Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Aan Chesil Beach by Ian MacEwan

Aan Chesil Beach (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Ian MacEwan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,869317533 (3.61)467
Title:Aan Chesil Beach
Authors:Ian MacEwan
Info:Amsterdam De Harmonie 2007
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan (2007)

  1. 10
    The Sea by John Banville (kiwiflowa)
    kiwiflowa: same introspective feel and prose etc
  2. 00
    The Falls by Joyce Carol Oates (KayCliff)
  3. 00
    The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These brief, intricately plotted novels are reflective, character-driven stories that examine a pivotal event from different perspectives. In a complex narrative that shifts between past and present, individuals who grew up in 1960s England discover that memory can be unreliable.… (more)
  4. 00
    Mr. Phillips by John Lanchester (lizchris)
    lizchris: Similar stream of consciousness style
  5. 11
    Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler (haraldo)
    haraldo: Both stories are about sexuality and marriage.
  6. 22
    The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene (akfarrar)
    akfarrar: Another serious book with marriage at the heart of it and the tug of war between being an individual and uniting with an 'other'. Both deal with a generation of people on the edge of change and with matters both earthly and spiritual.
  7. 01
    Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: On Chesil Beach and Eleven Minutes are psychological explorations of how sexuality and love affect who one is, how they view themselves, and how they interact with others.
  8. 05
    The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (whitewavedarling)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 467 mentions

English (282)  Dutch (9)  Italian (6)  French (4)  German (4)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (3)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Hebrew (1)  Norwegian (1)  All (316)
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
McEwan is one of the most talented writers alive, and I think a keen observer of human emotion and character. The ending is terribly sad, though. If I were a less man, I might have cried. Okay, so I'm a lesser man . . . ( )
  jalbacutler | Jan 10, 2017 |
Another short novel constructed like clockwork. Well-formulated phrases that allow you to continue reading at fast pace. A mix of painful, humoristic and philosophical observations of a failed marriage. ( )
  stef7sa | Jan 5, 2017 |
Ian McEwan is one of my favorite writers working today. I love his story telling elements. This book, though not my favorite of his work, is also very lovely. It takes place all in a few hours time. It is interesting and romantic and sad. I would recommend it! ( )
  ceciliachard | Nov 7, 2016 |
It’s short, I read it in a day, but oh my god. This is one of most moving novels I’ve read in a long time. A tragedy about everyday people, with the kind of details that make them real and ended up breaking my heart. It stayed with me a long time. ( )
  piemouth | Oct 23, 2016 |
I love how Ian writes. He is so effortlessly descriptive. For a book that really tells the story of events of just 2 people in 2 hours, it feels much deeper than that.
As with many McEwan stories, it is, well....um, distinctive. Not one you will soon forget.

I'm not sure I can say I recommend it, but if you like McEwan, it is definitely worth a read. ( )
  gpaisley | Jun 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
On Chesil Beach is brief and carefully plotted, the writing is measured, the tone of voice is forgiving and nostalgic. In other words, it is a fine example of emotion recollected in tranquillity. Even so, I couldn't help regretting the fun McEwan might have had with these sad fumbling innocents when he was younger, less mellow, and a great deal less forbearing.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Al Alvarez (pay site) (Jul 19, 2007)
After two big, ambitious novels — “Atonement” and “Saturday” — Ian McEwan has inexplicably produced a small, sullen, unsatisfying story that possesses none of those earlier books’ emotional wisdom, narrative scope or lovely specificity of detail.
Sans fard, Ian McEwan décrit cette jeunesse encore prisonnière de ses convenances, méconnaissant tout des relations sexuelles et de la vie de couple, mariés seulement après quelques flirts pudiques. Cette première nuit d'intimité détermine leur vie entière, leur engagement alors définitif.

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Basso, SusannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Torrescasana, AlbertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Annalena
First words
They were young, uneducated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible. But it is never easy.
This was still the era - it would end later in that famous decade - when to be young was a social encumbrance, a mark of irrelevance, a faintly embarrassing condition for which marriage was the beginning of a cure.
There was no one she could have talked to. Ruth, her sister, was too young, and her mother, perfectly wonderful in her way, was too intellectual, too brittle, an old-fashioned bluestocking. Whenever she confronted an intimate problem, she tended to adopt the public manner of the lecture hall, and use longer and longer words, and make references to books she thought everyone should have read.
Britain, England, was a minor power - saying this gave a certain blasphemous pleasure. Downstairs, of course, they took a different view. Anyone over forty would have fought, or suffered, in the war and known death on an unusual scale, and would not have been able to believe that a drift into irrelevance was the reward for all the sacrifice.
The term dissolved intimacy, it coolly measured his mother by a public standard that everyone could understand.
It pained him tremendously that their wedding night was not simple, when their love was so obvious.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary
Happy newlyweds
can not communicate fear:
Unhappy ending.

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385522401, Hardcover)

Such is Ian McEwan's genius that, despite rambling nature walks and the naming of birds, his subject matter remains hermetically sealed in the hearts of two people.

It is 1962 when Edward and Florence, 23 and 22 respectively, marry and repair to a hotel on the Dorset coast for their honeymoon. They are both virgins, both apprehensive about what's next and in Florence's case, utterly and blindly terrified and repelled by the little she knows. Through a tense dinner in their room, because Florence has decided that the weather is not fine enough to dine on the terrace, they are attended by two local boys acting as waiters. The cameo appearances of the boys and Edward and Florence's parents and siblings serve only to underline the emotional isolation of the two principals. Florence says of herself: "...she lacked some simple mental trick that everyone else had, a mechanism so ordinary that no one ever mentioned it, an immediate sensual connection to people and events, and to her own needs and desires...."

They are on the cusp of a rather ordinary marital undertaking in differing states of readiness, willingness and ardor. McEwan says: "Where he merely suffered conventional first-night nerves, she experienced a visceral dread, a helpless disgust as palpable as seasickness." Edward, having denied himself even the release of self-pleasuring for a week, in order to be tip-top for Florence, is mentally pawing the ground. His sensitivity keeps him from being obvious, but he is getting anxious. Florence, on the other hand, knows that she is not capable of the kind of arousal that will make any of this easy. She has held Edward off for a year, and now the reckoning is upon her.

McEwan is the master of the defining moment, that place and time when, once it has taken place, nothing will ever be the same after it. It does not go well and Florence flees the room. "As she understood it, there were no words to name what had happened, there existed no shared language in which two sane adults could describe such events to each other." Edward eventually follows her and they have a poignant and painful conversation where accusations are made, ugly things are said and roads are taken from which, in the case of these two, the way back cannot be found. Late in Edward's life he realizes: "Love and patience--if only he had them both at once--would surely have seen them both through." This beautifully told sad story could have been conceived and written only by Ian McEwan. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:01 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

The story centers around two newlyweds, Edward and Florence Mayhew, both virgins, who must struggle through their internal battles with sexual anxiety.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
236 avail.
215 wanted
3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.61)
0.5 8
1 61
1.5 16
2 184
2.5 57
3 547
3.5 212
4 813
4.5 137
5 363

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 116,059,855 books! | Top bar: Always visible