Julian Barnes: The Sense of an Ending

From The Telegraph:

Barnes1_1946309c 'The Sense of an Ending’, the disturbing new novel from Julian Barnes, is narrated by a man looking back on a lifetime of hope and remorse. In this exclusive extract, he grapples with his memories of a former friend – a charismatic figure who enters his life as a prodigious schoolboy and departs it with an act of chilling calculation. There were three of us, and he now made the fourth. We hadn’t expected to add to our tight number: cliques and pairings had happened long before, and we were already beginning to imagine our escape from school into life. His name was Adrian Finn, a tall, shy boy who initially kept his eyes down and his mind to himself.

For the first day or two, we took little notice of him: at our school there was no welcoming ceremony, let alone its opposite, the punitive induction. We just registered his presence and waited. The masters were more interested in him than we were. They had to work out his intelligence and sense of discipline, calculate how well he’d previously been taught, and if he might prove “scholarship material”. On the third morning of that autumn term, we had a history class with Old Joe Hunt, wryly affable in his three-piece suit, a teacher whose system of control depended on maintaining sufficient, but not excessive, boredom.

More here.