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on 8 February 2018
I have to agree that the writing is beautiful and the author eloquent, but what a dull read!
It's far longer than it needs to be and i regret wasting my valuable time reading it when there are so many other books waiting for me.

80% of the book is about 1 day (with chapters of reminiscing interspersed) and then the last part if the book races through about 40 years or more.

I wouldn't 'recommend it to anyone unless they are really struggling to fill their time.
4 people found this helpful
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on 9 September 2015
You can't help but admire the artistry in the writing, the intricacy and attention to detail. The beautiful prose. But, I'm minded that while looking over a beautiful manicured lawn and respecting the skill and effort involved in creating it, you are still watching grass grow. This book is just dull. As exciting as... well, you've got the idea. It just does not captivate. Clever writing does not a good read make.

The only time the book picks up pace and you start to feel for the characters is in the final 5 or 6 pages which acts as a sort of epilogue to the main story.
6 people found this helpful
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on 28 May 2018
I was expecting something more physically dramatic during their confrontation on the beach and McEwan's handling of the thrown rock incident was very clever, especially as he had foreshadowed Edward's propensity to erupt into physical violence earlier on in the novella. The discussion of Florence's relationship with her father is beautifully done and cleverly ambiguous. Edward's conclusions at the end of the novel are tragic really, but retrospect is a very cruel thing isn't it? A marvellous book, beautifully written, the prose is masterful, light at times, humorous, and philosophical. He has the gift and with every book refines it. Highly recommended.
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on 30 April 2013
It is 1962, and for Edward and Florence it is the eve of their wedding night. Sitting at dinner together at their hotel in Dorset, however, they both struggle silently with their inner anxieties, unable to express their feelings to each other, afraid of the expectations ahead of them. As the evening moves on tensions continue to rise, threatening to tear husband and wife apart before their marriage has even begun.

This is a well observed and beautifully drawn story, with its multi-layered yet minimalist style and elegant prose. McEwan writes with thoughtful and sensitive insight, exploring the psychology of the central characters, drawing on their backgrounds and early experiences in the shaping of their makeup. The social landscape of the early 60s is well conveyed, but although the social constraints of the time undoubtedly play a part in the struggles the couple face, the story's main themes are relevant to today's society too. It is a story that highlights the dangers of repressed emotions and poor communication, of how events and actions misinterpreted as well as pride can have devastating consequences.

This is a touching story, but rather sad, its ending carrying too much of a sense of unfulfillment and disappointment for me personally. Also McEwan hints at certain darker undertones with regards to FLorence's upbringing, but this is never actually clarified. The length and pace of the story were also a little unsatisfying; it was too short for a novel, the ending in particular feeling rushed, yet other parts appeared quite stretched out in places.

Overall an interesting and unusual read; yet not quite as engaging as i had hoped it to be.
6 people found this helpful
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on 17 June 2018
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were easy to visualise. The emotions raised by the story were very true and touching. Halfway
through my reading the film of the book was
released and went to see it. This did not detract from my enjoyment but served to strengthen my visualization. The film followed the written story closely and added an inventive conclusion at the end.
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on 16 June 2018
I just hope the film is a lot better than the book, but after reading the book I won't rush to see the film! I agree with many other readers who found it dull & a struggle to complete, it took me ages to read it as I found it a chore & needed a lot of self encouragement to pick it up & start reading more pages in fact I found it so bad that I skipped through many pages.
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on 1 June 2018
The story holds the reader well in a love story of previous times. The poignancy of the tale set in a revolutionary period demonstrates the different tensions of them and now.
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on 26 April 2018
A book of its time.Beautifully written.A story of love,lust and misunderstanding.A great book by a great author.Cannot wait for the film.
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on 6 March 2018
Loved it. The tension was palpable. I just wanted to grab their shoulders and shout “Speak to each other!” A well crafted, beautifully written short novel.
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on 30 May 2018
Ian McEwan is one of my favourite authors. This must have been a tough subject to tackle, but he did it very well.
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