THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

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Jowen
 
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THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby Jowen » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:14 pm

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Jowen

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Postby Jowen » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:10 pm
Have you read tHE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes? If so, what do you think of the ending? A surprise? A disappointment? Well, I just finished reading it but it is not a book one can close and forget. As a friend at one of my book groups says, "You keep trying to answer questions. This is a novella written in first person narrative in two parts. The first part recounts Tony Webster's (the narrator) student years and relationships with three friends and a strange, perhaps unstable, girlfriend. It is a story abut memory and getting old. In the second part Tony is in his early 60s and now the plot thickens. This is not a who-dunnit but it is a mystery where Tony tries to unravel the mystery behind his friend Adrian's suicide. And you, the reader, wonders, "Did Adrian ....?" "Did she ....?", "Did he ....?" and when Tony finally says "I got it" he leaves it to the reader to find the sense of an ending".

A story about the crazy, mixed-up 1960s/70s. I found it strangely disturbing. What do you think?
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louiseh87
 
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby louiseh87 » Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:51 pm

I heard it on Radio 4 when it was the Book at Bedtime sometime last year and all I remember was that the story seemed less unique than I was expecting it to be. It wasn't very memorable. I was surprised when it got nominated for awards, so perhaps something was lost in the adaptation to radio.
Louise :)

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Jowen
 
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby Jowen » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:28 pm

Not unique, Louise, no. The book reflected (perhaps the first one of its kind I've read), the bizarre happenings and confusion of the 1960s/70s. I hated those years, count them as the worst years of my life. I was confused and scared too; couldn't believe the incredibly horrible things that were happening; the tearing down of family life as we had known it. Julian Barnes set it down in print -- the cruelties, and the biblical concept of children having to bear the consequences of parents' behaviour. Maybe that's why he was nominated for awards.
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby louiseh87 » Sun Jan 06, 2013 4:14 pm

Jowen wrote:Not unique, Louise, no. The book reflected (perhaps the first one of its kind I've read), the bizarre happenings and confusion of the 1960s/70s. I hated those years, count them as the worst years of my life. I was confused and scared too; couldn't believe the incredibly horrible things that were happening; the tearing down of family life as we had known it. Julian Barnes set it down in print -- the cruelties, and the biblical concept of children having to bear the consequences of parents' behaviour. Maybe that's why he was nominated for awards.


That might be why I didn't get it. To me, the story was almost commonplace (the kind of thing you see on Jeremy Kyle), so I had a hard time relating to it. I also don't tend to read contemporary fiction much, particularly family drama - that's partly why I listen to the radio, to see what's current and so on without investing time and money on reading it :D I guess for someone who's lived it, that's probably different. I only studied in history ;)
Louise :)

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Jowen
 
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby Jowen » Mon Jan 07, 2013 12:48 am

I used to love listening to British radio when I was young. The whole family would gather round the fire at night, turn out the lights, and listen to the deep, mysterious voice of Valentine Diall, The Man in Black. He would read spooky stories and scare us all to death. Us kids anyway. Now we enjoy old Brit TV series -- Heartbeat, Touch of Frost. Midsomer Murders, George Gently, Morse, and Lewis -- and new series like Silk and New Tricks. Watched Jane Austen's "Emma" over the holidays. Also, season 3 of Downton Abbey started tonight. Love it! :)
Last edited by Jowen on Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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tinachris
 
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby tinachris » Mon Jan 07, 2013 5:42 pm

Yes, I read Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes and I agree it is not a book one can put down and forget. The ending was a shock but then it seemed obvious. A very unique story brilliantly told. I have recommended it to my Book Club.


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Postby Jowen » Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:10 pm
Have you read tHE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes? If so, what do you think of the ending? A surprise? A disappointment? Well, I just finished reading it but it is not a book one can close and forget. As a friend at one of my book groups says, "You keep trying to answer questions. This is a novella written in first person narrative in two parts. The first part recounts Tony Webster's (the narrator) student years and relationships with three friends and a strange, perhaps unstable, girlfriend. It is a story abut memory and getting old. In the second part Tony is in his early 60s and now the plot thickens. This is not a who-dunnit but it is a mystery where Tony tries to unravel the mystery behind his friend Adrian's suicide. And you, the reader, wonders, "Did Adrian ....?" "Did she ....?", "Did he ....?" and when Tony finally says "I got it" he leaves it to the reader to find the sense of an ending".

A story about the crazy, mixed-up 1960s/70s. I found it strangely disturbing. What do you think?
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Jowen
 
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Re: THE SENSE OF AN ENDING by Julian Barnes

Postby Jowen » Mon Jan 07, 2013 6:01 pm

I think the story was unique and brilliant in the way it was told, but not the subject matter, not for that period of time when so many crazy things were happening. I thought the ending a shock, too, and none of it obvious. I couldn't figure out where it was going. A terrific book for discussion. I, too, have recommended it to my book group.
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