Some of Bev's Favorite Quotes...



Attention All Challengers! S0....life here on the Block has been, shall we say, challenging since I got back from vacation. I cam back to work to no computer (not hooked up after our office move) and my laptop at home has gone on strike. It looks like the Check-in Posts for the Just the Facts & Mount TBR challenges will wind up happening at the end of July instead of the regularly scheduled mid-point. But they are coming. Stay tuned!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Sense of an Ending: Review

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes is another book that I had eagerly anticipated but which has let me down a bit.  Up till now, I had really enjoyed every book I'd read by Barnes--except for Arthur and George (an over-rated, over-long book in my opinion). The Sense of an Ending was okay....a decent read...a three-star, average read, but Barnes's best work?  I don't believe so.

What we have here is Tony Webster, a pretty self-centered teenager who never really grew out of it.  In middle-age he is finds himself the recipient of a bequest given to him by the mother of an ex-girlfriend.  This is a woman he met once and she has left him a monetary gift as well as the diary of one of his friends from school and young adulthood.  Except he doesn't get the diary.  It's in the hands of his ex-girlfriend--who by the way was the girlfriend of Adrian (the diary's author) until he (Adrian) committed suicide--and she refuses to hand it over to him.  

The entire story revolves around Tony--what he remembers, what he has forgotten, what he doesn't remember correctly, and what he just doesn't get at all.  And Veronica (the girlfriend) reminds him repeatedly that he "just doesn't get it and never will."  Of course, as he points out to her, she isn't giving him a whole lot to go on.  She could actually talk to him and explain a few things--but where's the fun in that?

On one level, this is an interesting look at memory and how we as individuals tend to edit and rewrite our personal histories as we tell them over the years--whether we're just telling the story to ourselves or repeating it to others.  But it is also a rather tedious story about a man who really hasn't learned much in his 50-60 years on the planet.  And when he starts to learn things about his past and how he may have misinterpreted events, he doesn't learn from that; he doesn't really try to understand.  He's just worried about what other people think of him.

The best thing I can say about this one is that it has provided me with a lot of quotes for my collection.  That's rather unusual....normally when I snag a large number of bon mots from a work, I tend to rate it much higher.  Ending has a fair number of snaggable thoughts....just not an overwhelmingly spectacular overall effect.


2 comments:

neer said...

Could you get it, Bev? I read this last year and know of three more people who read it but like me they also could not get it.

Perhaps it is meant to be so...

Bev Hankins said...

Well...I think I got it. I just didn't like what I got as much as I anticipated.....