> Skip to content

A brilliant short novel from a writer at the very height of his powers

Tony Webster and his clique first met Adrian Finn at school. Sex-hungry and book-hungry, they would navigate the girl-less sixth form together, trading in affectations, in-jokes, rumour and wit. Maybe Adrian was a little more serious than the others, certainly more intelligent, but they all swore to stay friends for life.Now Tony is in middle age. He's had a career and a single marriage, a calm divorce. He's certainly never tried to hurt anybody. Memory, though, is imperfect. It can always throw up surprises, as a lawyer's letter is about to prove.The Sense of an Ending is the story of one man coming to terms with the mutable past. Laced with trademark precision, dexterity and insight, it is the work of one of the world's most distinguished writers.

Reviews

A masterpiece... I would urge you to read - and re-read - The Sense of an Ending

Daily Telegraph

Mesmerising... the concluding scenes grip like a thriller - a whodunit of memory and morality

Independent

A very fine book, skilfully plotted, boldly conceived... Barnes has achieved...something of universal importance

Justin Cartwright, Observer

A precise, poignant portrait of the costs and benefits of time passing, of friendship, of love. A small masterpiece

Erica Wagner, The Times

A wonderful story that is all too human and all so real

Irish Times

An extremely moving, a precise book about the imprecision of memory and how it constructs people, stories and histories.

Alasitair Bruce, Guardian

From the moment that we hear from the woodworm which snuck aboard Noah’s ark to the final pages of the novel, Barnes interrogates moral dilemmas and motivations. These tales could easily be read is isolation, but are much better when consumed as a whole.

WeAreTheCity

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099564973

    March 1, 2012

    Vintage

    160 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781446467626

    August 1, 2011

    Vintage Digital

    160 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle AU
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
  • Paperback

    9781784705633

    April 3, 2017

    Vintage

    160 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au