Tuesday, 21 August 2012
The Sense of an Ending-review
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.