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The Sense of an Ending (English)

Paperback
Language: English
Length: 176 Pages
Publisher: Random House
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The Sense of an Ending (English) By Julian Barnes
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The Sense of an Ending (English) (Paperback) Price: Rs.259

The Sense Of An Ending is a novel that revolves around Tony Webster, a retired man, who remembers the letter he sent to both his former girlfriend, Veronica, and his best friend, Adrian, during their youthful days.

Summary Of The Book

The narrator of The Sense Of An Ending is a retired man, Tony Webster, who remembers the time he met Adrian Finn at school, where the two pledged to remain friends for life. This book has two sections, both of which Tony narrates. The first portion is set during the 1960s, in which the readers are introduced to four intellectually arrogant friends, among which Adrian and Tony are the central characters, and play a major role throughout this story.

At the closing of school, one of the schoolboys hangs himself, the reason being that he impregnated a girl. The four friends then begin to debate on the philosophical difficulty of comprehending what exactly took place. After their schooling, Adrian moves on to attend Cambridge University, while Tony goes to Bristol University. Tony soon has a girlfriend, Veronica, and spends an embarrassing weekend that jeopardizes their relationship. It was not too long after that Adrian sends Tony a letter, telling him that he and Veronica are dating each other. Tony then addresses a letter to the two, speaking out against their relationship, wishing them a woeful life ahead.

Few months later, Tony is informed that Adrian has ended his life, who leaves a note for the coroner. His school friends attribute Adrian’s action to his depressive nature. Tony considers his letter to be brief and trivial. He marries Margaret, and they have one child together, followed by a quiet divorce. Despite their divorce, Tony and Margaret remain close friends. One day, Tony receives a letter from a lawyer, informing him of Veronica’s mother's death and that she has left behind Adrian’s diary for Tony. However, Veronica is grieved by the letter Tony sent her and Adrian in their youth, and tries everything to prevent Tony from getting his hands on the diary. Does the diary reveal the mystery behind Adrian’s suicide?

The Sense Of An Ending was greatly appreciated by readers worldwide, fetching Barnes the Man Booker Prize in October 2011.

About Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes is an author.

Apart from this book, Barnes has written Nothing To Be Frightened Of, The Pedant In The Kitchen, and A History Of The World In 10½ Chapters.

Julian Barnes was born on 19th January, 1946, in Leicester, England. He studied at the City of London School for seven years. He then completed his graduation studies in Modern Languages from Magdalen College, Oxford. After that, Barnes began working for the Oxford English Dictionary supplement as a lexicographer. Barnes has also worked as an editor and reviewer for the New Review and the New Statesman. He has written under the pseudonyms, Dan Kavanagh and Edward Pygge. He has been presented with the Prix Femina award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, and the David Cohen Prize for Literature.

Specifications of The Sense of an Ending (English) (Paperback)

Contributors
Authored By Julian Barnes
Book Details
Publisher Random House
Imprint Vintage
Publication Year 2012 March
ISBN-13 9780099570332
ISBN-10 0099570335
Language English
Binding Paperback
Number of Pages 176 Pages
Awards 2011 The Man Booker Prize Winner for Fiction
Dimensions
Width 4.40 inch
Height 178.0 inch
Weight 113 g
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Book Reviews of The Sense of an Ending (English)

TOP REVIEWS View All Top Reviews (77)

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★★★★★
★★★★★
04 Nov 2011
first to review
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Memory De-glorified

The book is a worthy winner. It deconstructs the romanticism built around the concepts of 'memory' and 'nostalgia'. It is a book divided into two parts. The first part is a memory told by the protagonist. The second part is the anti-thesis. The memory receives a setback. And it is interestingly narrated. The end is poignant.

9 of 10 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
15 May 2012
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A book to think!!!

The story's facade is simple, refined almost to monotony and dependent on the revelation of a secret towards the ending. But what is hidden between the lines is far more chaotic???and likely to leave the reader anxious for days after finishing the book. I loved that the book made me really think about regret, and repentance. It also made me think about the idea that we are always dishonest narrators of our own lives. And the book was very disturbing that it made me think about how easy it is to think you are one kind of person, when you are actually not and how universal human frailty is.
T...
()

The story's facade is simple, refined almost to monotony and dependent on the revelation of a secret towards the ending. But what is hidden between the lines is far more chaotic???and likely to leave the reader anxious for days after finishing the book. I loved that the book made me really think about regret, and repentance. It also made me think about the idea that we are always dishonest narrators of our own lives. And the book was very disturbing that it made me think about how easy it is to think you are one kind of person, when you are actually not and how universal human frailty is.
T...
The story's facade is simple, refined almost to monotony and dependent on the revelation of a secret towards the ending. But what is hidden between the lines is far more chaotic???and likely to leave the reader anxious for days after finishing the book. I loved that the book made me really think about regret, and repentance. It also made me think about the idea that we are always dishonest narrators of our own lives. And the book was very disturbing that it made me think about how easy it is to think you are one kind of person, when you are actually not and how universal human frailty is.
The ending was excellent that it left me lost in the lines, sitting there, recollecting all the little pieces of story back together in my mind. And it left me chaotic and disturbed for days after finishing the book.

8 of 9 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
26 Jun 2012
Totally worth !t.

First thing first - "The Sense of an Ending" is the Man Booker Prize winner of 2011. Speaks a lot for itself.

"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, rumor 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, i...
()

First thing first - "The Sense of an Ending" is the Man Booker Prize winner of 2011. Speaks a lot for itself.

"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, rumor 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, i...

First thing first - "The Sense of an Ending" is the Man Booker Prize winner of 2011. Speaks a lot for itself.

"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, rumor 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."

A tragedy, a short book of 150 pages - It is the story of a seemingly ordinary man who, when revisiting his past in later life, discovers that the memories he holds are less than perfect.
Captivating from the first paragraph itself, it touches life, friendship, love, history, memories and suicide.

The book is divided in two parts.
Part one is about youth, college, education, sex. Part one is about melancholic, deep thinker Adrian Finn.

"That's one of the central problem of history, isn't it sir ? The question of subjective versus objective interpretation, the fact that we need to know the history of the historian in order to understand the version that is being put in front of us.'
There was silence. And no, he wasn't taking the piss, not in the slightest.
Old Joe Hunt looked at his watch and smiled, 'Finn, I retire in five years. And I shall be happy to give you a reference if you care to take over.' And he wasn't taking the piss either."

Life takes a new turn in Tony's life after Adrian committed suicide.

"Eventually, I asked, 'How did he do it?'
'He cut his wrist in the bath.'
'Christ. That's sort of ... Greek, isn't it? Or was that hemlock?'
'More the exemplary Roman, I'd say. Opening the vein. And he knew how to do it. You have to cut diagonally. If you cut straight across, you can lose consciousness and the wound closes up and you've bogged it.'
'Perhaps you just drown instead.'
'Even so - second prize,' said Alex. 'Adrian would have wanted first.' He was right: first class degree, first class suicide."

Part two takes a time skip of 40 years.
Now Tony is old, Adrian is long gone when he gets a letter of a lawyer which will change his life and his belief-system upside down. It is a mad chase of the diary of his long dead friend. The questions unravels more questions and shows how imperfect memories are. How an act of passion, truly justified in the current setting cause the butterfly effect and destroys literally every major character's life in the novel.

The ending is marvelously crafted, albeit a bit hurried. To sink the fact and recollect the missing clues one need to read the book _again_.

Read it. And read it again. You won't be disappointed.

5 of 7 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
12 Nov 2013
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Profoundly Impressive -- Thought provoking

I just finished "The Sense of an Ending" and was left stunned. There are books that leave the reader thinking about it for weeks, this is one of those. The mystery unfolds slowly, and we as readers are given the same facts as protagonist is. Everything is filtered through Tony's fractured memories. This is a book that will stay with me a long time.

The story is in two parts. First, the protagonist's English schoolboy experiences with friends, love, debate, and doubt. Then second, his agonies in retirement of constantly reinterpreting past conversations, an enigmatic inheritance,...
()

I just finished "The Sense of an Ending" and was left stunned. There are books that leave the reader thinking about it for weeks, this is one of those. The mystery unfolds slowly, and we as readers are given the same facts as protagonist is. Everything is filtered through Tony's fractured memories. This is a book that will stay with me a long time.

The story is in two parts. First, the protagonist's English schoolboy experiences with friends, love, debate, and doubt. Then second, his agonies in retirement of constantly reinterpreting past conversations, an enigmatic inheritance,...
I just finished "The Sense of an Ending" and was left stunned. There are books that leave the reader thinking about it for weeks, this is one of those. The mystery unfolds slowly, and we as readers are given the same facts as protagonist is. Everything is filtered through Tony's fractured memories. This is a book that will stay with me a long time.

The story is in two parts. First, the protagonist's English schoolboy experiences with friends, love, debate, and doubt. Then second, his agonies in retirement of constantly reinterpreting past conversations, an enigmatic inheritance, a diary page, and his own forty-year old letter.

===SOME LINES FROM THE BOOK===
"But time... how time first grinds us and then confounds us. We thought we were being mature when we were only being safe. We imagined we were being responsible but were only being cowardly. What we called realism turned out to be a way of avoiding things rather than facing them."

"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation," and "We make an instinctive decision, then build up an infrastructure of reasoning to justify it. And call the result common sense."
===END===

With some of the most stunningly simple, illustrative sentences, Barnes tells a tale of youth and the outcome of it years later. Brings into questions of how we see, what is memory, is reality real, and life, is it worth living, or too hard? When is it so difficult that some take the exit door rather than the challenge--how much of a challenge is too much. Delightful read, quick and easy to read in a day or two; with much to ruminate about for weeks to come.

3 of 4 users found this review helpful.
★★★★★
★★★★★
06 Jun 2012
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certified buyer
Story is weak, but fantastic way of telling it

The story is not so great. But, the way it is told is brilliant. It is full of surprises and a little suspense, but at the end, the story does not appear worth of remembering. It finely narrates some events that started some half a century ago and enter in the present. The journey of a man from the childhood in the fifties/sixties to getting aged in the present world has been well-depicted (Although the story has a jump in time for about 30/40 years).
There is a reality unknown to the narrator. The unwrapping of that reality is done fantastically. Besides, the issues raised in different con...
()

The story is not so great. But, the way it is told is brilliant. It is full of surprises and a little suspense, but at the end, the story does not appear worth of remembering. It finely narrates some events that started some half a century ago and enter in the present. The journey of a man from the childhood in the fifties/sixties to getting aged in the present world has been well-depicted (Although the story has a jump in time for about 30/40 years).
There is a reality unknown to the narrator. The unwrapping of that reality is done fantastically. Besides, the issues raised in different con...
The story is not so great. But, the way it is told is brilliant. It is full of surprises and a little suspense, but at the end, the story does not appear worth of remembering. It finely narrates some events that started some half a century ago and enter in the present. The journey of a man from the childhood in the fifties/sixties to getting aged in the present world has been well-depicted (Although the story has a jump in time for about 30/40 years).
There is a reality unknown to the narrator. The unwrapping of that reality is done fantastically. Besides, the issues raised in different contexts are extra-ordinary, unconventional. Everyday-things appear in new colors. So, it is an experience reading this novel.
I will recommend this work to all those in search of a different taste in reading, but not to those who are in search of a new story. At the end, I felt that I did not read the whole novel to reach at this event which was to me quite boring and unworthy of my labor reading it. Although, I was entertained by how the whole story was told.

3 of 5 users found this review helpful.

Recent Top Reviews

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★★★★★
★★★★★
17 Jul 2014
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sense of ending

awesome book . was nothing like I was expecting. keeps you guessing till the end.
also tells a lot about human nature and thinking, enjoyed reading it. a must read
(View complete review)

★★★★★
★★★★★
20 Jun 2014
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The Sense of an Ending

Hey Flipkart and other readers,
I had a great experience buying books on Flipkart. I will share a rather interesting story about it.
I had ordered this book a month ago which i have completed reading now. The delivery guy didn't have the required change and neither did i, so we decided that the d...
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★★★★★
★★★★★
18 Apr 2014
The sense of an ending

The book has a plot, but a pathetic one. Thin characters, cliched ideas. A good quote: ???Sometimes I think the purpose of life is to reconcile us to its eventual loss by wearing us down, by proving, however long it takes, that life isn't all it's cracked up to be.???

But ultimately, the plot is...
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★★★★★
★★★★★
15 Apr 2014
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Masterpiece

What I can say about The Sense of an Ending, the Man Booker Winner.. Truly its a Masterpiece.. It will drag you to all of your forgotten/masked/unforgotten past and remind you-Yes, life is full of surprises..

Yes, The Sense of an Ending is an unforgettable tale and will remain attached to my lif...
(View complete review)

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    ISBN Number: 0099570335, 9780099570332, 978-0099570332

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