May 30, 2014

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

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 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.


I've borrowed the summary from Amazon. Tony Webster has three very good friends at school. Adrian is something else, he's very smart and eloquent, and the others are looking up to him. Many years later, when he's already retired, a letter from a lawyer arrives. Because of a small inheritance Tony slowly starts to remember his past, but is his memory actually accurate?
In The Sense of an Ending Tony tells about his school friends, their history and how they eventually grew apart. He also remembers his first real relationship and his marriage. Tony is content, he's lived a calm and normal life with few ups and downs. He's the narrator of the story and makes the reader believe he's a naive guy who just stumbles through life and friendships without completely knowing what he's doing. Is he a reliable narrator though? I loved the doubts the writer created! The prose is magnificent, that alone makes this book a wonderful read. I fell head over heels in love with this story!

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