The Sense of an Ending

Action is relative. Relative, and like junk food, the more you have it, the more it takes to satisfy the craving. This is why restraining orders should be placed on the makers of all seasons of ’24’ after about the third one. The same with the ‘Die Hard’ films, as they just get silly. And exhausting. We cannot sustain excitement and enthusiasm indefinitely, and so the stakes must be upped, and if you’re Game of Thrones, that means more heads (among other things) lopped off, more people fighting bears with wooden swords.

Anyway, to finally get to my point, ‘The Sense of an Ending’ by Julian Barnes is the opposite to this, its slow delicate pace means when the main character, Tony, is left a diary of a school friend in a will forty years after his suicide, and the ex-girlfriend who has possession won’t give up the diary, I am as gripped as I would be if he became a drug mule or stole a corgi from the queen.

It’s a masterpiece of a book, taking the Booker judges only half an hour’s discussion before giving it the award. While my school days are nothing like those of the Tony’s, the universal truths of what it’s like to stay at someone else’s house (awkwardness and constipation) and perfect observations of how memory works and the ageing process made it for me, unputdownable (that’s totally a word).

‘The Sense of an Ending’ is to be made into a film, starring Jim Broadbent. I really hope it does it justice.

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