The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Barnes is masterful. Stories of middle-aged men don't usually interest me, but this one did because I remember liking Flaubert's Parrot a long time ago, even though I didn't understand some of it. Perhaps my memory is as faulty as Tony Webster's.
"In those days, we imagined ourselves as being kept in some kind of holding pen, waiting to be released into our lives. And when that moment came, our lives--and time itself--would speed up. How were we to know that our lives had in any case begun, that some advantage had already been gained, some damage already inflicted? Also, that our release would only be into a larger holding pen, whose boundaries would be at first undiscernable." p.10
"Still, as I tend to repeat, I have some instinct for survival, for self-preservation. And believing you have such an instinct is as good as actually having it, because it means you act in the same way. So, after a while, I rallied. p.143
I read this book in two sittings: it is brief, but not light. The narrator reflects at one point that life isn't all it's cracked up to be. Still, it beats the alternative.
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