• The Sense of an Ending

  • By: Julian Barnes
  • Narrated by: Simon Vance
  • Length: 4 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (182 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

 Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form 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.

©2011 Julian Barnes (P)2020 Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Sense of an Ending

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

The book is beautifully narrated but the book is disappointing.

There are some interesting observations on how memory isn’t a good record of the past and how life just passes many by, without any reason for that life to be noted or remembered.

The issue for me was that there seemed to be a sense that we should look at the protagonist as someone who should feel shame or at least regret for what he did. Perhaps I’m cold hearted but he did nothing that a silly 19 or twenty something wouldn’t do.

Therefore, the entire point of the inaccuracies in his recollection and what happened all seem irrelevant, or at least lacking in their noteworthiness.

5 people found this helpful

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The first and last JB book I will ever read.

Are you kidding me!!? I cannot believe this won the booker prize, yet the booker prize has consistently let me down so I don’t know why I’m surprised. In this book you’re never given the full explanation, or the best you can logically come up with is stupidly over dramatized by all the characters and so you keep waiting for something bigger to drop. Damned pretentious to expect us to be blown over by the puffy (non)reveal.

3 people found this helpful

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Excellent narrator

Trying to branch out, reading different authors. This is my first Julian Barnes novel. Interesting story. The protagonist is too self indulgent for my taste.

3 people found this helpful

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Melodic, melancholic, and intensely personal

Julian Barnes is the Magus of first person storytelling and a revelator of human souls.

Anthony Webster reaches his sixties without knowing an awful lot about himself.

He's on friendly terms with his ex-wife of twenty years, but somewhat distanced from his daughter.

Barnes' PoV brilliance is a sleight of hand; while faithfully delivering Webster's exculpatory and naive 'face value' account, he infuses the narrative with subliminal snippets...

We don't have specifics, but nor do we have doubts about the failed marriage and the filial frigidity. Magic.

The story begins with a death notification - an inheritance from someone Webster met briefly,long ago.
He pursues the mystery behind the inheritance with enthusiasm - eager to revisit his youth, the truth, and become self-aware.


If you're interested in this book because you enjoyed the movie, and it certainly is a good movie, just know that the book is more sombre, more contemplative. It's Barnes, so you will chuckle, but some of the light hearted elements of the filmed version are licensed and not part of the book.

Simon Vance is a genius, and this is among his best work. I recommend book and movie. In that order.

















2 people found this helpful

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Great stort

Amazing. Could not put it down. The reader was top notch. Worth a second read.

2 people found this helpful

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Breathtaking to the end

Simon Vance gives an unforgettable performance of a truly memorable and unique narrative. “You don’t get it, do you?” Is what the main character is told. We are kept in the dark until the main
character finally “gets it” at the end.

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WOW

This book is about everything and nothing and life and love and age and growing up and learning and memory and all the things. READ THIS STUNNING BOOK.

I was swept away, by the prose, the voice, the story. All of it. READ THIS STUNNING BOOK.

:)

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Excellent voice

Great narrative. Don't know what to say about the book indeed. I feel shallow