The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged)

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The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, Richard Morant

This Man Booker Prize–winning novel is now a major motion picture.

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.
This intense novel follows Tony Webster, a middle-aged man, as he contends with a past he never thought much about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance: one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony thought he left this all 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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780792784647
Publisher: AudioGO
Publication date: 01/01/2012
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of twenty previous books including, most recently, Keeping an Eye Open. He has received the Man Booker Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; in France, the Prix Médicis and the Prix Femina; and in Austria, the State Prize for European Literature. In 2004 he was named Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture. His work has been translated into more than forty languages. He lives in London.


London, England

Date of Birth:

January 19, 1946

Place of Birth:

Leicester, England


Degree in modern languages from Magdalen College, Oxford, 1968

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The Sense of an Ending 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 191 reviews.
Chamrox More than 1 year ago
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.
H_PWoofer More than 1 year ago
The Sense of an Ending is a bit of a challenging and devastating tale of philosophical ideas about memory, aging, time and remorse. The imperfections of memory present a thought-provoking subject matter and delves into mistakes, disappointments and life¿s losses and mysteriously offers insight into the human condition. I found this little book an interesting read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully complex. I finished it, reflected on it for about 20 seconds and then restarted it. I'm not sure which read was better... If I was a college lit teacher, this would be at the top of my required reading list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The author's mastery of the craft of writing is on full display here. His insights into the vagaries of memory and the ways people build their "selves" from their memory is powerful and revelatory. In a few short pages, the reader's perception of self may well be changed forever. An amazing work.
Peetie More than 1 year ago
Living in the USA (a Brit in the New World) I loved the Britishness of this. Loved the leading character, his age and the way the book deals with aging. It is an excellent read; very well written; a joy to read - I think. Be prepared for words that are not used in The States - I did not want to put it down, did not want to finish it and was longing to know what happened at the end....and I felt satisfied when I got there, Complete.
Fester More than 1 year ago
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.
AK95 More than 1 year ago
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.
Catherine-E-Chapman More than 1 year ago
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.
GreenEyedReader More than 1 year ago
INTELLECTUALLY STIMULATING. The Sense of 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.
sandiek More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
HHIReader More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Evetything changes once you finish this book the first time. You will immediately want to read it again to really understand what you thought you read the first time. Thought provoking and real and very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful writing, simple yet quite complex and intelligent, thought provoking. A great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the reviews of this book and bought it. Unfortunately, this was the probably one of the worst books I've ever read. I read a lot of books (and I do mean A LOT). I don't think I've ever felt the need to give a book a bad review and didn't want to critique the book unless I finished it. So I made myself read it since I had paid for it --- and I couldn't wait for it to be over.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
This is simply a masterpiece!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
scotmc More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago