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3.5 out of 5 stars270
3.5 out of 5 stars
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on 15 May 2003
If you enjoyed Atonement, I think you will enjoy this, though in my opinion this is not of the same calibre.
After the first few chapters, I started to fear this story had a predictable ending, but I wasn't quite right. There's a lot of thought-provoking stuff, and it certainly gripped me pretty much from the first page. The ending disappointed slightly but in a way I can't really expain without blowing it.
Whatever else, the writing is really good, the human emotions and thoughts well-observed (in typical McKewan style) and I do recommend the novel. If you haven't read Atonement, however, I recommend that more....
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on 24 October 2001
I'm gonna assume that by now you've probably got a fairly good handle on the plot, having scrolled through fifty-odd reviews already, and so I shall congratulate you on your dedication (or boredom) and not bore you further with a dedicated plot summary. In brief note form, I think:
-The science stuff is great! From what I can work out, it's pretty much accurate, as far as current beliefs run, but that's the whole point, isn't it? Whether you're a deeply religious science-hater, or an atheist who wants solid facts supported by extensive proof, it all comes down to faith in the end. It should make you question faith in cynical reason as much as faith in unreasoned feeling and intuition.
-The writing is also great! Not too dry (for something written from the point of view of someone with a scientific background, even if it is merely science-writing), certainly not over-the-top flowery, but descriptive and thoughtful.
-Good pace, good length. I read it over a couple of days, and didn't feel rushed. My only complaint is that around three-quaters of the way through I began to feel that the story wasn't shaping up to be quite as good as I'd hoped from the first chapter.
-Question: did anyone else note something Clarrisa said about half way through in reference to the handwriting on the letters from Jed, and think that maybe the story was going to go all Fight Club on us?
-Buy it.
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on 13 September 2008
Not having read any other of his books, I don't know how others rate, but I'm not rushing to find out ofter this painful experience. This story features a frustrated writer desperate to get back to real science, written by an author who tries to come across as scientific (see the appendix which attempts to justufy the ludicrous plot). Alongside the anti-religion tirade, this just feels far too autobiographical to be set as a novel.

And the (disconnected) leaps in the plot go far beyond a credible novel. Probably trying to be too clever, and cram in too many disconnected ideas, I'm afraid McEwan fails to pull it off (or pull it all together) in this book.
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on 26 June 2002
The opeing of 'Enduring Love' is highly acclaimed for good reason. McEwan introduces the narrator, Joe Rose, through his detailed and thrilling description of a ballooning accident which has many unforseen concequences and grabs your attention from the first sentence. Joe's life descends into turmoil as he harrassed by Jed Parry and begins to question every aspect of his existance. Whilst McEwan's writing is convincing and raises intresting issues including the preception of the mentally ill, it lacks real emotion and is at times fustrating. Arguably only middel-aged men with an intrest in science will relate fully to Joe. From a female perpective he is arrogent, narrow-minded and to consumed by his own self-doubt to consider the other characters. For instance, to the mentally ill Parry he comments, 'how can I forgive when your mad?' Yet if there was any reason to understand and forgive Parry, Joe just said it. For those not intrested in science, the large amount of scientific explanation and text leaves little to be desired. Having said that, 'Enduring Love' is a compelling novel which, love or hate Joe, has to be read cover to cover. It doesn't appeal to all and if you want an emotional, compasionate book steer well clear of this one. Other wise my advice is try it for yourself, there is no other book like it.
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on 26 July 2006
I read Enduring Love for an English Lit 'A' Level paper and found it to be an amazing book from the very start. The themes of science and religion make this tale of obsession, love and everyday life a deep and complex read. As I was studying the novel I read it about four times and I never grew tired of it. I found new and deeper meanings with every read.

The film does no justice to this tale, it ruins it, despite the excellent casting of Rhys Ifans. My advice to any student 'Don't skip the book and watch the film, its a very different version of events'.
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on 12 June 2001
I'm studying this novel for my A-levels so I've got to know the book and characters very well. It's a very strange storyline and I've read it so many times that I know it inside out. Although I found it strange, it was extremely gripping and I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to find out what was happening so I just HAD to turn the page. I find Jed's behaviour very unusual but i sort of feel sorry for him. My feelings about him change throughout the novel. I probably wouldn't have read it if it wasn't compulsory, but I'm glad I was forced into it!!!!
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on 18 August 2005
This book has one of the most enthralling opening sequences I've ever read (unfortunately given away in the Amazon review). Right from the start, I found myself thinking, "What would I do?".
As the reader, we see things from Joe's point of view, particularly Jed's inexplicable obsession with him. We're meant to identify with Joe of course but then find ourselves doubting him as he becomes as obsessed as Jed himself.
The book highlights the importance of the choices we make and the (sometimes devastating) consequences that can result from seemingly unimportant decisions. McEwan has that rare gift of not only being a talented writer but also conjuring up a decent plot in the first place. Some of the reviews have criticised him for writing about "pretentious" upper middle class people. That is unfair: very few people seem to write about the educated middle classes - I probably fall into that category and they seem very realistic to me.
I urge you to try this book and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
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on 22 December 2009
Really enjoyed the book. Beautiful writing. I wonder that the problem might not have been solved sooner if only Joe had confided in Clarissa a bit more. Of course if that had happened then it wouldn't be a story, would it?
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on 11 December 2000
Fantastic's the calm nature of McEwan's writing that gets you, when the content itself is tense, anxious and occasionally horrifying. Worth sticking with and letting the tension build up - don't skip any of it.
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on 3 March 2009
I am an A-Level student forced to read Enduring Love as part of my coursework, and can safely say (with an opinion shared by my classmates) that this book is the quite simply the [second] worst book ever written. And I include in this the script for the film 'Elf'.
Perhaps someone determined to die of boredom would be attracted to this novel (and in this case, I would fully recomend Anne Tyler's 'Digging To America'), or someone with a frankly disturbing fetish for extraneously complex and elaborate sentences (see, it's annoying, isn't it!)
- The punchline is: AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!
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