Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Sense Of An Ending

By Julian Barnes

'A shiny inner wrist, steam rising from a wet sink as a hot frying pan is laughingly tossed into it, gouts of sperm circling a plughole, before being sluiced down the full length of a tall house. A river rushing nonsensically upstream.......'

This is how the book begins as a man reflects on his past and how each event is a mere memory, I guess this book is about memory. Or how sometimes a memory is as delicate and as many faceted as a polished sapphire.

I remember this being the book that won the Man Booker prize a few years ago and curiosity has always kept it at the back of my mind as a possible read. This is my first Man Booker prize winning book and so it came highly recommended from the higher echelons of the british literary scene! I didn't know what to expect, probably some high brow , radio four, Art Show, literary work full of long complicated words and ancient Greek and Shakespearean references. Not to mention the fact that because it had won Britains highest literary 'pat on the back' I was worried that the full weight of expectation wasn't going to bear fruit. I was more than pleasantly surprised.

For me this is the perfect 'Literary Fiction' book, a short but intriguing, well crafted story. Perhaps some lovers of crime fiction or the fantasy genre or the latest best selling thriller novel wouldn't 'get this' because there aren't any murderers on the loose, no ticking bombs hidden underneath a New York car park, no hints or even a suggestion of a body hidden in a basement. Just a well written story. That's all it is. A good beginning, middle and an end, and a superb ending as far as I am concerned!

I usually like a book to be original and imaginative and to be dotted with flowery and colourful imagery and description but 'A Sense of an Ending' doesn't come anywhere close. It doesn't need any of that. Although it somehow still manages to leave a trail of images that stay with you throughout the book. I like Julian Barne's writing style, it is thought provoking and also humerous and he kept my interest all the way. Towards the end of the book I was beginning to think that the story was going to fizzle out but instead it actually did the opposite, whatever the opposite of 'fizzling out' is! If you can think of a suitable word or a better way of putting it, please put your answers on a post card.....and send to or just yell rather loudly if you happen to be anywhere near Chorley in Lancashire or Preston Royal Hospital during the week!

So in the end I was wrong about the Greek and the Shakespearean references although there were lots of long words on every page that you probably only use on a regular basis if you read the Financial times, are a regular listener to Radio 4 or got educated at Oxford.

This is one of those books that stays with you and the ending will get you thinking until your heads hurts if you want to. I want to but that's because I'm like that.



  1. Thank you. It sounds interesting. I am putting it on my list of books to read!

  2. I really liked it :) Thanks for popping by my blog. How's life?

  3. Delighted to meet you - it's always a joy to connect with someone else who shares my love for books!

    This one sounds interesting. Look forward to reading more of your reviews!

    Would love to have you join us at our weekly parties at Create With Joy. Today I'm hosting Inspire Me Monday (you're welcome to share your family-friendly reviews). I also host Wordless Wednesday and Friendship Friday. Check them out - I'm sure you'll love our community!

    Create With Joy

  4. Thank you, just wrote my first devotional and posted a link to your lovely blog. Thanks for the invite :)