Sunday, 6 January 2013

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is my first book of 2013.Vintage 2012   paperback edition  has 150 pages.Let me say that I could not understand the book  fully  in the first reading .But I had a sense that I had in my hands a great book which says many things on many planes  , depending on  the interpretation the reader provides not only to the facts but also to the meaning of the whole book .
                            It is the story of Tony Webster, in his sixties.It is a story partly based on memory and partly on  partial documentation .After all , what is  understanding ?It is partly based on our memory of facts , and partly on the documents which we may see or possess.(I recall my  resolution of the new year to base my decisions , views and statements on evidence.)
                               The key lines are:"You still don't get it.You never did, and you never will.So stop even trying."When we recollect many events and relationships of our past , we think we know about them correctly .But it  may not be so .Not that we are stupid .Tony was quite intelligent and mature .But understanding our own motives and others who come close to us , is not so simple .
                            The sense of an ending is about the sense that our illusions or self delusions  may appear to  have come to an end .But it is only the sense of an ending .It not an ending .Our understanding is never complete .
Julian Barnes is a mesmerising  writer.This book is his masterpiece, and richly deserved  Man Booker Prize 2011, which it got .
                   I will reread it in 2013 only .I strongly recommend you to read it .