Monday, 7 April 2008


Ian McEwan

This is simply an excellent book. It doesn't go in for any special literary tricks, there's no special effort to make some obvious point: it's a really good story, told very well. There's some intimations of other layers, but feel free to ignore those. One thing that this book does pull off is an unsympathetic main character who I actually managed to not hate in the end. I didn't want to hurl the book across the room; always a worthwhile achievement.

A couple of points: I always find it vaguely amusing to see novelist characters in books written by professional novelists; even the best write what they know. The characterisation and the imagery are what really grabbed me. I was there on that hot, summer day in 1935. I knew Robbie Turner, and I knew Cecilia?Tallis.

There is much that could be said about the effect of fantasy and the blurry line between a clearly seen artificial vision and reality, especially in relation to the powerful imagery that provides this story.

But instead, I'll just say this is a great novel, read.

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