Julian Barnes' novel addresses issues of mortality. An unexpected and inexplicable bequest leads 60-something Tony Webster to revisit his schooldays. Tony and a couple of friends are typical geeky, sex-preoccuped teens in the repressed 1950s. A new boy, Adrian Finn, joins their clique. Adrian's intelligence is noted and recognized by his teachers and he is looked up to by his fellow students.The boys are a close knit group until they go off to various universities and lose touch with each other.
Adrian begins a relationship with Tony Webster's difficult ex-girfriend, Veronica. He asks Tony's permission to continue and Tony gives him a bitter and sarcastic go-ahead. Adrian kills himself. Years later Tony, whose life has been disappointing, is forced to question what led to Adrian's suicide.
Details are left out. We know only what Tony wants us to know but is Tony someone whose memory can be relied on?
This is a slim novel but is written with a lot of depth. I recommend it.