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The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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's review
Apr 10, 16

it was amazing
bookshelves: fiction, 2010s-fiction
Read from April 03 to 07, 2012

"History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation."

The line stuck with me, just as Barnes intended it to - he repeated it throughout the book on many occasions, perhaps underscoring the fact that Tony Webster, the narrator, was guilty of the 'imperfections of memory'. Tony is a man looking back on his life, in particular a mysterious and tragic situation regarding friends and lovers in his university days. Forty years later, the situation comes back into focus, drudging up long-suppressed emotions, grief, and confusion.

A stunning book - the style itself was a work of art. I really enjoyed Tony's (Barnes') meditations and observances on life and love. Very worthy of the 2011 Man Booker Prize.

When I finished the book, I immediately went back to sections of the book to re-read and dig deeper. It is a rare book that makes you want to look for clues - anything that you can grasp - that will help you understand the hows and the whys of the final outcome.

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Reading Progress

04/05 page 50
33.0% "the style is so engaging - pure storytelling..."
04/10 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

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Tensy MB Lauren, how did you interpret the ending? I've read several reviews online and a few read the ending the way I see it...let's just say that Anthony (Tony) had the affair with Sarah and not Adrian. What do you think?

Lauren I read several reviews too, Tensy - first to figure out if there was anything that I had missed, and then to see some interpretations of the end. I think Adrian himself was trying to figure it all out with those equations. I am just curious about the contents of that diary...

Tensy MB There are many aspects of this book, that I found frustrating. I didn't empathize at all with the protagonist, I felt like Barnes (aka Tony) was manipulating us too much, why not divulge the diary? I understand that the book deals with memory and how we fabricate our own history, but I don't enjoy books that leave so many plot lines in limbo.

Melana exactly how i felt about the book.

Michael Brashier That's a perfect line.

Michael Brashier I've considered buying this book so many times but never did. Now, I think it will be my next read.

Lauren @Mike this book was really good - I'd love to hear your thoughts when you're done!

Michael Brashier I'm starting this book today. I hope its a good one for running.

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