Tuesday, 21 August 2012

The Sense of an Ending-review

So here is my review for the  Man Booker Prize winner of 2011,The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.Consisting  of only  150 pages,The Sense of an Ending is divided into two parts both narrated by Tony Webster the main character.

While the first part of the novel deals on the adolescence lives of Tony Webster narrated by the retired 50 something Tony using his memory and the second part where Tony start to reevaluate his memories after receiving a shocking letter.

Spoiler free synopsis:Tony Webster and his other two friends who are all studying their Sixth Form accepts the new boy Adrian into their  group as they sense he was quite different than the other boys.As they their friendship grew,Tony start to realise  that Adrian was very different than all the boys of his age,he was thinking ahead  before all of them ,sensitive and always thinking outside the  box.In their history class,they begin to question what is history,life,ambitions and love.After finishing the Sixth Form and getting places in University all of them go in separate ways ,promising to keep in touch but that doesn't happen.Many years later,Tony ,now a divorced old man ,who had submitted to the course of life is living a ordinary life until a letter from a lawyer  forces him to reevaluate his perfect memory.

One of the theme of the novel,history is subjective appears throughout the novel vaguely and makes the reader to wonder whether the narrator is telling the truth or not. Just like  one of the character claim history  is a delusional account of the losers,which in this case Anthony himself?

Even though the novel is short ,it has a fast pacing filled with twists.Never even once you feel the narration to be dragging and Julian Barnes manages to convey much without saying much(If you read the book ,you will understand as Julian never states anything clearly).The constant reminder that  one memory might not be perfect,or the fact what you remember might not be how exactly  thing happens definitely will bring nostalgic feelings to those at any age(especially the older ones) and make you reevaluate your own memory.All the characters are easy to relate especially Tony Webster whom I find to be very plain.As you read ,your view on the characters changes very fast like path of the wind and that's trait that  I enjoy in this novel as it happens in our real life,our opinion on people always changes so quickly .

One of the beautiful thing of this book is  that the title is so apt to the story.The reader does not actually get the ending but have a sense of an ending.Many might hate the book for this fact itself that the book doesn't have a proper ending but if you carefully read the novel ,you'll find Barnes has included the ending in the first part of the book itself.(page  17 and 18)

PS: Here is the link to the Q&A about the novel.


1 comment:

Neha said...

The story is not so great. But, the way it is told is brilliant. It is full of surprises and a little suspense, but at the end, the story does not appear worth of remembering. It finely narrates some events that started some half a century ago and enter in the present. The journey of a man from the childhood in the fifties/sixties to getting aged in the present world has been well-depicted (Although the story has a jump in time for about 30/40 years).
There is a reality unknown to the narrator. The unwrapping of that reality is done fantastically. Besides, the issues raised in different contexts are extra-ordinary, unconventional. Everyday-things appear in new colors. So, it is an experience reading this novel.
I will recommend this work to all those in search of a different taste in reading, but not to those who are in search of a new story. At the end, I felt that I did not read the whole novel to reach at this event which was to me quite boring and unworthy of my labor reading it. Although, I was entertained by how the whole story was told.