The Sense of an Ending
by Julian Barnes
Paperback- $9.28

Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

One of The Atlantic's Best Books I Read This Year

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a ...

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  "Great book club book!" by Drginger (see profile) 10/02/12

The author has carefully crafted this book so the reader is left pondering the ending as well as doing some self assessment. This is a book that becomes SO much more interesting when discussing with a good book club group. There are so many angles to this book but they were not readily apparent to me upon my first reading. I am actually going to be back and re-read it after our club's discussion. In fact, our club has been re-discussing it for the past two meetings.

  "Sense of an ending" by dgalinsky (see profile) 02/15/13

As Veronica said \\\\\\\"we just don\\\\\\\'t get it\\\\\\\"

  "The sense of an ending" by Martha629 (see profile) 02/16/13

  "The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/07/13

Tony Webster is a quiet young man, not much influenced by the subtleties of life’s experiences. He is not confrontational and would not be described as a man of great passion. He pretty much accepts life as it comes along and doesn’t look for hidden messages.
As a student in the sixties, he and his friends are typical youths. It is a decade of discovery; innocence is being redefined and the new freedoms that are being explored can have dangerous consequences. When a fellow student commits suicide, because he gets a girl into trouble and cannot face the responsibility, Tony and his friends, Colin, Alex and Adrian, discuss the philosophy of the deed in a cerebral, rather than emotional way. Intellectually, Adrian is the brightest bulb and he analyzes the issue for them; life should be lived and ended well.
When Adrian also commits suicide, Tony and his friends agree he executed his suicide well, but they are forced to try and understand the incomprehensible nature of such an act. Why would Adrian commit such an act of desperation? Will they divine the answer?
In this brief, well executed story, in which no word is wasted, the memories of Tony Webster are explored as is the unreliability of memories, in general; the false conclusions they may lead to are examined. Although we move on and forget some of the more radical and even heinous aspects of our youthful behavior, others may bear the burden of their effects as life goes on. A careless word, a cruel note, a heartless remark, may leave our consciousness only to land in someone else’s with profound consequences.
The book explores suicide, the execution of the act and the reasons motivating it. It explores consequences that often go unnoticed. It is the story of memories and mistakes, actions and behavior that once taken are irreversible. Sometimes, remorse is not enough to reverse or excuse the thoughtless ill wishes or foolish behavior of our youth. In the end, has our life been well lived? Has Tony’s? The reader will decide.

  "Worthwhile " by drjac (see profile) 05/10/13

  "Don\\\'t get caught up in the story" by rowchick (see profile) 05/21/13

Because you will miss the intricate details of this short and deliciously fascinating book. No one here is admirable or without flaws and that is what makes the book so enjoyable.

  "The Sense of an Ending" by kiwiob (see profile) 11/25/13

Wow - this book provoked our best discussion yet - with so many different theory\'s and viewpoints. It had everyone guessing the whole way through and then made you want to turn back to the beginning and start all over again. For 150 pages, this book is so well written - a story beneath the story... untold, but entwined between the lines. Just amazing.

  "Too Much Hype" by [email protected] (see profile) 12/11/13

I think this book is getting so much buzz is because no one understands the end. It\\\'s so confusing, that I had to google the meaning of the book. I\\\'m not the only one confused. Many google hits on the ending it\'s meaning, and not just from readers, but from critics/reviewers as well (that has to tell you something). I did not like the writing style to begin with. I understand what the author was trying to convey, but the storyline, writing style and characters fell short. I think if he was not a previuosly known author, the book would be a total flop.

  "A sense if an ending" by rnns1999 (see profile) 12/13/13

We had controversy over the ending which made an interesting discussion

  "Excellent writing" by cgolden (see profile) 02/07/14

Loved the way he expressed his thoughts on life.

  "" by triciakaye (see profile) 04/17/14

  "" by Petuniacheryl (see profile) 07/10/15

  "" by lynnephillips (see profile) 12/11/15

  "The Sense of an Ending" by betsymuller (see profile) 12/14/15

Barnes appears to be good writer, but the slow moving plot, and poor character development, did not engage me, particularly; when it led to what should have been an AH HA ending.

  "" by mel29 (see profile) 10/04/16

  "" by hkbarker (see profile) 10/14/17

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 02/09/18

  "ARE OUR MEMORIES FAKE NEWS?" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/01/18

Having just finished the book the two most striking thoughts that resonate are: 1) How our deep philosophical ideas are trumped by banal human predicaments. 2) How we mask our memories and see them through rose colored glasses for personal peace of mind. What do we see when the mask is torn off and the glasses are shattered? In the end Tony finds out that the answer is a lot of questions like, "what else have I done wrong"?

  "" by [email protected] (see profile) 05/19/19

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