of the ending (I’m really great at wordplay) made sense and I am just in awe. I won’t tell you anything about what happened in the end, that is for you and you only to enjoy, my friend.

This book was quite slow to get into, and there were times I didn’t think I could persevere, but I am so glad I did. Julian Barnes has done it for me. Frankly, no better ending could’ve been put in place. Unpredictable and wonderful. I will talk about this forever.

When – and I mean when – you buy this book, do give it some time, you won’t be disappointed.

Bookmark That again and again and again.

The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes, RRP £8.99 (paperback); Waterstones

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