Jeanette 's Reviews > The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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How or whether to review. That is the question. For now, I'll just say I'm happy to no longer be a Julian Barnes virgin. This little book is truly deserving of the 2011 Man Booker Prize.
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Linty (new)

Linty Ahh, I read about this on NPR. Came so close to buying it as it sounds so good, and it is getting really good reviews.


Jeanette It's very short, so you might want to just go for a library copy rather than buying. I think a lot of people might not get why it's so powerful, so I'll be interested in your opinions if you do read it.


message 3: by Patty (new)

Patty I haven't heard of this book before, but Jeanette you have me intrigued.


Ms Bubbles SockieP Write a review!

Please.


Jeanette If I do, Petra, it will be a bit before I get to it. I have a couple of books I feel obliged to review in return for free copies, so those come first.


message 6: by Linty (new)

Linty Ya, I saw that is was very short, maybe like a novella? I shall check it out and let ya know.


Mikki Well, here's goes... for me the book just didn't hold up. I felt that the first half had so much potential, but the second half dropped the baton. Mainly the problems were lack of character development and believable plot. I need to get my copy out so that I can cite clear examples.

There were some parts that I found insightful that dealt with ageing and memory, but not enough substance otherwise.

Oh, Jeanette, our first fight! :D


Jeanette "Oh, Jeanette, our first fight! :D"

Except there's not much to fight about because 1)I'm probably not going to review it; and 2)You are right about thin plot and weak character development. The book spoke to me in a completely different way -- profoundly -- even though I didn't even like the characters.


message 9: by Mikki (last edited Apr 29, 2012 01:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mikki What was it that spoke to you most? One thing (I'm paraphrasing) is when Tony was speaking about past events and he said, "My memory now of my reading then of what was happening at the time."

I thought that it perfectly described the process of ageing and reinterpreting events, people, conversations from past years.


Jeanette Mikki wrote: "What was it that spoke to you most?

I'm not sure if I can even express it in a way others would "get" what I mean. Of course, as most readers have seen, it says a lot about aging and selective memory. But for me it was more about the hurt we have done and the hurt that was done to us, and how we totally misinterpret those things through the veil of OUR experience of the events. So we may be remembering it exactly as it happened, but not necessarily knowing the power we had to damage someone else.
I just don't know how to say it, which is why I'm not going to attempt a review.


message 11: by Patty (new)

Patty Jeanette wrote: "Mikki wrote: "What was it that spoke to you most?

I'm not sure if I can even express it in a way others would "get" what I mean. Of course, as most readers have seen, it says a lot about aging an..."


Oh, now I really have to read it. I love books that speak to me.


Jeanette Patty, you do have to overlook the weaknesses in the story to get at the messages, whatever those messages may be for you. I think a lot of people were disappointed in the story itself, which is why so many of my friends only gave it three stars.


Mikki Jeanette wrote: "So we may be remembering it exactly as it happened, but not necessarily knowing the power we had to damage someone else..."

That makes perfect sense. Did you then feel that every one's memory of events were honest as to their own reflections? Or as Finn would phrase it, was history acurately documented? So, Tony and Veronica might have hurt one another equally.


Jeanette Knowing my own crappy memory, I think it's possible that they were not deliberately blocking out things they'd rather not remember. A lot of times people will remind me of details from a long-ago shared experience, and as soon as they mention something I do immediately remember it. But on my own I never could have dredged up those specifics.
So for me, whether it was "accurately documented" was less important than whether they were willing/able to look at events from a viewpoint other than their own. I think Veronica failed completely in that respect, but Tony's obsession in the second half was at least an attempt to take ownership of the hurt he'd caused.


Mikki Jeanette wrote: "So for me, whether it was "accurately documented" was less important than whether they were willing/able to look at events from a viewpoint other than their own..."

Yep. I have a really bad memory too when it comes to certain things and I'm constantly being reminded by my friends of detailed conversations or happenings that I vaguely remember.

Not only did Veronica fail, but I felt as is she was deliberately deceptive regarding the letter.


Jeanette "Not only did Veronica fail, but I felt as is she was deliberately deceptive regarding the letter."

And this was a lifetime pattern for her. It is said that as people age they just become more of what they've always been. That was true for Veronica. Deceptive and withholding throughout.


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