Book Review: The Sense Of An Ending, Julian Barnes

urgh. what a book!

this book follows the life and times of Tony Webster as told by himself in a rhythmic, repetitive pulse and sluggish vigor that strings you on to the end, till you realize this is fiction and then wonder if you are right—if this isn’t really your life told back at you from the future, considering Tony is in his sixties. i am now wondering whether or not to call this a review. i feel like i just have to rant about this book. like i owe it to my brain to let it all out without remorse.

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i don’t want to spoil the book for you, so i will speak little of it’s plot. tony thinks he is a good guy. he has told himself his life’s story, cropping and editing out parts he doesn’t like all his life, till he gets an unfriendly slap from the past and is forced to see thing as they really are. this story challenges the idea of memory and history and time and ageing. urgh. am i even doing this right? writing about this right? i don’t know. i am twenty years old. its funny i’ve been think a lot about this lately, about time and age and how i don’t really care for it the way people say i would. like i remember in secondary school when i never went out for sports and my biology teacher said i would regret it because she did the same thing and she regretted not participating. five or so years have passed and i hardly ever think about the time i didn’t go for sports period or perhaps i’m not old enough to think such thoughts.

someone i really love also told me i’d later in life regret not attending my secondary school graduation, like the aforementioned reference, i haven’t regretted that either. it’s like when people talk about being young romantically. how they wish they were young again and all that (nonsense). i honestly don’t feel that way. i don’t feel nostalgic for my early years. for infancy. not even a little. i like that i am out of secondary school, primary school, on my way out of my father’s house. and this does not mean that i don’t like my father’s house. or primary school. or secondary school for that matter. i love my father’s house, but i like the passage of time more. i like that nothing is forever. things change. motion. i like motion. fluidity. i look forward to this life ending really, because in my opinion life is difficult. an enigma. i don’t like life and i like life. but i think the most honest thing to say is that i am indifferent. i don’t care very much. i am okay with dying right now. the only thing—i think—that worries me especially, is pain. and even that i am starting to accept and get used to. you see, that’s one of the lovely things about life. learning.

that’s what the book will do to you i suppose—make you think about your life, critically and honestly. i really think you should read it.

leave your email in the comments and i’ll send you the book.

read excerpts i really like from the book; here

also John Green turned 40 last week, you should watch his vlog about it, because a) i like John Green more than i like most people b) it goes inline with all my rambling about age and time and ‘adulthood’.

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