12 Jul 2012

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING.

THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by JULIAN BARNES.


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 retired. 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.
...... Outer back cover.


FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): I remember, in no particular order:


MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 14): We knew from our reading of great literature that Love involved Suffering, and would happily have got in some practice at Suffering if there was an implicit, perhaps even logical, promise that Love might be on its way.


MY THOUGHTS: Given that I'm generally left feeling disappointed by prize winning literature (this won the Man Booker Prize in 2011) I found this much more enjoyable than I had expected, for a book of only 150 pages the author packed such a lot in. My only real criticism, apart from the occasional use of a certain crude word, being that whilst I surprisingly connected with the relationship between the male characters and in particular that between Tony and Adrian, I was left emotionally cold by that of Tony and Veronica. 


Ending with the story of Tony Webster as a not altogether likeable middle class somewhat obsessive late-middle-aged man, the book actually begins with Tony as a teenage school boy, friend of three, soon to be four, other boys.


Though personally not too enamoured with the ending, this was never the less a beautifully written story all about relationships, the reliability of memory as we age, guilt, love, loss, and regret - in other words a story about the human condition.


KEEP IT OR NOT?: A readers group read, I have no intention of buying a copy.


11 comments:

Mary (Bookfan) said...

Adding it to my list of books to read - thanks!

Vivienne said...

Is he the Downton Abbey writer? It sounds like a good book.

Brandileigh2003 (Blkosiners Book Blog) said...

Thanks for review, doesn't sounds like its for me though

Trac~ said...

Stopping by to say hello and see how you have been? It's been forever since I've been in the blogging world. Hope all is well on your side of the pond! All is great here! :o)

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Sounds interesting. Not sure I'd buy a copy, but I may library book it. I have a feeling the same things that bothered you would bother me, but I do like a well written tale.

Short poems said...

Thanks for review,sounds interesting :)Hugs

DMS said...

Great review! I didn't know much about this one and it is one to think about. At 150 pages it isn't very long- so it may be read in a short period of time. :)
~Jess

Blond Duck said...

I've never liked prize winning literature either. Usually it's really boring!

Mamakucingbooks said...

Hi Petty

Once again, I have not been blog hopping. Today is Fruday 13th. Hope everything goes well at your side.

Over my side here, I woke up with no water. Pipe burst somewhere out there

Hey, yesterday I just bought Jodi's latest book. Cant wait to start reading that. Now reading Ice Cream Girls by Dorothy Koomson :)

Jenners said...

I keep seeing this book about and now I know why -- it won the Booker prize!

Deepali said...

I have the same issue with booker prize winners - somehow these prize winning books are very rarely interesting reading (to me, at least)