a measure of relatedness between two antigenic substances

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes

The protagonist and narrator of The Sense of an Ending is Tony Webster, a man who "just doesn’t get it," as you are told over and over again. But it seems that Tony’s problem is more cluelessness than faulty memory. He just isn’t a very discerning man - extremely self-absorbed, but not introspective enough to understand his own motivations, much less anyone else’s.

On balance Tony’s story isn’t all that interesting - just an account of an ordinary, rather selfish man who led an ordinary and unexciting life. Throughout the book he struggles to remember a time when he dated a girl named Veronica and his life was maybe a little less ordinary. And in the end he figures a few things out. It’s not a satisfying ending. Obviously, there's more to the story but you never find out what that is. In fact you aren’t exactly sure what Tony "thinks" he’s discovered or what he understands about himself and Veronica (or about her mother, or Adrian, or Adrian’s son).

But I’m OK with the ambiguity because I don’t think the point is to find out the exact truth. It’s about getting to know the characters and piecing together the underlying story.


That's one of the central problems of history, isn't it, sir? The question of subjective versus objective interpretation, the fact that we need to know the history of the historian in order to understand the version that is being put in front of us.

I give this 3.5 stars because it's beautifully written.