Book Review The Sense Of An Ending

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Book review The book “The Sense of an Ending”, written by Julian Barnes, is a book of stunning psychological and emotional depth, although the facts are simple and it seems as if nothing really happens. Three school-friends, of whom the narrator, Tony Webster, is one, are joined by a fourth, Adrian Finn. The later is much cleverer than any of them. Although they swear to maintain contact even at university, they distance one another. Webster, who married and divorced in an amiable manner, keeps the memory of his former girlfriend, Veronica, at whose family home he once spent a weekend. At the time he had felt uncomfortable, socially inferior and the fact that Veronica took up with Adrian upset him. Antony cannot totally understand Adrian’s suicide, as he cannot understand why did Veronica’s mother leave him a legacy and how did Adrian’s diary get in her possession. The book “The Sense of an Ending” brilliantly gives form to this sense of chronological slipperiness. Time shrinks and expands on the page according to Tony's preoccupations. His broken marriage or career is written in a couple of pages, not being treated with much interest, as if they presented less interest to the narrator than the discussion about hand-cut chips or the suicide of a colleague, events that do not come in direct contact with the narrator’s life. The novel maintains a continuous suspense, being presented in the first person, so that the reader can only find out the narrator’s perspective about the main themes, which are: time, memory, friendship, history, etc. It can be viewed as a meditation on ageing, memory loss and regret vs. remorse. The whole book is presented as a puzzle, a mind game whose solving is too complicated to be fully understood, resumed in Veronica’s words: “You just don’t get it …You never did, and you never will.’ Tony’s life flew without him being affected by

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