The Sense of an Ending
3 journalers for this copy...
"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 retired. 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."
Essentially this is a tale of remorse and the vagaries of memory.
The whole point of the novel is to show that we can never be absolutely sure of the histories we tell ourselves, public or private, summed up in a quote that Adrian used to their history master, and which Tony repeats for emphasis: 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.’
As for myself, when I read it in March or April last I liked it a lot at first (the very british details and terms used, as well as the interesting way an adolescence in the '60s is remembered, 40 years later) but towards the end I got the feeling of not relating much to it, maybe because I didn't really grab it's true meaning...
Even so, there are a few phrases and paragraphs worth retaining, for instance:
"(...) he thought logically, and then acted on the conclusion of logical thought. Whereas most of us, I suspect, do the opposite: we make an instinctive decision, then build up an infraestructure of reasoning to justify it. And call the result common sense."
"(...) 'He took his own life' is the phrase; but Adrian also took charge of his own life, he took command of it, he took it in his hands - and then out of them. How few of us can say that we have done the same? We muddle along, we let life happen to us, we gradually build up a store of memories. There is the question od accumulation, but not in the sense that Adrian meant, just the simple adding up and adding on of life. And as the poet pointed out, there is a difference between addition and increase.
Had my life increased, or merely added to itself? (...) There had been addition - and subtraction - in my life, but how much multiplication? And this gave me a sense of unease, of unrest."
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
I've been meaning to read this book for a while! Merry Christmas!