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The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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Jun 20, 12

I thought the book was brilliant. I've always liked Julian Barnes, but I was a little suspicious about just how great a novel could be with only 150 pages. Well, it was only 150 pages but it felt as satisfying as 400 or 500 page novel. It had great depth and something else that seems to be lacking in many books I've read recently -- a GOOD STORY! Yes, a good story without it being overly clever and overly "oh look at how genius my writing style is" even though it seriously lacks in any type of a plot or qualities that make it readable.

A number of reviewers have compared The Sense of an Ending to other specific novels/films like Dead Poets Society and A Separate Peace. I find these comparisons to be superficial; yes they are memory novels and they deal with young boys in school (and only for a brief time in A Sense..)And that's about it. It's just so easy to review books based on so-called similar patterns or settings, as loose as the comparisons may be. To me, if there is any comparison to be made it should be to a mystery novel. As another critic from the Independent said "it's a whodunnit of memory and morality." I couldn't agree more. I was at the edge of my seat waiting for the narrator recall bits and parts of his memory. In the case of this novel, it's not about the unreliable narrator, but the unreliability of memory.

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