Book review: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

So as part of my reading project – here is my first book review.

I finished the book ‘The Sense of an Ending‘ by Julian Barnes a couple of weeks ago but just never had the chance to review it. So here it is! By the way, this is a non-spoiler version just in case you’re interested in reading it. I also wrote a quick review on Goodreads.

As soon as I started reading this book, I knew that I would continue reading it. It was well written and there was a sense of suspense right from the start. I suppose I was just comparing it to the last book I was reading, which was by Richard Flanagan called ‘The Unknown Terrorist’. I actually didn’t finish Flanagan’s book as I found the characters flat and the plot predictable even though the story was about a pole dancer becoming a terrorist. Yes I’ve just given the story away. But this blog is not a review of this book but about Barnes’s ‘The Sense of an Ending’.

The story began with a reminiscence of Tony’s school days, his friendship with Adrian and his relationship with his first girlfriend Veronica. It then continues on to his present life as a middle-aged man, who is divorced and has just suddenly received “blood money” from Veronica’s recently deceased mother Sarah. The only clue I can give as to work out how to make sense of the ending is a strange formula from Adrian’s (who died as a young man) diary: b = s – vx + aor a2 + v + a1 x s = b

Anyway I think you would like this book. It’s witty but not pompous; it’s brief but not a short story; and it’s understandably mysterious. I would like to know what others think of it – did you like how it ended? Was it too abrupt? Who was responsible for how it all ended?

Aaah, now I guess I got you all interested! Go on and read it and make a comment and we’ll have a discussion. Or if you’ve read it start commenting now. Look forward to it!

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