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Book Review

‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes, recent Man Booker Prize Winner 2011.


An evenly balanced social critique of modern Britain dated to the turn of the millennium. The story is interesting and narrated by the protagonist as a kind of memoir, it is reminiscent of teenage frolics come back to haunt. There is no mention of church-going or of rotisserie chicken which are poignant to the sartorial nature of the piece; it is set comfortably in the middle-class Britain known to Bristol University graduates, the main character is depraved. The fact that a 2:1 degree class is so pertinent to the story is a clear indicator the author has used his poetic licence judiciously. What this book says to me that if one of the characters was black, it would have been mentioned explicitly in the text but no one says anything about non-English mixed race people as it is really obvious they are white. In all a challenging rather than comfortable evening’s worth of reading that leaves a feeling which Paracetamol can’t cure, it’s a bit like the druggie side-effect of a strong dose of Paracetamol.

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