Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A possible ending

I finished The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes on Monday. I had the day off, which I enjoyed gratefully, and read the last half or so sitting at my desk with all my papers, pens, mugs and other books strewn around as if I were the live participant in a vertical live burial.
Right after I finished I was so befuddled, I sat pressing my eyebrows with my fingertips, wondering if what I thought just happened happened, and came to the inescapable conclusion that it did. It was one of the most affecting reading experiences -story-wise- that I've had in a hugely long time.
One thing that makes The Sense of an Ending so effective is the easy pacing and sympathetic narrator.
You're ill-prepared for the shock.
My daughter walked in to my room right as I had accepted the hypothesis, and said something mundane like, 'I need some money,' then stopped and said, 'What's wrong with you?'
I made a sweeping gesture towards the bed, where the book lay.
'Oh my god,' I explained.
I know there is another very plausible theory about the plot of this book, but I'm not buying it.


Anonymous said...

Exactly how I felt at the finale to Part IV
of "Downton Abbey".

Guess I'll have to read your book now.


Anonymous said...

like this. i know that sweeping gesture.

Kathleen said...

Oh, geez. Now I have to read it! You made me laugh. And, of course, sympathize.

Caroline M Davies said...

Terrific blog post. I'm going to have to read the book now although I'm not entirely sure I want the experience of being a live participant in a vertical live burial. The only book that has similarly seized hold of my imagination recently was 'As Meat loves Salt' by Maria McCann but that was more of a 'read it and weep' than being buried alive.

SarahJane said...

The vertical burial wasn't directly related to the book! Was very good, this book.

jasmine jasmine said...

It is an excellent book. I was also almost left gasping.

Good to see your blog after a long while Sarah

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