Winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011
Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.
Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.
The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.
This is a great book and a worth winner of the Booker Prize! It's very easy to read - in fact it's hard to put down. I got through it in a couple of evenings, and it's a long time since I have found a book so entertaining and thought provoking. My opinion on the narrator and his reliability in telling the story changed dramatically, and I continue to reflect on the story days after finishing it. Highly recommended. Posted by Ms Delilah Clutterbuck Hardback recommendation
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Packs quite an emotional punch... Julian Barnes unravels the mystery with masterly skill. He springs surprise after surprise without stooping to sensationalism in a crisp, engaging tale - Daily Mail
Written in beautifully cadenced prose, it is a mature writer's reflections on love and marriage... on family and friendship, on work and death - Time Out
There is no catastrophe, simply a dawning awareness of the past, its consequences and its meaning for the present. It is a familiar narrative structure, but in the hands of the master-wordsmith that Barnes has become, the effect is cumulatively overwhelming... A compelling, disturbing and profoundly moving story of human fallibility - Standpoint
It is a perfect novel of positively European economy and power (shades of Schnitzler, shades of Camus)... It is beyond the wit and depth of any current British writer - Times
Its technical expertise is little short of remarkable...a writer with an all-too rare attribute, a perfect literary ear. Take a page at random and read it aloud, and enjoy its finely tuned exactitude - Telegraph
The delicacy of The Sense of an Ending has been rightly honoured - Telegraph
Barnes’s account of his loss becomes a celebration of his love, and for all the acuteness of its descriptions of sorrow, the book has an uplifting, life-affirming quality, and leaves the reader elated rather than depressed. - Irish Examiner
Julian Barnes is the author of ten previous novels, including Metroland, Flaubert's Parrot, A History of the Worldin 10½ Chapters and Arthur & George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The LemonTable and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.
His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert's Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.