Customer Reviews for

The Sense of an Ending

Average Rating 3.5
( 182 )
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(51)

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(33)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

53 out of 54 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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  • Posted April 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This short book is a very British read. I found it a tad annoyin

    This short book is a very British read. I found it a tad annoying to follow. When I was done, I felt a bit put off. I like the self reflection piece but the characters were not likable for me. Several reviews said that they immediately re-read the book. I can understand it, because it is short and you kinda end with a big, "Huh?" You will think you missed something. You won't have, you will just be perplexed.

    3 out of 6 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2013

    This is an incredibly well-written book, but at the end I was le

    This is an incredibly well-written book, but at the end I was left wondering, why would anyone set out to write a book like this. The story starts among a group of friends, but is told from the pont of view of Tony. The book is a tight, elegant, fantastic rendition of Tony's life and choices, and Julian Barnes is great at drawing characters. But in the end I can unequivocally say I would much rather have read the story of Adrian and Veronica and the chain of events they set off than the story of boring old Tony! Am I the only one who feels Mr. Barnes wasted his prodigioud talents as a writer on the subject of Tony?

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Memory distortion and how it shapes our experience

    I was drawn into the beginning of the book and its similarities to Dead Poets' Society. I enjoyed the author's examination of time and memory. The book also brings to light the difference between our personal perception of people's actions and their actual intentions. I can imagine revisiting this book in the decades to come.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2012

    Was satisfied and surprised with the ending. I also thought the

    Was satisfied and surprised with the ending. I also thought the length of the book was appropriate. I did like the way the author got to the point pretty quickly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2012

    Diffuc Ic Difficult to read and unsettling

    I haven't read any of Jullian Barnes' books before, and so wasn't familiar with his writing style. I found this book to be deeply philosophical and densely written. At times it was a little tedious and the protagonist is a little difficult to like. That being said, it was well written with a meaningful message which isn't revealed until the end of the book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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