The Sense of an Ending - Julian Barnes ***SPOILERS!!!***This is the first book I read from this author and despise the glowing reviews of his other books I just can’t bring myself to take the risk to give Julian Barnes another chance. I found the first part dull and thought that the author was droning a bit and his use of “clever” and sophisticated words was a bit too much. There were few parts in the book that didn’t bring any value into the story i.e.. clarify, enrich etc.I found Veronica an unrealistic character. Yes, she might have been difficult, unattainable, when she was young, and that was maybe due to the period the story took place, lack of sexual education, repression etc. But what I really think went wrong with Veronica and Tony was the lack of communication. It looks like these two people weren’t capable of having a proper conversation in their twenties and nothing has changed much in their sixties. If Veronica wasn’t that much into Tony and was over him long time ago, why did she bother on keeping him on suspense forty years later? If the diary was in her possession and she had no intention of handing it over to Tony, then why tease him with photocopied parts of it, why bother arranging to meet him and then not giving much away? “You just don’t get it!” needs only a good “Just Bloody TELL ME then!”. Forty years is a long time to resent someone. If anything, we know that time heels, but for all Tony’s rambling about being over Victoria a long time ago, i can’t see the point of his “annoying” emails or understand how he treated the meetings with Victoria.OK, lets presume for a moment that Victoria is unhinged and never recovered from the betrayal of her mother and her boyfriend, but how about her brother Jack, couldn’t he just said something, I mean he did bother to respond to the first email and provide contact details for his sister.Ex-wife Margaret, divorced Tony twenty years ago, mainly due to his dullness and being pedantic, by Tony’s own admission not much has changed, so why this clearly intelligent woman is still wasting her time with him to only drop him again with “you’re on your own”?The story got promisingly intriguing on the second part and I was hoping that it will progress to a good read, but lots of things don’t make sense in this book, the characters are not believable, and therefore it went nowhere. It would have liked to have read more of Adrian’s diary, or even better getting to know Veronica’s side of the story.It was mentioned by the mother that Adrian’s last months were happy. Was he having an affair with The Mother, did he split up with Veronica, nothing makes much sense…Most of the reviewers don’t like Tony and somehow blame him for the way things have turned out. It was after all because of his poisonous letter that Adrian got involved with The Mother, got her pregnant and committed suicide!I don’t think so. All the people involved were grown ups, with their own mind and for Veronica to still blame Tony after all these years is far fetched. If that were the case she should have joined Adrian or ended in a mental hospital.I think the choice of (or lack of)ending was deliberate and that’s why this book stands out from the other mediocre books.PS.New Review I've changed the rating from 3 stars to 4, I could give 4.5.It's been days since I finished reading this book and the initial feeling of let down and "bleh" has been replaced with the wanting of trying to make sense and understand what did I miss.On one of the various forums reviewing this book it was mentioned that Adrian was not real, but Tony's alter ego.Adrian was real, otherwise how would you explain the photo of all of them together, with Veronica slightly turned toward Adrian.It was on that day that Tony started to feel jealous or admit to himself that he was jealous of both of them.He was always jealous of Adrian and had put him on a pedestal, Adrian was everything that Tony wasn't, he was everything that Tony aspired tobe. That's why he let Veronica go, he felt he was no competition, and that's why Veronica got upset with him.There are few theories out there, one of them is that Tony did have some kind of sexual encounter with Sarah (Mrs Ford, or The Mother).That could explain the horizontal wave at the end of the weekend (some say that was a joke on her part on the "wanking"). As when and how thishappened we are left in the dark. It could have been in his bedroom, soon after Veronica kissed and teased him, the mother could have gone after her and caught him masturbating over the sink. She could have spent the night with Tony (after all her husband was a drunk) and that explain that the rest of the family went out for a walk the next morning and left him behind. I feel that this is a clue, why would it otherwise feature in the opening of the book?Years later, when Veronica talks about her mother, she says that Sarah over the years took in young lodgers, even though she didn't need the money. This could be because she liked toy boys.By writing the poisonous letter, Tony somehow gave Adrian the idea to speak to Veronica's mother.We can't blame Tony for Adrian and Sarah bedding each other, this could have happened eventually.Why did Sarah left the money to Tony? To thank him for bring Adrian to her life or for letting him know after her death of Adrian Jr'sexistence? But why would Veronica be so upset with Tony after all these years, did she just found out about Tony's involvement with her mother, after reading the diary?But just shouting repeatedly "You just don't get it, you never did and you never will" doesn't clarify anything for us and doesn't help Tonyremember or understand anything either.What doesn't he get? That she was abused (or damaged as Tony put it in that letter), was she angry with him for being so self-absorbed andnever asking her. And with her father, mother and Adrian dead she had no one else to blame but Tony. Still doesn't make sense, it was fortyyears ago, unless she's unhinged. We don't know much about her, what happened with her studies, what did she achieve in her life, was shemarried, did she have any children? All these are left blank, for Tony and us to fill in. But Tony is so self -absorbed he doesn't ask andthat what's so frustrating. All he's interested in, is how to get one over Veronica, "treating her like the insurance people", pestering herwith emails and small talk in the car while she's driving.I found this part of the book unrealistic and hard to believe. Was he really over her? Did this failed relationship affect his future ones?Tony seems to believe that he's not in love with Veronica.But few days after I finished the book, I have been thinking a lot about the plot. Yes it's not realistic, but we mustn't forget that this is Tonytelling the story, and after all he hasn't proved himself to be a reliable narrator, not only forgetting parts of the history buttwisting and telling them from his point of view. He is not interested in other people's feelings, drama, lives...afterall he's Tony thepacifist, Tony who goes for the easy and uncomplicated life.There is a brief mentioning of two suicides again, but this time Tony somehow manages to bring Adrian back down from the pedestal. Howeverdifferent the circumstances, Adrian's suicide, his way of dealing with the obstacles in life, was pretty much the same as Robert's, verycoward and "unsophisticated". This is the only time that I felt Tony somehow "grew" (matured). Is this the start of the new Tony, the end ofthe old one?I really don't know, the more I think about the book, the more I think I start to understand, the more questions I get.If you take all the philosophical meanings, loose ends, there is not much of a plot or not much that hasn't been told in other books.But somehow this book got under my skin and had me thinking and searching the internet days after I finished. I'm not at peace, I needanswers!I do realise now why this book won the Man Booker Prize.Let's hope Mr Barnes will one day put an end to our miseries and ties up the loose ends.But somehow I don't think this is going to happen anytime soon....