Customer Reviews for

The Sense of an Ending

Average Rating 3.5
( 188 )
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(53)

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(35)

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(23)

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(19)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

55 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

Worthy of any awards it receives

This is a short book. I consider myself a fast reader, but not speed reader, and I was able to digest it in about 4-5 hours on my Nook. This is not a throwaway airport novel, this is a "thick" book. Many times I found myself re-reading passages that contained philosophi...
This is a short book. I consider myself a fast reader, but not speed reader, and I was able to digest it in about 4-5 hours on my Nook. This is not a throwaway airport novel, this is a "thick" book. Many times I found myself re-reading passages that contained philosophical dialogue between the characters to make sure I was understanding it correctly. "The Sense of an Ending" will be discussed in English Lit 101 classes for years to come. After reading this, I feel like I have a better understanding of aging, remembrance, and how we perceive life and reality. For that, I believe that this book is worthy of any awards it receives.

posted by Chamrox on October 20, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Thought-Provoking Exploration of A Life

Tony Webster is an average man. We read of his life growing up, and his circle of friends. His most striking friend was Adrian, a brilliant student who the other boys never quite felt they knew. We read of his first love, Veronica, and how that worked out. We read h...
Tony Webster is an average man. We read of his life growing up, and his circle of friends. His most striking friend was Adrian, a brilliant student who the other boys never quite felt they knew. We read of his first love, Veronica, and how that worked out. We read how Tony felt when he and Veronica broke up and he later finds out that she and Adrian are now a couple.

The book then skips ahead forty years. Tony is now retired, having put in his years at an average job. He is divorced and still sees his ex-wife for lunches, no great hate or love there. He has one child he sees occasionally, and grandchildren he is more or less a stranger to. Average, average, average, Tony's whole life has been about getting by without making waves.

Then a surprise bequest causes Tony to reevaluate his entire life. He looks back at his schoolboy days, his college years and his marriage. One piece of information after another opens the floodgates of memory, and he remembers conversations and actions that he has long forgotten, but that now reframe his life in a different light. He tracks down old acquaintances and friends, until he uncovers a startling secret--one that makes him wonder what his life has been about and how his life has affected that of others.

The Sense Of An Ending won the 2011 Man Booker prize for literature. It is a gem of a book, short but thought-provoking. This is Julian Barnes at the top of his form, effortlessly shaking the snow-globe of memories to rearrange the outcome of events in myriad ways. He forces the reader to examine what place memories play in our lives, and to question how accurate our memories are. This thought-provoking novel is recommended for all readers interested in examining the human condition, and the ways we find to make it through life.

posted by sandiek on April 21, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2014

    Well crafted

    This story is masterfully crafted. There are those who "won't get it and will never get it," but this book has much depth. I have spent at least as much time considering all the implications of the novel as I spent reading it. It is rare to find a book which tells a story so well without being ham fisted.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Lots of unexpected twists and turns. Must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2012

    Fair

    1 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 2, 2012

    Oh my, this moves to my favorite of the year immediately. As th

    Oh my, this moves to my favorite of the year immediately. As the British would say, "Brilliant!". The themes of time and memory will resonate with anyone over the age of fifty.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2012

    HELP!

    I am confused. Did Veronica's mother have an affair with Adrian the friend of Anthony's? There are too many unanswered questions. Did Adrian and Veronica marry?Why did the mother leave money and the diary to Tony?

    1 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2011

    Barely interesting

    A book that is wel written but barely has anything to say at all. Thematic and the twist at the end is really not a surprise, nor makes the book. My advice: skip.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A Sensible Book

    As a man of a similar age to the narrator, I related to much of what Julian Barnes wrote about, although in Part Two, where he tries in many respects to make sense out of Part One, I thought he rambled a bit and I did not relate as well. But it's a good story with a lot of food for thought.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    nice read

    I read a fiction book after a long ime. It was a good read. Makes you think about quite a few things about life. Author built up a nice anticipation for the end...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2015

    Disappointing

    I found the main character, Tony pretentious and too self-centered to be engaging. At times some interesting questions about memory, morals and the like are raised and there is an interesting twist in the plot that emerges near the conclusion but overall I was disappointed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2015

    This is simply a masterpiece!

    This is simply a masterpiece!

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  • Posted September 2, 2014

    Well written but confusing conclusion.

    The story is well written and sustains reader interest. The exact outcome of the story was not clearly delineated. Upon finishing, I immediately read detailed analysis of the plot by other authors via google searches. My inkling of what had occurred was substantiated but only then did I fully grasp the plot and outcome of the story.

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  • Posted January 4, 2014

    This is one of those well written but horribly disappointing boo

    This is one of those well written but horribly disappointing books. Not worth reading.  Near the end a woman says to the main character, "You dont get it.  And you never will."  Well, I am with him on that.  I could not figure out what happened. Who was this woman? Daughter of whom? And so what!!  What a let downl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    This story and its characters draw you in; however, the ending w

    This story and its characters draw you in; however, the ending was confusing and leaves you hanging. A very depressing read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2013

    It's hard to appreciate a book about self-absorption

    When this was selected by a book club member, I looked forward to finally reading a Julian. Barnes book. Even though the book is short, it is one of the most painful books I've ever read. I am not happy to have to spend time with someone so self-absorbed. If twists are sufficient to merit a Booker Award, the next recipient should be Scott Turow for Presumed Innocent. Okay, ST isn't qualified for Booker (and PI isn't literary or recent), but the fact that The Sense of an Ending won the award makes me value that award a lot less.

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  • Posted August 23, 2013

    Not for me!

    I found it confusing, not summer reading.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 15, 2013

    This delightful novel, narrated by a cautious Tony Webster, begi

    This delightful novel, narrated by a cautious Tony Webster, begins with his schooldays in 60's England, segues into his infatuation with the "wrong" woman and subsequent (temporary) domestic bliss with another, and finally concludes--or better, perhaps, finishes with "The Sense of an Ending"--that neither Tony nor his audience initially suspects, all in little more than 100 entertaining eBook pages. The old days radiated pure sunshine through Tony's questing mind. "Back then things were plainer: less money, no electronic devices, little fashion tyranny, no girlfriends..." Of course, all English schoolboys encountered the usual generational road bumps: "Colin's mother referred to me as his 'dark angel'...Colin was fingered by Alex's parents when they caught him with a hardboiled American crime novel." And always there were the long-suffering masters, addressed with scrupulous politeness by their pupils, but little else. The comic turns take a darker path in Barnes's masterful plotting. As Tony observes: "Does character develop over time? In novels, of course it does: otherwise there wouldn't be much of a story. But in life? I sometimes wonder."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2013

    Long and weary

    Felt as though the plot didnt start rolling until the last few chapters and the "climax" was anti-climatic. Would've been better if it was told in Adrians point of view.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2013

    A little heady, but a page turner.

    I really enjoyed the philosophical dialogue and the character build up. This story can foster intense discussion on human relationships and our personal histories.

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    The Sense Of Ending By Julian Barnes

    3 S

    <b>The Sense Of Ending By Julian Barnes</b>
    <br />
    <br />
    <b>3 Stars</b>
    <br />
    <br />
    This is my first attempt at reading something authored by Julian Barnes and I'm sure now that it won't be the last. Do not let my rating discourage you from reading this one. It was a solid 3 star read for me which means it was a good book and one that I am happy I read. <br />
    <br />
    The Sense of Ending is the story of Tony and how he sees his life now, how he remembers his past and how he can attempt to deal with those when things change. We go through Tony's childhood, his friends, his family and the importance he places on them. Tony has led your typical life up until now or so he believes. He's been married, divorced and become a father. His life has been uneventful but for a couple of bumps in the road and they were just that right, only bumps? <br />
    <br />
    Then we catch up to Tony in his middle age when he has events happen that make him look back and question and puzzle over his memories. They can be cloudy, murky even. Memories can be twisted into what we want them to be for many reasons. Are we hiding from something, some inner truth about ourselves? Are they just too painful so we recreate rosier times? This is what we as a reader find out after going on Tony's journey as he finds this out for himself.<br />
    <br />
    This is a short novel but packs so much into it. So many questions, so many answers or variations thereof. You as the reader are sure to have the same questions of yourself. Mr. Barnes writes wonderfully and engaged me from beginning to end.

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  • Posted April 6, 2013

    Sorry . . . I didn't find the deeper meaning others did

    I enjoyed the book, but must be dim because I certainly didn't find it a deeply moving book about aging, memory and remorse, and though there is some of this in the book. I get that, but was disappointed after the amazingly glowing reviews of others.

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Sort by: Showing 21 – 40 of 188 Customer Reviews
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