Customer Reviews for

The Sense of an Ending

Average Rating 3.5
( 182 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(51)

4 Star

(57)

3 Star

(33)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(19)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3
  • Posted December 19, 2011

    Provocative

    As I saw from reading other reviews, I am not the only one who read the book and then immediately re-read it to look for indications along the way that supported the surprising conclusion. Not that the book was confusing - it was concisely written and very engaging - but the idea that we were relying on Tony's imperfect memories to solve the mystery of why he was named in the will of a girlfriend's mother, whom he had met only once, made me want to re-examine those memories once I knew the end result. That said, I think I would have preferred the first surprise revelation to be the correct conclusion, rather than the stunning I- Didn't-See-That-Coming ending. The book was short - hardly more than a short story, really - but had great depth that would lead a reader to examine his own perceptions of life.

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This is a wonderful novel.When I reached the conclusion I re-rea

    This is a wonderful novel.When I reached the conclusion I re-read it three times. The writing is masterful and Mr. Barnes gives the reader a protagonist worth analyzing for years to come. I highly recommend for anyone who is looking for intelligent literature.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

    recommend

    Wonderful writing, simple yet quite complex and intelligent, thought provoking. A great read.

    6 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 21, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    He writes a good book...

    So says my husband of Julian Barnes. He's biased, due to their shared Leicestershire roots, but, on the basis of the several Barnes' novels he's read and the couple I've read, I think he's probably right. If you, like me, can be put off a book by its opening chapters seeming self-consciously clever, don't let this get in the way of persevering with 'The Sense of an Ending'. The cool, objective intellectuality of the youths that dominates much of the first part of the book is necessarily undermined by the very human adult story that ensues. This is a relatively short novel but its brevity belies the impact it has on the reader. You find yourself, like Tony, the narrator, re-considering earlier parts of the book as you read later parts, in the light of your growing knowledge - and confusion. It's a clever plot and a story interestingly told. What I think really strikes you reading 'The Sense of an Ending' is how easily people -even those supposedly having the benefit of the wisdom of age- become so convinced of their own version of events, other people's motives and characters, that they lose perspective. The ending in 'The Sense of an Ending' is the kind that restores perspective. If you're looking for a holiday read to get engrossed in, a story that's ultimately compassionate without being sentimental, 'The Sense of an Ending' is a book for you.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING. The Sense of an Ending.....an ending

    INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING.
    The Sense of an Ending.....an ending of???? There were many facets to this novel; an ending of friendship, of ideas, of a philosophy of life, of perceptions,of emotions. This is the story of Tony Webster's life as he thinks back on it, his memories versus perceptions versus reality and how he comes to terms with all of these within himself. This is a short novel-only 163 pages. I thought I would whip through it. I ended up reading it twice. The writing is superb. The style is very intellectual-makes you re-read and think about what the protagonist is thinking about, feeling, experiencing in both past and present. This is not a light read, but worth the effort for a serious reader.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Unique and Compelling

    I’m not even sure this is a novel. It may be a clumsily rambling 1st person essay of brilliant insight on the unreliability of memory and perception disguised as a novel which captures the incompleteness of the fragmented communication of our own era and the unproductiveness of remorse written in equal measures of slogging narrative and genius prose. It is, without doubt, extraordinary.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2012

    Wonderful!

    At times pedantic, and overly self reflective, but on the whole a wonderful read. Hard to put down.

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    Lots of unexpected twists and turns. Must read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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."

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2013

    It'll Stay with You

    This is a very short book but it's intense, dense-packed. Part 1 and Part 2 are totally different. Read them both. I'm glad that my book club will be discussing both soon.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 18, 2013

    Great read.

    I think this is a book you either love or hate, but either way it definitely requires the reader to think. I read it as a book club selection and the discussion was one of the most interesting we've ever had. It's a book full of questions that to the dismay of some aren't always answered. I enjoyed the book, and after our group's discussion, I sat down and read it again, something I never do. Absolutely recommended.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2013

    Not worth the money

    I have friends who loved this book and highly recommended it. However, I could not finish it. It is a very 'heavy' book, and difficult to understand because of all of the philosophy and English terms. I am usually a person who has to see how a book ends whether or not I like it, but in this case I didn't care enough about the characters to bother.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    Makes you think

    I agree the msn is self-cemtered and a bore. But it is a read that mskes you thimk long after you are done.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 17, 2012

    I thought this was a very good read. I enjoyed the way the auth

    I thought this was a very good read. I enjoyed the way the author wrote in first person and how he expressed memory. Well worth it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Awesome

    Short, thought-provoking, introspective. Loved this book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 57 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 3