Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Release Date
: August 4th 2011
Pages: 160
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Buy It: Book Depository
Now Tony is middle aged. 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 a wisp of a book, it can barely be called a novel, but it is incredibly masterful. Barnes captures a moment, a feeling, a desire, in a way that is both poetic and engaging. As a reader, I floated through its pages. I was captivated, and entranced. There is something slightly mystical about the writing, surreal and yet genuine in its emotion.

I loved that the narrator was imperfect and unreliable, because in real life, who isn't? I loved the dimensions of all the characters, and the ending I did not expect, and the complexity of emotions. I didn't like Tony, but I didn't really like anyone in The Sense of an Ending. That did not prevent me from loving it.

I realize this is a short review. Well, it's a short book. But it leaves a message. And hopefully so does this review, and that message is: pick up this book. By the time you put it back down, you may have accidentally finished it, and you won't regret it.


  1. This book sounds so intriguing from your review, I especially like that you used the word "wisp" to describe it. I definitely know the feeling of liking a book but not the characters. Even though your review is short, it made me want to pick up the book!

    novel sounds

    1. Hi Elena- you should definitely pick it up :) The writing is incredibly beautiful, I can definitely see why it got so many nominations and awards.

  2. Reading this novella feels like reading a plot outline for a much larger novel. There is so much potential for a whole lot more, such as the interpersonal relationship between Veronica and her slightly warped family or Tony's relationship with his childhood mates and all his relationships during his adult life. All these were only hinted at, never explored. There are so many interesting characters and possible drama to this novel that I feel shortchanged. Barnes wasted a chance to write a great novel in exchange for writing a merely adequate one.


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