This won the Booker Prize in 2011 and to be completely honest I’m not 100% sure why. Don’t get me wrong this is technically a very good book.
There were really interesting elements to this book which I really enjoyed. I think Barnes is a talented writer and the crux of the plotline takes the story in an intriguing direction. However, that had nothing to do with the main character, who narrates the book. He is whiny and egotistical and extremely annoying. In a way, this just shows off Barnes’ talented writing skills - because essentially it is this character and the way he is that moves the story along - so in that sense Barnes is incredibly successful in his characterisation.
I felt like this was the only downside to a book that I actually quite enjoyed. This would be very good for a book club because I think it would spark some interesting talk. If anything it is one to read so you can make your own mind up…(!)
“Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry they would navigate the girl-less sixth from together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.
Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.
The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision and insight, it is the work of one of the world’s most distinguished writers.”