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» One Touch Football - Archive » Books » So, Chesil Beach, then

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Author Topic: So, Chesil Beach, then
Purves Grundy
Member # 698

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Not quite a stunning return to form after the disappointment of Saturday (which read like one of his "trying to be Milan Kundera" mid 80s efforts), but a very good read nevertheless.

Usual excellences are there - the incredibly evocative language, done incredibly economically. There's no stylistic showboating, just a complete command of the language. His ability to make real-seeming characters out of a few traits and tics is always astonishing. With any other writer the two principals would have come across as washed-out watercolour sketches.

One thing that sets this book apart from his usual stuff is that he clearly views teh protagonists with great kindliness and sympathy. They are both victims of an utterly banal domestic tragedy, but one that happens at just such a time and place as to be shattering.

And there are enough evocative "darkened underpass" moments that almost every reader will at some point be left cringing and driving their fingernails into their palms.

Definitely worth getting, especially if you can find one of the half price offers around at the moment.

Posts: 7499 | From: A Gun | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Rogin the Armchair fan
Member # 683

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One day Ian McEwan's going to write a novel where everyone's actually quite happy, frankly, and does nothing more extraordinary than submit their jam to the annual village summer fair.

Of course then Iain Banks will turn up and point out that their jam was poisoned, and they're all dead, but only continue to exist in the mind of the 16-year-old protagonist of his novel.

Posts: 15858 | From: this corner of the bar you can only see half of the big screen | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 675

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Just finished listening to this on audiobook.

I can Yousendit to anyone that's interested in hearing it (123mb total, mp3 format).

Posts: 16877 | From: Gobias Industries | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 219

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I just read this recently as well.

McEwan is always worth reading, and this one is no exception, though I felt it was rather minor. It is pretty vivid and memorable at the moment.

One thing that definitely annoyed me was his habit of saying things like "at this time, one couldn't" or "in the future this would not be the case". We know what things were like then and what they are like now, give us some credit!

Posts: 6506 | From: I hear New Zealand is nice | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 107

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think its brevity was its strong point...its a deliberately slight story which writers other than McEwan may have been tempted to pad out and add a further 150 unecessary pages...

dont agree with Matej...the protagonist was writing with the benefit of telling his tale in 2007..McEwan evocatively conjured up images of 1962 that I would never have considered...

Posts: 3315 | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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