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Customer Review

237 of 269 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful work, August 23, 2011
This review is from: The Sense of an Ending (Hardcover)
The Sense of an Ending is the 2011 Man Booker winner by Julian Barnes. A few months ago, I read Barnes' recent short story collection, Pulse. This novel was far superior to Pulse and worthy of the 2011 Booker. Having been shortlisted for the Booker three previous times (Flaubert's Parrot (1984), England, England (1998) and Arthur and George (2005)), Barnes finally won.

A summary of the plot is almost besides the point. This is a book about memory and getting old. The narrator, Tony Webster, is an ordinary guy, who shares his recollection of how his group of three friends becomes a group of four when a new, highly intellectual kid, Adrian, joins their school. Tony also shares details of his youthful relationship with Veronica. Tony meets Veronica's family and develops a warm relationship with her mother. After the inevitable breakup, Veronica and Adrian date. Years later and long after Veronica and Adrian are through, Veronica and the memory of Adrian reenter Tony's life.

Throughout the novella, Barnes beautifully creates the ephemeral feel of memory on the page. The book is well written and exhibits Barnes' talent for dialogue and creating a compelling story around an ordinary and otherwise uninteresting character. Unlike some of the stories in Pulse, Barnes does not write this with great flourish because it would be inconsistent with the ordinary nature of his main character.

If you liked Tinkers (Paul Harding's gorgeous surprise 2010 Pulitzer winner), this should appeal to you.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 20, 2011 10:46:05 AM PDT
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on Jan 15, 2012 11:17:58 AM PST
A plot summary is ALWAYS beside the point. A review is never a plot summary, and can be disrespectful to potential readers, in my opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 24, 2012 5:27:27 PM PDT
moviegoer says:
Well, how about Willy Loman in "Death of a Salesman"?
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