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62 Reviews
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Macabre but brilliant
`The Comfort of Strangers', McEwan's second novel was published at a time when this bright new talent was causing controversy and had been christened Ian Mcabre by critics shocked by the brutality of his themes and his fearless exploration of dark, previously taboo subjects such as incest, sadomasochism and child abduction. With its theme of unhealthy homoerotic obsession...
Published on 15 Jun. 2007 by Eleanor Fitzsimons

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully written and shockingly haunting...
Being an Ian McEwan fan I couldn't wait to read this. It only took me one sitting and as always was very readable and totally engrossing - causing mounting fear and tension like only McEwan knows how to, with nothing in particular happening but an increasing sensation that something is about to (how does he do that?!). The book is set in Venice which adds to the calm...
Published on 28 Jan. 2006 by Shimsham


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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dark, captivating, 31 Oct. 2010
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
I have read most of Ian McEwan's books and found this one typical of his style, with a macabre atmosphere to the storyline. Although it is dark and disturbing I found it captivating. The style of writing makes you want to read on. The descriptions of Venice portray creepy, narrow streets between the brighter tourist ones.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 8 May 2009
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A. Searle (Hertfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
I was not expecting this book to be as dark as it was. I read it on the plane to Italy and it stuck in my head for the durration. Very dark.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OTT, 21 Oct. 2008
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
Weird, obscene, absurd, might be over the top to describe this quick throw away tale. A meagre offering perhaps, though a page turner without the oomph. Take heed, be extra vigilant on foreign shores. Be careful, be very careful. Hey it's just a little story.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A taut, gripping one-sitting read, 1 Jun. 2000
By 
Tony Jackson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
McEwan never wastes his words and this masterful novella is no exception.
vivid descriptions of all charaters and locations mean you can clearly visualise the action.
Cramming into 130 pages what others would stretch to 300, he plays with you as tension builds then is released - but all along something is telling you that all is not going to turn out well.
I'd rate it up with Amsterdam and The Innocent as his best works.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Comfort of Strangers., 1 Sept. 2013
By 
Susan M. Moursi (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
An avid reader of Ian McEwan - can't put a foot wrong in my book! Great reading at a Great price. - Thank you Amazon
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A book full of subliminal tension, with a shocking climax., 22 Feb. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
Having enjoyed Enduring Love, I was keen to read more by Ian McEwan. The Comfort of Strangers is another book full of tension, although this is always under the surface, hinted at but not really definable. Several times whilst reading the book I felt that that tension was built up but came to nothing. I was afraid that the book would end in a similar way and be a big disappointment. But no! The climax was sudden and shocking. I was left feeling quite stunned
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I'm not sure that I liked this book!, 16 Nov. 2012
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J. H. Mccarthy "Rex Glevi" (Gloucester, UK) - See all my reviews
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I have a bit of a mental seize with this book as I can't quite make up my mind whether I liked it or not. In fact I'm not sure one way or the other whether I actually like this author's other books but there must be something as I keep buying them and have read almost all of his output. Maybe it's a bit like Bob Dylan....you keep hoping that the next one will do the trick!

Anyway, this book didn't take long to read (more of a novella) and had some curious twists but in the end I just didn't get it. I can't say that I disliked it but I just don't know. What I can say is that I have turned the story over in my mind since reading as it is a rather haunting story and I have tried to make sense of it.

Would I recommend this book? On balance I think that I would, and other readers quite clearly have enjoyed it, so give it a go.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful written but..., 1 Nov. 2010
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
The 2nd McEwan novella that I have read and equally as depressing... You'd think I would have learned after the first one.

Paint a picture of an (unnamed) Venice which is alien and unpleasant, not at all the romantic city of its reputation. I have to say that - after visiting Venice last year - I concur with the author's opinion. This is a portrait of a relationship which is floundering against a background of mostly only hinted-at violence; once again his writing is beautiful, but once again a very bleak impression of humanity is given.

I had been told that this had an unpleasant twist so it wasn't unexpected for me. However, I thought that it had the potential to be much more than it turned out to be. In then end my main reaction was: "what a nasty little book". I didn't get anything else out of it, which, given the quality of the writing, is a shame.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it, 12 Feb. 2010
By 
V. Mcghee "v. mcghee" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
I, Lewis McGhee, dont often read. i am 17.

After asking my english teacher for a book to read over the current short break (7 days), he recomended this book.
From the first page, this book had me hooked. its setting is easily related to by most people - pretty much any european city you want it to be : balconies from most buildings, loads of small cafes, plenty allyways and ofcourse, wine and weed!
The story is very easy to relate to and believe. this is what makes this novel so powerfull.
Although this book is very short (100 pages exactly), it should be read by anyone. it did not need to be any longer.

.....just read it
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars not bad, but not one of his best, 12 July 2010
This review is from: The Comfort Of Strangers (Paperback)
Ian McEwan always writes beautifully and always manages to create an eerie atmosphere: even when there's not much happening in the storyline or even if there's a pleasant enough atmosphere on the surface there's always a sense that something is about to go horribly wrong.

Both the characters and the storyline were "thinner" than usual (and I don't mean that in the quantitative sense!)

Overall, not bad but my feeling is that McEwan has written much better.
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The Comfort Of Strangers
The Comfort Of Strangers by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 5 Jun. 1997)
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