TITLE: The Sense of an Ending
AUTHOR: Julian Barnes
GENRE: Psychological Fiction
I had wanted life not to bother me too much, and had succeeded- and how pitiful that was.Tony Webster (The Sense of an Ending)
Tony Webster, the protagonist is found reminiscing about his past, specifically about his friends and relationships in this book. But after living through most of his life, he is faced with an uncertain event which made him question things which he had previously believed in.
The book is divided into two parts. The first half is rushed through which deals with the protagonist’s youth. The second half slows the clock when our protagonist gets old. Much like life itself, when we are young, time usually pass swiftly but as we approach a certain age, it seems as though the passage of time has become undetectable. This book has clevery captured relativity of time.
The main theme of this book is unreliability of memory. Just as we often sit and ponder on our past experiences, we tend to modify certain moments unintentionally and make them into our truths, similarly, Tony Webster too is experiencing faltering of memory and how much it has changed or faded with time.
The history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest, and yet it’s the most delinquencent.
It also deals with people’s idea of life. Some imagine an ideal future for themselves only to be proved wrong toward the end, while some measure life on scales and submerge it into philosophy.
You will find comparisons between how one thinks when they are young to once they get old.
The Sense of an Ending is a book which would seem okay at first but only after you reach the second half, you realize how much power this book is holding in its simple yet sturdy words. And one of the most important question I came across in it was, “Had my life increased or merely added to itself?”