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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Book "Review" - The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending (2011)
Written by Julian Barnes

I haven't done a "book review" in a while...mainly because I haven't read anything in a while, so bear with the probable lack of anything substantial being said below.

Julian Barnes' concise 163-page novel The Sense of an Ending has just that -- a sense of an ending, but a conclusion that failed to fully satisfy which is a bit of a disappointment considering that I was loving the book up until the final ten pages.  Now, I must say that the whole ending is stewing in my mind and begs to be discussed with others.  This rapidly sent me to the internet to figure out what others thought of the ending which provided me with several "A-Ha!" moments of revelation that I missed (and apparently many others missed based off my searches) that make me want to head back and read the book a second time around (and considering that I finished the whole book off in two sittings spread across about 120 minutes that would be an easy task).

The tale mainly focuses on our British first-person narrator Tony Webster's relationship with schoolmate Adrian and how their bond changed drastically after their graduation from secondary (high) school.  While Tony thought that he perhaps left this fractured friendship behind after a tragic turn of events for the duo in college, this kinship rears its ugly head nearly forty years later as a sixty-something Tony is forced to face his past that he attempted to bury long ago.

What stood out to me in terms of theme and what ultimately hooked me and made me grow to love what Julian Barnes has to say is the book's take on "history" and how as time passes we shape history to be what we want to remember rather than what actually occurs.  This sense of being honest with one's self is beautifully developed throughout the short novel.  Our present is built off of our past actions -- both good and bad -- and it is only by looking at the entirety of our personal history that we can truly know the type of person we are today.

Anyway...I'll bring this book "review" to a close since I'm not very good at these.  Still, The Sense of an Ending is a very good (and easy) read that is full of much more depth than I expected.

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