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The Sense of an Ending Audio CD – Audiobook, CD
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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.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“Beautiful. . . . An elegantly composed, quietly devastating tale.” —Heller McAlpin, NPR
“Dense with philosophical ideas. . . . It manages to create genuine suspense as a sort of psychological detective story.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“Evelyn Waugh did it in Brideshead Revisited, as did Philip Larkin in Jill [and] Kazuo Ishiguro in The Remains of the Day. Now, with his powerfully compact new novel, Julian Barnes takes his place among the subtly assertive practitioners of this quiet art.” —The New York Times Book Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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THE SENSE OF AN ENDING is an accessible and engaging novel. It is narrated in the first person, informally, almost as if Tony Webster is telling you the story over late-night drinks. He proceeds in a hip, self-deprecating, moderately dispassionate and distanced fashion.
Webster is in his mid-sixties. Julian Barnes (born 1946) was in his mid-sixties when he wrote the novel. I am now in my mid-sixties. There was a lot that resonated with me, although a couple observations about life were totally foreign to me. Even so, I believe that the audience the book would most appeal to, and affect, are those who also are over sixty.
THE SENSE OF AN ENDING garnered the Man Booker Prize for 2011. As good as it is, to me it is not a prize-winning novel. For one thing, it is time-bound; I suspect that twenty or more years from now -- after most readers are no longer familiar with such cultural phenomena as the Rolling Stones' "Time Is on My Side" ("Ti-yi-yi-yime is on my side, yes it is") -- it will be rather dated. More importantly, it declines in quality over its last third, and the plot twist at the very end is, to me, too contrived.
Julian Barnes is not a wordy author, in fact I would say he is one of the most efficient authors I have read in a long time. The book is full of great quotes - and I fully intend to re-read the book and write down some of them. About half of our book group had read the book twice and while I don't usually do that I can't wait to read it again. I know I'll understand the plot situations better the second time around.
I heartily recommend this book. Once you are into it, the reader will understand why it won the Booker Prize.
Truth, the narrator reminds us right at the beginning, is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation. That too might be a lie; sometimes memory is a lie. Sometimes the narrator is lost to his own history. That is what the end of part one sets us up for.
Poor Adrian."Was your father a cuckold?" Could he live being the father of a child physically inferior to the one produced by his so called friend, with the responsibility of being father to both?
Great book. The writer is a master of misdirection. Even the glosses contain hidden meaning.