BOOKER PRIZE WINNER • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A novel that follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he never much thought about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance: one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present.
A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single setting, The Sense of an Ending has the psychological and emotional depth and sophistication of Henry James at his best, and is a stunning achievement in Julian Barnes's oeuvre.
Tony Webster thought he left his past behind as he built a life for himself, and his career has provided him with a secure retirement and an amicable relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, who now has a family of her own. But when he is presented with a mysterious legacy, he is forced to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.
In Barnes's (Flaubert's Parrot) latest, winner of the 2011 Man-Booker Prize, protagonist Tony Webster has lived an average life with an unremarkable career, a quiet divorce, and a calm middle age. Now in his mid-60s, his retirement is thrown into confusion when he's bequeathed a journal that belonged to his brilliant school-friend, Adrian, who committed suicide 40 years earlier at age 22. Though he thought he understood the events of his youth, he's forced to radically revise what he thought he knew about Adrian, his bitter parting with his mysterious first lover Veronica, and reflect on how he let life pass him by safely and predictably. Barnes's spare and luminous prose splendidly evokes the sense of a life whose meaning (or meaninglessness) is inevitably defined by "the sense of an ending" which only death provides. Despite its focus on the blindness of youth and the passage of time, Barnes's book is entirely unpretentious. From the haunting images of its first pages to the surprising and wrenching finale, the novel carries readers with sensitivity and wisdom through the agony of lost time.
Sense of an ending
Very well written and enjoyable The message is subtle but powerful and has stayed on my mind for days. My appreciation for this book increases the more I ponder it's powerful conclusion.
Best Book I
Read this book on my iPad and I loved it. (Both the book and reading a book on the iPad). I'm 58, so this book spoke to me on many levels. Perfectly written, terrific story, I recommend it highly!
Human and real. A wonderfully constructed plot.