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Chris Blocker

Literary snobbery and other thoughts by Chris Blocker

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Visible Empire
Hannah Pittard
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Robertson Davies
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The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes

Julian Barnes' latest, The Sense of an Ending, is a quiet novella of intrigue.  It is captivating for its equal share of simplicity and suspense.  Its tension is built on a subtle feeling that something is not right.  From early pages it is clear that Barnes' narrator is unreliable and that his perspective of events may be ajar.  Barnes frequently delves into philosophy and psychology without losing track of the story.  The language is sparse; the author does nothing in excess.

The unrest builds throughout the work until the last few pages.  Unfortunately what has been created in the reader's mind is likely a better conclusion than Barnes' own, and this is the novella's greatest problem.  It's a disappointing final few pages, but everything that lead up to those made the journey well worth it.