Jackie's Reviews > The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
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's review
Mar 10, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: book-club, mystery, britian, world, fiction, death-dying-grief

When I first read the description of The Sense of and Ending I got all pissy because it's all so general and meaningless. But now I realize that you can't talk about this book without giving too much away. As someone who hates spoilers, I'm glad I didn't read any reviews because a lot of them give away what I felt was the first surprise of the book. That surprise is only about 40 pages in and the rest of the plot needs that point to move on so reviewers feel free to discuss. I disagree and would rather figure out what was going to happen on my own.

So I won't mention the plot. I'll say it's about secrets and the falseness of memory and aging.

Here are some themes and other things I noticed.

1. The use of the word "bore" in a variety of contexts. Maybe this is just a British-ism, but I definitely noticed it in a different way than I notice the expected British mannerisms.
2. Things flowing the wrong way.
3. There really aren't many things more obnoxious than teenagers who discuss philosophy and think it makes them geniuses.
4. Watches, specifically Tony's.
5. Tony is quite funny in a way that takes some getting used to.
6. While Tony was a jerk back in they day, Veronica is overly-bitchy about it now.
7. I don't really get the title.
8. I can't decide how to rate it. It's spectacularly well done, but I'm not going to run out and suggest it to everyone I know. I'm giving it four, but waffling to five.
9. So much of pop culture shows teenage girls in cliques worshiping one friend. It's refreshing and interesting to see that behavior attributed to boys too.

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