Nominated by:

Muntpunt, Brussels, Belgium

Stedelijke Openbare Bibliotheek Gent, Belgium

Gradska Knjiznica Rijeka, Croatia

Mestska Knihovna v Praze, Prague, Czech Republic

London Borough of Redbridge Libraries, England

Leipziger Stadtische Bibliotheken, Leipzig, Germany

Zentral- u. Landesbibliothek Berlin, Germany

Bibliotheken der Stadt Mainz, Germany

Veria Central Public Library, Greece

Bibliotheek Utrecht, The Netherlands

Waterford County Library, Ireland

The State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia

Houston Public Library, USA

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, USA

Toronto Public Library, Canada

Publisher of nominated edition:

Jonathan Cape, UK

Alfred A. Knopf, USA

Random House Canada

The Sense of an Ending

Julian Barnes      

2013 Longlist

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.

Now Tony is retired. He’s had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He’s certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer’s letter is about to prove.

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Julian Barnes is the author of eleven novels, including The Sense of an Ending, Metroland, Flaubert’s Parrot, A History of the World in 10½ Chapters and Arthur & George; three books of short stories, Cross Channel, The Lemon Table and Pulse; and also three collections of journalism, Letters from London, Something to Declare, and The Pedant in the Kitchen.

His work has been translated into more than thirty languages. In France he is the only writer to have won both the Prix Médicis (for Flaubert’s Parrot) and the Prix Femina (for Talking it Over). He was awarded the Austrian State Prize for European Literature in 2004, the David Cohen Prize for Literature and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction in 2011. He lives in London.

Librarians’ Comments

The Sense of an Ending is written in a concise and elegant style that sacrifices neither poignant emotion or realistic depiction of events, while absorbing the reader in a story that spans a lifetime of experience.

A profound psychological profile of one man’s experience of memory, repression, and self deception, painstakingly portrayed from his own point of view.

A novella of quiet reflection, deceptively simple in plot. Barnes’ succinct style tells a story much larger than the book. Together with the protagonist we seek to understand characters and incidents remembered. Engaging and readable.

Our readers’ choice

This compact novel is a beautifully crafted meditation on memory, regret and coming to terms with the past.

Barnes has written a quietly devastating portrait of a man forced in late middle age to reassess his entire life. The novel, as told through the character of Tony Webster, is a meditation on the mysteries of memory, the nature of delusion, and the inadequacy of remorse to heal the wounds of the past.

Written by one of the most distinguished and praised British authors, this novel offers a somewhat disturbing exploration of memory by a middle-aged man. The novel won the 2011 Man Booker prize.

This is a novel which is sensitively written about the passage of time in and the altered perspective we get from youth to old age. The prose is beautiful and moving and leaves a sense of having been on a journey through another’s life. Insightful and moving with the quiet tang of sadness.

A concisely composed and suspenseful novel,’ The Sense of an Ending’ tells the story of a man’s coming to terms with his past posing questions on philosophical subjects such as memory and guilt.

A beautiful written novel. Very elegant and playful.

The formal control and mastery of the writing in exploring the perception of time, the mutability of the past and the conditionality of memory.

Exquisite novel. Winner of the Booker Prize 2011. Our library bought several copies of the book and the book is well received in the press. Members of our library appreciate this book/novel.

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