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The Sense of an Ending (Borzoi Books) Hardcover – January 1, 2011

4.0 out of 5 stars 2,397 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

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“Elegant, playful, and remarkable.” —The New Yorker
 
“A page turner, and when you finish you will return immediately to the beginning . . . Who are you? How can you be sure? What if you’re not who you think you are? What if you never were? . . . At 163 pages, The Sense of an Ending is the longest book I have ever read, so prepare yourself for rereading. You won’t regret it.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Dense with philosophical ideas . . . it manages to create genuine suspense as a sort of psychological detective story . . . Unpeeling the onion layers of the hero’s life while showing how [he] has sliced and diced his past in order to create a self he can live with. —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Ferocious. . . . a book for the ages.” —Cleveland Plain Dealer
 
“An elegantly composed, quietly devastating tale about memory, aging, time and remorse. . . . Offers somber insights into life’s losses, mistakes and disappointments in a piercing, thought provoking narrative. Bleak as this may sound, the key word here—the note of encouragement—is ‘insights.’ And this beautiful book is full of them.” —NPR
 
“With his characteristic grace and skill, Barnes manages to turn this cat-and-mouse game into something genuinely suspenseful.” —The Washington Post

“[A] jewel of conciseness and precision. . . . The Sense of an Ending packs into so few pages so much that the reader finishes it with a sense of satisfaction more often derived from novels several times its length.” –The Los Angeles Times

“Elegiac yet potent, The Sense of an Ending probes the mysteries of how we remember and our impulse to redact, correct – and sometimes entirely erase – our pasts. . . . Barnes’s highly wrought meditation on aging gives just as much resonance to what is unknown and unspoken as it does to the momentum of its own plot.” –Vogue

"Deliciously intriguing . . . with complex and subtle undertones [and] laced with Barnes' trademark wit and graceful writing." —The Washington Times
 
“Ominous and disturbing. . . . This outwardly tidy and conventional story is one of Barnes’s most indelible [and] looms oppressively in our minds.” –The Wall Street Journal

"Brief, beautiful....That fundamentally chilling question - Am I the person I think I am? -turns out to be a surprisingly suspenseful one.... As Barnes so elegantly and poignantly revels, we are all unreliable narrators, redeemed not by the accuracy of our memories but by our willingness to question them." —Julie Wittes Schlack, The Boston Globe.
 
"A brilliant, understated examination of memory and how it works, how it compartmentalizes and fixes impressions to tidily store away..... Barnes reminds his readers how fragile is the tissue of impressions we conveniently rely upon as bedrock." —Tom Zelman, Minneapolis Star Tribune

About the Author

Julian Barnes’s honors include the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. He lives in London.
 
www.julianbarnes.com

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2,397 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on February 5, 2018
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Top international reviews

Jeremy Allan-Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars To Begin, Wear Your Watch Backwards.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 30, 2018
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millhall
5.0 out of 5 stars Such complex simplicity.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 14, 2017
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insomniac
5.0 out of 5 stars Ending eludes me
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2017
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Sophie Cayeux
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgic. A quick pleasant read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 17, 2016
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WeAreWhatWeRead
5.0 out of 5 stars Small but mighty
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 25, 2016
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Nanoboy
4.0 out of 5 stars A great simple read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 22, 2017
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S.M. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars An observation of Life
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 27, 2016
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C.C. Bloom
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommend. We had this as a book group choice ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 19, 2017
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Georg
1.0 out of 5 stars Maybe above my head
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 20, 2017
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Bookish
3.0 out of 5 stars Boring, boring.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 8, 2019
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What Cathy Read
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth Reading
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 24, 2012
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Minijax
4.0 out of 5 stars More questions than answers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2013
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Antenna
4.0 out of 5 stars Self-Delusions of the Defeated
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2012
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Mme Suzanne Lageard
2.0 out of 5 stars Came to this book with high expectations and was slightly disappointed
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 13, 2014
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3.0 out of 5 stars Clincal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 28, 2012
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