Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes
Posted by Sterling on 15/2/2012, 22:24:14, in reply to "Re: Sense of and Ending - Julian Barnes"
I'm sorry that your friend from the other group didn't care for The Sense of an Ending. I suppose the numbered objections are intended to be amusing. I wasn't amused. If he didn't like it, he didn't like it. But I don't think he's very close to the mark. |
"Street cred" from Donovan's A gift from a flower to a garden? Obviously, he must be a kid. If you're old enough to understand the reference, you're old enough to remember that that particular box set was a joke at the time. The ultimate in hippy-dippy drivel. The detail is inserted to indicate uncoolness and bourgeois taste.
If he's ever talked to an over-60 reading group, he would know how conservative they tend to be. The ladies I see who are in senior circle book clubs like Water for Elephants or The Help. They would hate The Sense of an Ending.
And, news flash, as an over-60 myself, I can tell you that I most certainly did not identify with anyone in the book. Guillermo is correct in his assessment of how unlikeable characters tend to be in the modern literary novel.
Jokes? Did you read any jokes? What jokes? I don't think I even smiled while reading this.
"A satisfactory tying up of loose ends?" I think we're pretty bright over here at ReadLit, and we're all still trying to figure out what the heck happened in this novel, what with the hidden plot and unreliable narrator. I think there are frayed ends everywhere in this book. Indeed, the unreliability of memory is the theme of this novel!
Odd that he finds no "literary cleverness" here. Barnes is a recognized master of the non-linear novel. His literary sleight of hand is visible everywhere in The Sense of an Ending.
Does it deserve the Booker prize? I certainly don't know. I think it was better than The Inheritance of Loss, though, a Booker prize winner by a thirty-something woman of color!
: One of my friends on LibraryThing just finished reading
: The Sense of an Ending, and while he said it was a
: good book of its kind, he couldn't believe that there
: weren't other, meatier books deserving of the Booker
: Prize. (Of course, the entire shortlist was heavily
: criticized for being too influenced by
: readability=marketability.) This is, in part, what he
: Just what was the selection criteria used by the Man
: Booker panel? I can only suppose it was something like
: 1) A well respected previously nominated author with
: at least ten published novels
: 2) A novel that can be read at one sitting, is not too
: heavy to read in bed and is under 150 pages long
: 3) Subject matter that would appeal to an over 60
: reading group that is well represented on the judging
: panel - J B's novel is perfect with its reflections on
: the passing of time and its nostalgia for times past
: 4) A final twist and a satisfactory tying up of loose
: ends so that the reader gets a sense of fulfilment
: when finishing.
: 5) It must be witty at all times with a couple of good
: jokes and any aphorisms should be repeated to ensure
: they hit the mark
: 6) There must be a time shift in the novel as its well
: known that most novels today have at least two parts.
: 7) There ought to be some cultural references - J B
: scores highly here with his naming of Donovan's A gift
: from a flower to a garden. This shows good taste and
: some 60's street cred.
: 8) Any difficult words or Latin phrases should be
: fully explained in the text, the reader should not be
: troubled with the chore of looking things up.
: 9) The novel must be well written with no annoying
: intertextuality or stylistic unevenness.
: 10) There should be no hint of experimentation,
: literary cleverness or any of that post modernism
: 11) Unwritten criteria - A white male author over 60
: would be acceptable to all panel members.
Message Thread | Skip to this response ↓|