27 November 2011

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I honestly have no excuse not to read Parrot and Olivier in America - yes it's stuck on my broken kindle but aunt Hwee did lend me her hard copy, two inches thick and all.  It's just that its size is hardly inviting, especially when compared to Julian  Barnes' compact little bestseller that's making headlines everywhere now.  So with my sincerest apologies to Peter Carey, and a promise that I will finish reading Parrot and Olivier if it kills me, here's my review of the Booker's recently declared winner.

The Sense of an Ending was surprisingly easy to read for something so thought-provoking.  Barnes writes about the imperfection of memory; the way it beguiles and deceives.  The narrator is Tony Webster, well past middle-aged and looking back at a particular point in his life, trying to make sense of the things that happened during a tumultuous time.  What he remembers and what actually happened are, of course, quite separate matters.