A shiny inner wrist steam rising from a wet sink as a frying pan is Alhambra laughingly tossed into it gouts of sperm circling a plughole before being sluiced down the fullength of a tall house a river rushing nonsensically upstream its wave and wash it by half a dozen chasing torch beams another river broad and grey the direction of its flow disguised by a stiff wind I think my years as a philosophy student were actually detrimental to my enjoyment of this short novel about ife and memory The stuff that has Its a Lat Lat Lat Lat World left other people reeling in amazement reminded me ofittle than just another essay on the mind and the way we think the way we interpret events and the way our memories can Just brilliant The book at first appears right to the end to be a rather mundane story of the The Infinite Air life of an ordinary man who is neither perceptive about the people around him nor does he see himself in a clearight Only at the end is it apparent that there were two different stories being written at the same time and you can perceive all the clues to the second story only in hindsight although they were so clear you wonder how you could have missed them You wonder how the protagonist could have misinterpreted forgotten and ignored them as well Or did he Maybe it was just in reflection he could put all the pieces togetherThis is genius writing This was two ways of reading a story one written to be read in the usual way forwards and the other backwards with hindsight This is why Barnes won the Booker Prize Definitely has a plot but a pathetic one Thin characters cliched ideas I feel annoyed by having read this book OK there was one good uote Sometimes I think the purpose of The Spill life is to reconcile us to its eventualoss by wearing us down by proving however Pandoras Planet long it takes thatife isn t all it s cracked up to be But ultimately the plot is a gimmick I don t understand how this won the Booker Prize What the heck did Tony ever do to anyone except send a crappy Is It Bedtime Wibbly Pig? letter to an ex girlfriend who was now going out with one of his best friends Who HASN T done thatAnd why the money from The Mother Doesn t make any sense Nor does younger Adrian s fear of Tony when he mentions being friends with Mary And why the heck didn t The Mothereave her money to her son who needed the money rather than sending him off to How To Win At Casino Gambling live in some group home once she diedI ve been reading too many booksately I need to start watching television Some of my closest GR friends may have noticed that I ve been Training the Help (Hedon Falls less active around hereately Unfortunately there s a reason for that It s nothing dire but it s still sad for me to have to say As it turns out I m going to have to hang up my spurs albeit for reasons that have nothing to do with my friends here and not even much to do with me It has to do with my niece s husband who until recently had been a web application developer at Goodreads The past perfect tense applies because while it s all well and good to speculate on your own machine and on your own time about what anatomically improbable position Jeff Bezos s head may be in it s evidently not OK on company machines and on company time To make matters worse this was a job I d encouraged him to pursue I d rather not go into the details the policies and the politics but you l understand that as a matter of principle I need to bid you all a fond farewell I ve taken a few weeks to consider my swan song my final review on this site The wordplayful part of me was tempted to read the first volume of Proust s classic just so I could use the name Swann but that would run a terrible risk Too many of you have read and fully absorbed the Remembrance series and would no doubt think of me in the end as the poseur that I am were I to feign any insight Then I ooked at a few of the titles I d read but not yet reviewed One of them Disgrace by J M Coetzee had potential given the situation that brought this about but ike I said it s best not to talk about that A Ship of Fools is out for the same reason Then one jumped out at me the much discussed Booker Prize winner of 2011 by Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending The title certainly fitsWhile the story may not be fresh in my mind it s been three years since I read it I do recall a heated internal debate concerning the main character Tony Did he ring true Could I imagine myself in his shoes The book actually fits for another reason too It s all about memories faulty and biased though they may be I m sure in a few years time I l Hello Bravo ! - Activity Book look back on my GR experience and remember writing thousands of reviews making millions of comments and stockpiling near infinite good will from it allAs a glib student oblivious to his own clich d thinking Tony once said that history is theies of the winners A nuanced discussion followed including a uotable ine from their brightest most philosophical friend Adrian History is that certainty produced
the point where the imperfections memory meet the inadeuacies of documentation Later the classroom discussion ed to a related point That s one of the central problems of history isn t it sir The uestion 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 usBarnes was clever I thought to apply this theme to Tony s mature self analysis As a retiree in his sixties once married now divorced father of a daughter in his sixties once married now divorced father of a daughter considers close contrary to most evidence and one who has Still Side by Side led a rather uotidianife Tony reflects on several key junctures from his youth It s clear he s an unreliable narrator of his own story but readily cops to it and to his credit is disturbed by it What you end up remembering isn t always the same as what you have witnessed I don t consider it a spoiler to say that one of those memories concerned a girlfriend from his university days Veronica who dumped him and ended up with the aforementioned Adrian Tragedy struck soon after that and the reason Tony is so keen to revisit those memories is that Veronica s mother beueathed him Adrian s diary But Veronica was the one in possession of it and was very reluctant to give it up That s all I Oriori No Uta ll mention of the conflict but as you may well have guessed there s plenty beneath the surfaceWhen I first considered this book for my final review it hadn t occurred to me that there d be so many ways to tie it Ian Barnes's oeuvre This intense novel follows Tony Webster a middle aged man as he contends with a past he never thought much about until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance one of them from the grave another maddeningly present Tony thought heeft this all behind as he buil.
AT THE POINT WHERE THE IMPERFECTIONS
Julian Barnes ´ 6 DOWNLOADO my own reflections Please indulge me one Four Word Film Reviews last time as I take even uotes from this book and relate them to my years on GoodreadsThe retired and resigned version of Tony near the end of the book had this to say as the witnesses to yourife diminish there is Keep Calm, Alice Is Here Affirmations Workbook Positive Affirmations Workbook Includes less corroboration and thereforeess certainty as to what you are or have been Even if you have assiduously kept records in words sound pictures you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record keeping When he mentioned those assiduously kept records especially the pictures I thought of Facebook The right kind of record keeping to me would be the thoughts and reactions on Goodreads Those reflect something meaningful and say about what makes you you Even so as the memories of those who participated with you fade so does your presence At east I m keeping my account active so that I don t disappear altogetherGetting back to the topic of unreliability older Tony said perhaps it s that same paradox again the history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest and yet it s the most deliuescent Like I said it was a few years ago that I read this so my own reliability should be uestioned I guess that means anything I say beyond this point is meta unreliable Be that as it may I think it s true that subjectivity the ives we make for ourselves that read You Owe Me One likeiterature and even outright Debbie Browns Dream Wedding Cakes lies often make our accounts interestingAs oneast indulgence I swear I m Second Son (Jack Reacher, linking past reviews that I feel speak to thatast statement rather well From 2015From 2014From 2013From 2008I had considered giving this book either five stars or one since those are the reviews that often contain the most passionate arguments and attract the most curious readers But that isn t my true sentiment Let s assume that the truth is at United States of Americana least slightly important to me This one is a solid 35 rounded to 4 Tony was aittle frustrating at times for his unreliable Tony centric views but I did The Thermals of August like the theme Besides that Barnes guy writes really wellBefore I sign off I want to extend a big THANK YOU to you all for making these years on Goodreads so rewarding I ve enjoyed the countless insights contained in your reviews the entertainment value the recommendations the overly generous comments and the nonstop thinking and fun I can only hope that our collective memories never fool us into thinking that our time together has been anything but great I had never really intended to read this book and I certainly had no intention of owning it I was browsing in a BN sitting out a winter storm in Lincoln Nebraska and ran across of stack of The Sense of an Ending with BOOKER PRIZE WINNER blazoned across the front of the book I dug through the stack of third printings and there near the bottom was one book with BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE on the cover Well it is sort of cosmic for a collector such as I to find one first American edition in the pile Small chance of the book ever being a collectible but it is almost impossible mental hindrances for me to buy aater printing of a book Being 20% off helped me throw it on my pile for the check out counter Well about 20 pages in I was shaking my head and muttering to myself about the 20 bill I it on fire to buy this book What Barnes wrote about English Prep school was stale as stale as a saltine cracker I found in the glove box of my The mystery is I don t remember ever eating saltines in my pickup Luckily Barnes moved on interesting material Tony Webster is a guy of average intelligence who was arguably the east interesting member of a group of rather bright friends In particular one friend Adrian was head and shoulders above the rest with a true philosopher s mind that earned him one friend Adrian was head and shoulders above the rest with a true philosopher s mind that earned him spot at Cambridge Tom was always trying to understand Adrian and always felt as if he was not seeing the picture the same way as his friend Adrian had a better mind and a rigorous temperament than me he thought The Perfect Child logically and then acted on the conclusion ofogical thought Whereas most of us I suspect do the opposite we make an instinctive decision then build up an infrastructure of reasoning to justify it And call the result common senseAt prep school Adrian was the star impressing his teachers with Lost Horizon linesike this History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadeuacies of documentation No big surprise that Tony spends the rest of his True Prosperity life seeking Adrian s approval Their relationship becomes rocky when Tony s ex girlfriend Veronica starts dating Adrian Veronica s favoriteine to Tony is you didn t get it then you don t get it now and you will never get it She is one of those people that think everyone is supposed to understand what is in her head and refuses to give even the most minuscule bit of information to help Tony know what is motivating her decisions Even though she is incessantly disrespectful to Tony he sees her as intelligent hip than he is and is always attempting to better himself in her eyes Reading a fragment of Adrian s diary 40 years after he killed himself Tony now in his sixties still finds himself in need of validation Had my Thing He Loves life increased or merely added to itself This was the uestion that Adrian s fragment set off in me There had been addition and subtraction in myife but how much was multiplication and this gave me a sense of unease of unrestI won t discuss the hook of the story the SHAZAM moment where everything becomes clear but I must say my estimation of the book changed as the story moved forward At only 163 pages I felt that the early pages spent at the prep school could have been skipped and made the story closer to flawless A few flash backs would have sufficed to give the reader the background necessary to follow the plot I will close with one bit of introspection from Tony Someone once said that his favorite times in history were when things were collapsing because that meant something new was being born Does this make any sense if we apply it to our individual ives To die when something new is being born even if that something new is our very own self Because just as
ALL POLITICAL AND HISTORICAL CHANGE SOONER OR LATER DISAPPOINTSpolitical and historical change sooner or ater disappoints does adulthood So does Search Marketing Strategies life Sometimes I think the purpose ofife is to reconcile us to its eventual No Capital Required loss by wearing us down by proving howeverong it takes that Programming in Swift life isn t all it s cracked up to T aife for himself and his career has provided him with a secure retirement and an amicable relationship with his ex wife and daughter who now has a family of her own But when he is presented with a mysterious egacy he is forced to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world. ,
When Veronika said You don t get it You never did I told myself so why don t you tell him Grrr If only these people Barnes characters would sit down and discuss amongst themselves then there will be no problem Then Tony Webster will not have to spend all his ife trying to grapple the memories he thought to be contained in his whole pathetic The Complete Guide To Associate And Affiliate Programs On The Net Turning Clicks Into Cash life You see Tony Webster is a double sided man he seems to be this gentle go with the flow nice man who respects his girlfriend not to have real sex until they are ready However when his girlfriend dumps him for Tony Webster s friend he writes the bitterestetter that I ve read coming from a dumped Girls Like Us lover The kind ofetter that would put to shame even the vilest and the most manipulating characters of Pierre Choderlos Such was the big fat craptastic big reveal groanworthy Affiliate Marketing Then and Now lurid pulpy Victorian melodramatic you got to be kidding ending with no sense that the two stars this novel was hanging on to by its fingernails up to page 130 slipped out of its grasp and it ended up with the ignominious one star but since that puts it in the same company as many muchoved novels it may well be worn as a Badge Of Honour I envisage one of those peelable stickers on all future editions A P BRYANT ONE STAR NOVEL and Julian Barnes can swank around with Zadie Smith Richard Ford and Don DeLillo and read each other their own one star reviews It s one thing to realise that as a person with a fiction addiction you must tread a The Invisible Presence lonely path because in Real Life as you may know not that many people are as hopelessly addicted as we here on Goodreads But then it s another thing to have to admit that within that already small but intense intense community of readers you are now part of a minority since the majority appear to be besotted with YAadult romancefantasy etc So mainstreamiterature is now a minority sport Clickbank Affiliate Marketing Profits Right Now likeacrosse or curling and should be rebranded But then even stranger to find oneself as the minority of the minority of the minority Which happens when the majority of the minority are all raving about a novel that turns out to be The Sense of an EndingIn Flaubert s Parrot by JB a guy moons around in France on his own and has thoughts about his Sticky Wisdom life and about Flaubert and you gradually realise that he s suppressing some horrible thing he doesn t want to think about The atmosphere in that novel is transfixing it s maximum understated comedy horror Top novel This one 150 pages of picking over an old friendship and a first romance the banal entanglements of which come to a vague wateryight when the deceased mother of the ancient girlfriend it was all 40 years ago beueaths to our boring narrator a diary Like a bolt from the blue This was a novel where all the detail of the guy s current mildly depressed defeated mouldering away English Online Marketing life were exactly and toe curlingly right and all the actual incidents in the plot of which there are five I think maybe five and a half are completely wrong simply ridiculous no one would do that The girlfriend would not redacted the mother would totally not redacted and if the friend really did redacted then the narrator redacted This is why a novel can be both intelligent he drops in a sprinkling of Readers Digest Improve Your Conversation by uoting Philosophy snippets and he s forever going on about Time what is Time can we control Time or does Time control Us can Time go backwards or sidewards can Time flow up one nostril and down the Other and also stupid people don t behaveike this This was a Booker prize winner but it was one of the Bad Bookers Spoiled like Vernon God Little There are Good Bookersike Wolf Hall and The White Tiger Read the good Bookers avoid the Bad Keep on the sunny side of ife 45 Update There is going to be a movie after the book and it is coming out this month if interested you can see the trailer here story about the unreliability of memory and how we can chose to
or to reinvent the past In Order To Remember order not to remember truths I discovered this book by Julian Barnes when reading comments about Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan which is a book I also enjoyed The tone of the story is uite similar in some ways Barnes McEwan and Coetzee have a way with words that I find brilliant They use simple prose but with such a punch I am not fully satisfied about how the author finished the book and eft some of the events unexplained Maybe that was the intention but I would have Healing Herbs Spices liked to understand aittle bit better the reason behind some of Veronica s behavior This is by Julian Barnes so we know it will focus on memory and its tricks Some examples but what you end up remembering isn t always the same as what you witnessed And I need to return briefly to a few incidents that have grown into anecdotes to some approximate memories which time has deformed into certainty And again I must stress that this is my reading now of what happened then Or rather my memory now of my reading then of what was happening at the time The book is a Booker Prize winner so we expect and we get great writing In those days we imagined ourselves as being kept in some kind of holding pen waiting to be released into our Kit de Formation Microsoft TCP/IP lives There s not aot of point in adding an extensive review to book with 12000 already on GR although it s interesting to note that its rating 37 is a bit on the ow side Barnes seems to be a writer that you ike or you don tThe basic story is that we have a man of retirement age who is a doofus He has a couple of adult children he s never shown much interest in and an ex that he meets with for an occasional Binary Sound (Boston, lunch The story goes back to his college days and early romances when he broke up with one girl who dumped him for another buddy in his group view spoiler He wrote the two of them a nasty viciousetter and promptly forgot about it That Hidden (Otherworld Stories, letter turns up 40 yearsater in a package from a awyer "and he is shocked to see it He is incredulous that he could have written it memory again but there it "he is shocked to see it He is incredulous that he could have written it memory again but there it in black and white in his handwriting hide spoiler This is an exploration of memory exuisitely written as the thoughts of an old man ooking back on his ife good enough to merit 5 despite the somewhat contrived ending ironic given the titleImageryIt opens with six watery images an unexpected word in several of them makes them vivid each of which form part of the story I remember in no particular order. Winner of the 2011 Man Booker PrizeOne of The Atlantic's Best Books I Read This YearA novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single setting The Sense of an Ending has the psychological and emotional depth and sophistication of Henry James at his best and is a stunning new chapter in Jul.forget or to reinvent the past in order