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313 Reviews
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85 of 90 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive and sad
This short book is a sensitive exploration of the consequences of thoughts not spoken and actions that are misunderstood. The fears and uncertainties at the centre of the novella might seem incomprehensible to younger readers, although deep down they may be as prevalent today as they were in the '50s and '60s.

As with all good short stories, the book is a...
Published on 17 Mar 2008 by Suzie

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Would have made a good short story
On Chesil Beach is the first Ian McEwan book I've read. In it he describes a newly married couple's relationship and their struggle to culminate their wedding vows. McEwan maps their relationship up to their marriage: how their intimacy evolved, how they came to love each other, how personal taboos result in their inevitable repulsion.

Mostly, McEwan's prose...
Published on 27 Mar 2009 by Mr. S. D. Halliday


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7 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Short and very average, 15 Sep 2007
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
This is a very short novella. It can be read in a couple of hours but you are likely to be left with a slightly unpleasant aftertaste and probably a wish you have utilised the 2 hours to more worthwhile pursuits.

The 2 main characters are shallow and never fully developed. At times I felt that Edward was an attempt at an alter ego for the author and by then end convinced this was the case. As with all McEwan books they are well written but slightly vacuous in a very nice pseudo-intelligent middle class sort of way. Whilst I am glad I have read it, I would be horrified if it ended up winning the Booker prize.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars very disappointing, 17 May 2008
This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Paperback)
I've enjoyed most of McEwan's work, and thought Atonement was outstanding, but this failed to deliver. It really felt quite shoddy. If it had been written by someone else I wouldn't have had high expectations, but as it is it felt like McEwan couldn't be bothered. The language felt clumsy, and I didn't believe in the characters let alone empathise with them. I was also irritated by the fact that a couple of facts in the book were plain wrong - for example, about National Service which would have been pahsed out before Edward as eligible for it.

Having said all the above, I thought the subject itself was interesting and there were times when I could relate to the situation, but the chararcters let it down. It could have been so much more than it was, there was a lot there that could have been explored. This is one case where I think "less is more" definitely doesn't apply.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Far from his best, 10 May 2008
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Paperback)
I think I have read all of McEwan's work, so obviously I am a fan. However I found it rather disappointing. It is still very readable, but really not up to the standard that McEwan has set.

Although very short, I found most of the book a little laboured - taking too long to get through a relatively small amount of plot. And then suddenly he covers forty years in a few pages, which is rather bizarre.

If, like me, you like McEwan's work you will probably read it anyway. If so, don't set your expectations so high as his better work and you will probably enjoy this as a mediocre work.

If you have not read McEwan before, I suggest you start elsewhere. "Enduring Love", "Atonement" and "The Cement Garden" are all excellent.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars what more can i say.... Ian McEwan, 28 Oct 2007
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Gemma Ford "gem" (antrim) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
I have yet to read any of Ian McEwan's books and be disappointed. I held off and held off buying this book until i was going on holiday.... all i can say its not a book to read while sunbathing.... i had it finished in one afternoon (and got burnt!!) . I could not put it down.... fantastically written with twists and turns that keep you turning the pages!! It leaves you thinking as all his books do..... if only they had....!!

amazing read.... i would encourage anyone of any age to read this or any other of Ian McEwan's masterpieces.
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Did I read a different book, 11 Dec 2007
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M. Johnson "Hunter" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
Well written but pointless. I kept waiting for it to start. Did I read a different book to the other reviewers?
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, 11 Dec 2007
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Ms. Nc Calvert "Nic74" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
I was really looking forward to McEwans latest and wasn't disappointed. I found it easier to read that his previous novels. It's very short book, and it left me wanting more. Not because it felt unfinished, it didn't. But because he explained so beautifully how Edward and Florence came to be where they were on that evening and I wanted more of this. The ending left me feeling contemplative, and I felt change, if only slightly, my outlook on life and on those close to me. If a book can do this, I can't ask for more.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What an incredible book, 13 Oct 2007
This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
What an incredible book. Once you start reading it, you won't be able to set it down. I even got yelled at by my boss for reading the book on company time. I've read it 4 times and each time is like the first time. There is alot of information to process so get ready be blown away.
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8 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars So familiar - sadly, 6 April 2007
By 
M.I. "migoe" (Newcastle, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
I'm of the same vintage, married when still virginal, as was my now ex-wife. 'Ex' largely because of her upbringing in a family who considered sex repellent, not to mention unthinkable pregnancy. Together, we were happy and content, but personal interference on that issue destroyed her mentally and she disappeared. I've remained unattached in the three decades since. This was the legacy of attitudes, still insisted on by some, to the '60s, supposedly the liberated or 'permissive' decade. The more it's mentioned, even in novel form, the better the chance we'll avoid such hideous outcomes in the future, nature represented as evil.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 29 Jan 2009
This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Hardcover)
I was so dissappointed with this book.I couldn't wait to finish it.It was a long drawn out account of an unfortunate couples problem.A walk on Chesil Beach? I wanted to jump in my canoe and paddle out to sea.I didn't enjoy Saturday either.I guess he's just not for me.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 26 July 2014
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This review is from: On Chesil Beach (Paperback)
Great
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On Chesil Beach
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 3 Jan 2008)
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