by Julian Barnes
A masterpiece – mesmerising – poignant – skilfully plotted: words taken from the cover; descriptions that prompted me to buy the book. And it all goes to show that you can’t judge a book by its cover!
I actually began to think that the comments were for another book (this does happen sometimes), but no, it seems that these critics actually said these things about “The Sense of an Ending”.
I spent all 150 pages wondering when the story would begin. Although I wouldn’t say it was a bad book, it lacks plot and sense of direction.
It didn’t help that I could feel nothing positive for the main character, Tony Webster. As he telsl the story he is retired, divorced and very much alone. Even his nostalgic reflections on his school days in the 1960s portray a bumbling innocence and lack of ambition. He drifts through life seemingly unable, or unwilling, to take any risks or make any decisions.
I found myself frustrated by the lack of plot, and a little betrayed by the critics who had misled me into buying it in the first place.
This is not to say “The Sense of an Ending” doesn’t have any good points. Despite its lack of dramatic content, there is a quality in the writing that kept me reading, even if it does read more like a philosophy thesis than a novel.
For me, a very disappointing choice, and I don’t feel inclined at the moment to try another of Mr Barnes’ books.