Monday, August 6, 2012

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.....

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Two book reviews back-to-back. I know, right?

I'm almost through with all the books I downloaded (and paid for) from the list I found in The New Yorker. Just in case you needed additional evidence of some of my (mild?) OCD tendencies, I have to read all of these books together - as a unit, like they were assigned for a class or something - before I can read anything else. But cheer up - I didn't read them in alphabetical order. So rest assured. (However, I did read this one after The Night Circus and before Blue Nights because I didn't want to read two books in a row with the word "night" in their titles. Sigh.)

The Sense of an Ending is told from the perspective of an English boy (later man) and his school chums. (Because they're English, I felt obligated to call them "chums" instead of "friends.") It is another very well written and highly descriptive book, but this one deals with the actualities of human thought and relationships as opposed to the fantasy world of the last book I reviewed.

Tony and his buddies muddle through school together and vow to remain BFFs (my term, not the book's, as I'm sure you could have guessed), but naturally BFs go their separate ways and there is no F. 

This book made me question many things about life and human nature.

  • Lashing out verbally in moments of disappointment/anger
  • Having said lashing outs come back to haunt one years and years later
  • Friendships
  • Jealousy
  • Memory and memories
  • Regret
  • Aging, gracefully or otherwise
  • The power of words to harm and damage, the scope of which can never be repaired with any number of additional words
  • Relationships
Very thought-provoking and enjoyable to read, this book leaves a few loose ends that I've come to appreciate in my (hope hope hope hope) adulthood. I used to hate a book that didn't tie everything up neatly at the end, but only recently have I come to realize that's not the way life works. 

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