Julian Barnes has won the 2011 Man Booker Prize for The Sense of an Ending — and this year’s jury has salvaged its reputation with the decision. The novel was my favorite by far; my review is here but make sure you go into the comments to see how widespread the approval was for Barnes’ novel.
The Sense of an Ending is a slim, but powerful book. A strange bequest takes Tony Webster into his schooldays past and awakens memories that involve both that past and the present. Some readers found that ambiguity disturbing — I thought Barnes captured the uncertainty that Tony experienced as the process unfolded.
As much as I would have loved to see a Canadian winner (both Esi Edugyan for Half Blood Blues and Patrick deWitt for The Sisters Brothers were on the shortlist) they still have their chance as both are shortlisted for Canada’s three literary prizes — stay tuned here to see how they fare.
If you check the sidebar on the right, you’ll find links to reviews of 12 of the 13 Booker longlisted titles.