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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasty? Maybe. Uplifting? YES!
I have not before submitted any online reviews to Amazon, but I felt compelled to do so in this case for two reasons. Firstly, because I found it a truly masterful piece of fiction, and secondly, in order to answer those reviewers who have labelled the book "nasty" and insinuated that it is offers a purely pessimistic view of the world.
Much has been made of the...
Published on 13 Dec 2002 by Greedo

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars starts well but............
Not what you'd call a huge fan of Mr McEwan but I enjoyed Saturday and Atonement. So I picked this up expecting a lot, especially when I read the sleeve quotes.
After a very good start full of potential I felt that this went right off track- becoming less credible and convincing. By the time I reached the point where he dug up an old aquaintance to supply him with a...
Published on 23 April 2010 by J. Wilkie


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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nasty? Maybe. Uplifting? YES!, 13 Dec 2002
By 
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
I have not before submitted any online reviews to Amazon, but I felt compelled to do so in this case for two reasons. Firstly, because I found it a truly masterful piece of fiction, and secondly, in order to answer those reviewers who have labelled the book "nasty" and insinuated that it is offers a purely pessimistic view of the world.
Much has been made of the first chapter of the book, and rightly so, but I would draw attention to the final chapter, for it was this part which left me breathless. It is also here that McEwan answers the conundrum that he set us in the title of his book. Is he saying that love is a nuisance - an affliction that we must endure? Or is his message that love can endure whatever hardships are placed before it?
If you finished reading after the penultimate chapter, then the message would clearly be the former. However, in the beautifully written conclusion, McEwan offers us a feeling of redemption, offering hope to each of the relationships in the novel which feature mutual affection, and hence ending on an optimistic note. The very last line made my heart miss a beat.
In addition to this neat trick, McEwan also displays perception and empathy of the highest order - qualities that for me seem to be found in all the most accomplished authors, and not easy when writing about both men, women, children, and, erm, psychopaths. The characters in the novel are believable, and seem like living, breathing entities rather than merely being shards of the authors own ego.
So, nasty? Well, yes. The world can be a ugly place, and thus McEwan does not shirk from documenting this. But, ultimately, uplifting. Love, McEwan is saying, can endure. Indeed, true love will. A positive message, and an outstanding novel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars starts well but............, 23 April 2010
By 
J. Wilkie "Captain Pantoja" (West of Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
Not what you'd call a huge fan of Mr McEwan but I enjoyed Saturday and Atonement. So I picked this up expecting a lot, especially when I read the sleeve quotes.
After a very good start full of potential I felt that this went right off track- becoming less credible and convincing. By the time I reached the point where he dug up an old aquaintance to supply him with a gun I was cringeing and simply had to stop reading- it simply felt false and phoney.
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59 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and constructed, 1 Dec 2004
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
Enduring Love is one of Ian McEwan's finest works. It is
also one of the most beautifully written and emotionally
engaging books to have come out of Britain in the past
decade. Fans of McEwan familiar with his superb wartime
novel, Atonement, will enjoy Enduring Love very much.
The novel focuses on love and obsession and the factors
that drive us and how we perceive ourselves through the prism
of our relationships in the modern world.
The story also renders a nuanced expose of the stalking
phenomenon and is constructed in such a way as to encourage
the reader to ponder whether the central character Joe
is imagining the stalking he seems to be undergoing.
An informed and well written dissection of this modern
phenomenon complete with the usual McEwan themes of love, loss
and beautiful prose.
I enjoyed this novel and found it an excellent companion piece
to Atonement. I must admit I prefer McEwan in this form
than to his enjoyable but farcical Booker-prize winning romp, Amsterdam. I would also encourage fans of the recent film
starring Daniel Craig and Samantha Morton to read the novel
as it differs in some regards from the film, which is
also excellent, though the medium lacks the same narrative
scope.
Perhaps Britain's finest novelist today.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best!, 30 Aug 2000
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
I purchased this book on the whim and recommendation of a magazine withouteven reading the reverse to dicover its subject matter. I had no idea that it would turn out be one of the most chilling books I have ever read. The proseis superb and the Keats link is irony at its best. The characters are deep whilst the descriptionof even the most inconsequential items shows what a brilliant author McEwan is. The final chapters are as shocking as they are excellent. Mental health is a disturbing area and McEwan portrays this in the sinister character of Jed Parry who you feel that YOU could meet at any time and who is not confined to the annals of fiction. This is the best book of te ninetiesin my opinion and I would advise everyone to read it asap.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars rolling or blaring, 10 Jun 2012
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
McEwan is a talented writer but he has a passion for digression - dinosaurs, quantum physics, Romantic poetry - off he goes on a little ego trip, often leaving the reader stranded at a pivotal juncture in the story. He'll get to the point eventually but only in his own good time. Perhaps this is his way of heightening the narrative tension but it doesn't work for me.

His characters are not recognisable as independent human beings - they're all McEwan, obviously wearing an imaginary pleated skirt when he's being Clarissa. If one compares this novel to the way Roddy Doyle transforms himself into Paula Spencer in The Woman Who Walked Into Doors - the gulf is vast.

On page 192 of this book he writes, 'A powerful odour of burnt food and ammonia rolled, or blared, out of the house...'. The idea of an odour blaring out of a house is great but its rather spoiled by first positing that the odour 'rolled out' - which is not nearly as evocative. But why give us the choice in the first place?

McEwan regularly exhibits flashes of brilliance both in his language and ideas but too often they're lost in a cloud of indecision.

The idea behind this book is fascinating but the McEwan's treatment of it is not.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great story, 30 April 2009
By 
Ms. Charlotte S. Downham (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
I am probably one of the few people who saw the film first and then read the book. The book is written so beautifully and I recommend everyone to read it before seeing the film as it really is well written. The descriptions are intense and you get a real sense of the characters, which is not portrayed so well in the film. I loved every second of it and the story itself is so outstanding. A great read.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McEwan packs 1,000 pages of meaning into 250, 12 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
Unlike most other reviewers, I don't believe the opening chapter of Enduring Love is particularly stunning. I even found it difficult to accept the idea of people riding in helium balloons, since I'd never seen one - until I got off the train where I'd started reading the book and immediately saw one floating over the Thames!
But I believe the book actually gets better and better as one gets further in. The characters are extraordinarily well formed, the situations painfully reminiscent of real life and the examination of "enduring love" deeply moving - and tragically ironic.
If anything, the ending is a little abrupt, and the scientific musings a bit "male", but all in all this is the best novel I've read for years.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This IS a masterpiece, 2 Oct 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
I am an A level student who had to read Enduring Love as part of the course, and despite what others may have said, i found it to be an amazing piece of writing - so much so that i read it back to back three times. I don't understand how anybody could claim that it's dull or boring. There is so much going on under the surface of the book and so many hidden details that it is necessary to read it a few times to be able to grasp it's full power. I must admit that the first time i read it i wasn't exactly one over but now i would list it as one of the best books of all time. If you've only read it once.... read it again! The science is an integral part of the book and is needed to truly grasp the true characters. I love this book!!!!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gripping - and just a little implausible, 16 Jun 2008
By 
Juliet Platt (Wiltshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
This is my first McEwan, and it drew me in entirely from the opening lines of Chapter One. The opening scene is beautifully, movingly, and intriguingly presented, and it sparks a ravenous curiosity in the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed McEwan's narrative in the early parts of the book, however the characters never really sat comfortably for me nor evoked my sympathy.

The writing was really powerful in places - and then rather self-conscious in others. Maybe this is because McEwan was trying to stay true to the case study he presents in the Appendices.

The denouement felt a bit over-worked, as if McEwan was trying too hard for plausibility. The lack of viewpoints other than Joe Rose's through the book leads to an ending which feels rather rushed and contrived.

Some scenes are presented with masterful suspense and subtle pointers, yet when the action finally happens it feels weak. McEwan strikes me as being a very intellectual writer, which is great, and I wonder if some of the immediacy of the action suffers because of that.

I would have liked a bit more on Jed Parry, maybe an insight into his mindset or explanation about why he was in that Oxfordshire field, and why he became so entranced with Joe in particular, though I guess this isn't possible with a first person account. If there'd been an omniscient narrator instead this would have been more feasible - and I think might have made a more powerful, more convincing narrative, although a rather different type of book altogether.

The case study included in the end was enlightening, though it left me with lots of questions about why McEwan couldn't have broadened the scope of his novel to explore the facts of the case study more thoroughly, and in a more literary sense, rather than tagging on some scientific notes to the end in a kind of "told you so" gesture.

An extremely thought-provoking read, compelling in parts, though perhaps a bit narrow in scope, and with a bit of a dashed-off feel about it. Nevertheless a great discussion book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't read by choice., 27 Mar 2013
This review is from: Enduring Love (Paperback)
I studied this book for English Literature A-Level and wasn't a massive fan. The plot is hard often hard to follow, and McEwan's writing style is just overly descriptive. You may think that this is not necessarily a bad thing, and normally I would agree, but with Enduring Love every sentence is descriptive to the point of ridiculousness, where a speck of dust turns into a one page paragraph of adjectives. Not only this, but the book was just one big anti-climax with an ultimately disappointing ending.
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Enduring Love
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan (Hardcover - 4 Sep 1997)
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