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5.0 out of 5 stars Ian McEwan short stories
Ian McEwan writes very clever, sharp commentary on modern life - these short stories are great for quotes. Book arrived fast and in excellent condition.
Published 18 months ago by Treval

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3.0 out of 5 stars Liked but not loved
This is a collection of seven short stories by Ian McEwan from 1978. The main theme that runs through the book is sex. The sexually activity is within the spectrum of kinky and depraved. However, it could also be looked upon as pornographic but without the titillation. What I mean by that is that most of the sex is suggested but not always described in great detail. But,...
Published 11 months ago by Christopher Sullivan


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3.0 out of 5 stars Liked but not loved, 30 Dec 2013
By 
Christopher Sullivan (edinburgh) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
This is a collection of seven short stories by Ian McEwan from 1978. The main theme that runs through the book is sex. The sexually activity is within the spectrum of kinky and depraved. However, it could also be looked upon as pornographic but without the titillation. What I mean by that is that most of the sex is suggested but not always described in great detail. But, it could be construed as pornographic simply due to whom and what is described as having the sex. There is sex between a man and a mannequin; between a woman and an ape and the wet dreams of a man that involve a pre-pubescent girl.
I tried so hard to not use the following adjectives to describe the book; `dark' and `disturbing' as I am sure they have been used many times to describe this set of short stories. However, it is almost impossible not to use the afore-mentioned adjectives as they perfectly describe two major aspects of the book.
I believe the book reflects Great Britain during 1977 and 1978. The country was beset with strikes, IRA bombings, political unrest, the `Winter of Discontent' was just around the corner, the gaining popularity of the Conservative party, (The Thatcher era was only a year away), and women's palpable fear of the Yorkshire Ripper. There is one story in the book of a dystopian future set in Great Britain. But attitudes to sex in the seventies were a bigger threat.
The seventies are seen by many historians as the decade that saw an explosion of promiscuity, abortion and pornography. The pill became widely used in the seventies and so it appeared as if everyone was having sex with anyone. Sex became recreational rather than perfunctory. But of course this sexual promiscuity had a dark (there is that word again) element; abortion, women scared to say no due to peer pressure or not wanting to appear repressed, increased illegitimacy and women losing their sense of autonomy. Many novels of the seventies depicted sexual violence such as `A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess.
In Ian McEwan's book of short stories the stories depict most of the male characters as unable to differentiate between lust and love. The male appendage for most of the male characters does most of the thinking leaving the brain in neutral like so many idling cars: the engine is running but the car is not moving.
In Between the Sheets is a perversely envisioned account of sex and in the male of the species. The stories articulate the era of the seventies and also resonate in the 21st century with the growth of the internet and continuing sexualisation of women and in particular young girls.

Originally published at[...]
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ian McEwan short stories, 6 Jun 2013
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Treval (Georgia, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
Ian McEwan writes very clever, sharp commentary on modern life - these short stories are great for quotes. Book arrived fast and in excellent condition.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The master, 14 Mar 2013
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This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
of the short story. I keep going back to Ian McEwan when I want to gift someone a book they can read in chunks. Ian McEwan is without doubt a skilled writer but if you haven't read his early short stories you really need to get this book and give it a go.
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48 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Would He Publish It Today, 4 Feb 2003
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taking a rest - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
"In Between The Sheets", was published in 1978 following two very highly prized and one award-winning book by Mr. McEwan. I have become a great admirer of his more recent work so; I had gone back to read some of his earliest published books including this collection of short stories. The book is physically small and brief at 153 pages, and what it contains even less of is substance.
Seven short stories are contained and only the last even begins to rise to the level of mildly interesting, but it too quickly dissolves in to a bit of trivia. When reading an early collection like this I often wonder if it was published to fill a demand for who was then a new hot sensation of a writer, and secondly would it ever see publication today? My guess is the first question would be answered as yes, and the second would be not a chance. Mr. McEwan has become a writer that has an international reputation as a very good author, it is deserved, and he has been honored repeatedly for his work. Nothing of the present author can be found in this book.
In the late 1970's or whenever these stories were read there were probably trendy bits of hip phrasing that would be used to describe and justify these stories. But as with most trends they lack substance and fade as quickly as they arrive. I suppose surreal could be applied to some of the tales, but others would have different ideas about bestiality as shared in the story, "Reflections of a Kept Ape". The story, "Pornography", has been played out so many times in real life that it fails to even mildly shock. "In Between The Sheets", the short story, is simply the nadir in a book of stories competing for descriptions of the most dysfunctional human behavior. I cannot say any more here as it would be unprintable no matter how it was phrased. But unlike some stories of its type is does not create any interest, and in that way is beautifully consistent with the balance of the collection.
I have spent as much time with Mr. McEwen's early works (3 books) that I will ever spend. I look forward to new work but backtracking to his earliest offerings has been unrewarding.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Collection, 25 Aug 2010
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Simon Savidge Reads "Simon" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
You can pretty much guess what this collection centres on from its title `In Between The Sheets' but rather than just a collection of stories based around sex and sexuality McEwan uses these themes to build a set of stories which are much more than that. `Reflections of a Kept Ape' is both a nod towards Darwin's views on evolution and also in a way looks at the ideas behind the Oedipus complex whist setting gorilla's in a house in the present day as neighbours of humans. The title story `In Between the Sheets' uses a young girl's sexual awakening to highlight the marriage breakdown of her parents. `Two Fragments: March 199-` starts with a slightly sexual theme, which it returns to later on, but is actually in fact about a dystopian future which McEwan was predicting could happen in the 1990's, this collection being published in 1978 and was a vision of London that I found quite harrowing yet most readable and quite fascinating.

Naturally in any collection there are some books which you instantly warm to and others you don't, in fact I think a collection in which you love every single story is a rare thing. Both `To and Fro' and `Psychopolis' I didn't really get and I think would need a re-read but I think that's more an issue with me as a reader and my understanding and what I took from them rather than them not being such good tales.

I was bowled over by two particular tales in this collection, bar the two mentioned in the paragraph above they all worked from me just two stood out particularly. `Dead As They Come' is a brilliant and comically dark tale of a man's obsession with a woman, only as you read on you realise the woman is not what you would first assume (I can almost guarantee its not what your guessing either) and leads to a melodramatic climax which has me gripped and starting the tale all over again.

The opening story `Pornography' (which I would have placed as the last tale because of its impact) is the tale of womanising O'Byrne and how he gets his comeuppance. In fact it's a rather feminist tale which I would direct any reader to read if they think McEwan is a male testosterone driven writer, which he can be on occasion I admit. That particular story is one that had a rather wince inducing (if you are a man) twist in its tail that I really wasn't expecting.

In fact I think I would direct both people who already love McEwan and haven't read this collection along with people who think they don't like McEwan to `In Between The Sheets'. This was his fifth fiction outing and I do like the darkness in his earlier work, and have taken `The Cement Garden' off the shelves for a re-read, and this is brimming with it. It also shows glimmers of where he took his writing afterwards. A very interesting collection indeed.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazon lives up to its high standards ......as always!, 25 Aug 2013
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This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
Deliver time was excellent; sent to Ireland.
Used condition of book was excellent.
To be read yet, currently added to Ian McEwan collection!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I don't get it..., 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
Having read some of McEwan's work before I really thought this book would be interesting as it covered a topic I study at University (The Sexual Revolution in Britain) and thought that this book might explore a 20th century take on this topic. I was wrong. The stories rarely had what I would consider an ending and when they did they were often unsatisfying. The opening story was the best.

This might be a good book and maybe the plots have just gone over my head, but I'm not sure that is the case, in general the stories seemed nonsensical and a bit pointless.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars kindle version typos, 26 Jan 2011
This is a great book - I enjoyed the print version when first published and I am enjoying my kindle version too, my first Kindle purchase. However, the kindle version has some odd features. More than once the word 'the' appears to be replaced by the word 'die' (i presume this is German 'the' rather than end of life). Kindle - can you explain?
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Revolting, 23 May 2013
When I saw Ian McEwan's name I decided I could rely on a good read. On the contrary, I promptly returned it as I found it most offensive. I am pleased to say that Amazon kindly refunded the cost without query.
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17 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful collection of short stories, 14 Nov 2000
This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
The modern version of Dickens, Ian McEwan has once again demonstrated his complete mastery of English with this wonderful collection of short stories. Satirical and sometimes scary, this book is an enthralling read.
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In Between the Sheets
In Between the Sheets by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 5 Jun 1997)
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