The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I enjoyed reading this book more than I enjoyed finishing it. It is a psychological novel, narrated by a man in late middle age reviewing episodes in his life and finally understanding them. It is nice and short and I was reading a fresh, clean hard back which was given to me as a present. So a good reading experience.

It reminded me of some other novels – ‘Engleby’ by Sebastian Faulkes and ‘The Secret History’ buy Donna Tartt. The former because we realise as the novel unfolds that the narrator is not quite as unblemished a character as his own account might suggest and the latter because it ascribes highly intellectual insights to people in their late teens.

The tone is beautifully maintained and reinforced by the language. The presentation of the main character rings very true to this middle-aged, British reader, perhaps because the main character is, well, middle-aged and British.

I found the denouement a little unsatisfying – it did not quite live up to the suspense and foreboding that had so brilliantly been created.

But this is a really enjoyable, clever book.


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