The Sense of an Ending (Julian Barnes)

The Sense of an Ending follows Tony Webster, a retired man reflecting on his youth and the unreliability of memory. As he delves into his past, a long-buried secret resurfaces, forcing him to confront the consequences of his actions and challenging his perception of truth and self.

Author: Julian Barnes
Label: Recent Prize Winner
Year of publication: 2011
Pages: 150





Plot Complexity: moderate
Language Complexity: moderate
Ideas Complexity: high

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is a novel that showcases a moderate level of complexity in terms of language, ideas, and plot. The language used in the book is moderately complex, incorporating a range of vocabulary and sentence structures. The ideas explored are thought-provoking, delving into intricate concepts and challenging readers’ perspectives. The plot strikes a balance between simplicity and intricacy, featuring multiple layers and interwoven storylines. Overall, the novel requires readers to engage with the text and analyze its nuances to fully appreciate the rich language, complex ideas, and moderately intricate plot.


By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & George and continued with Nothing to Be Frightened Of and, most recently, Pulse.

This intense novel follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about – until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he’d left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he’d understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single sitting, with stunning psychological and emotional depth and sophistication, The Sense of an Ending is a brilliant new chapter in Julian Barnes’s oeuvre.


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