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Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
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Enduring Love (1997)

by Ian McEwan

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4,420701,108 (3.69)195
  1. 10
    Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (Limelite)
    Limelite: Both are literary love stories. Both spiral into violence.
  2. 00
    The Reader by Bernhard Schlink (lucyknows)
    lucyknows: The Reader could be successfully paired with Enduring Love for English Studies. In addition either book could also be be paired with the film The Talented Mr Ripley under the theme of obsession or even Border Crossing by Pat Barker
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English (61)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Polish (1)  Hungarian (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  All languages (70)
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Very readable book about obsessive love. ( )
  nlgeorge | Aug 17, 2014 |
He can write, yes. But I find him cold and calculated and his characters are unpleasant as was this story. He is just not for me. ( )
  qofd | May 7, 2014 |
Again, McEwan showed what a good writer he is. This is one is beautifully written. "Enduring Love" has a faster pace than "Atonement". However I prefer "Atonement" over this one. The story itself was okay but not exactly phenomenal. I felt that the characters was detached to the readers. I do love how McEwan has incorporated elements of science and John Keats life. McEwan is such a holistic writer. I might pick up more books written by him. I'm intrigued by his writing style and I feel and I will enjoy him immensely. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 4, 2014 |
This is the third McEwan book that I've read and the third book that has left me feeling under-whelmed.

I found the opening couple of chapters very good and had such high hopes for this book but in the end unlike the balloon it thereafter sank and failed to rise again which is a real shame as I felt that the germ of the story was a good one based as it is around the seemingly new phenomenon of stalking. My main problem with this book is the main character and narrator Joe Rose. No matter how hard I tried I just could not make myself like him, he seemed shallow, self-obsessed and seemingly always right. Even his love affair with Clarissa failed to ignite my interest.

The book is not poorly written and I enjoyed McEwan's writing style but personally I felt that this would have been a far better novel if Clarissa and Jed Parry had added their voices to it, in so far as it would have helped to give Joe himself some added depth as well as really fleshing out the central ideas of love and obsession not to mention McEwan's usual hobby horses science and religion.

Initially I was unsure whether or not to read the two Appendixes at the end of the book as I was unsure as to whether or not there was any real point to them but I must admit that they did finish the novel in a rather neat and interesting way. Which all in all seems a real shame, a high beginning and end but a sorry thump to ground in the middle. Just like the balloon really. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 1, 2014 |
I really got into it for a while, but was disappointed by the ending - didn't seem worth the suspense! ( )
  Amzzz | Dec 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Ian McEwan's reputation as a writer of small, impeccably written fictions is secure. His gift for the cold and scary is well established, too: among the critical praise that festoons his book jackets, the word "macabre" crops up more than once. But his books are more than tales of suspense and shock; they raise issues of guilt and love and fear, essentially of what happens when the civilized and ordered splinters against chaos.
 
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to Annalena
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The beginning is simple to mark.
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When it's gone, you'll know what a gift love was.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385494149, Paperback)

Joe Rose has planned a postcard-perfect afternoon in the English countryside to celebrate his lover's return after six weeks in the States. To complete the picture, there's even a "helium balloon drifting dreamily across the wooded valley." But as Joe and Clarissa watch the balloon touch down, their idyll comes to an abrupt end. The pilot catches his leg in the anchor rope, while the only passenger, a boy, is too scared to jump down. As the wind whips into action, Joe and four other men rush to secure the basket. Mother Nature, however, isn't feeling very maternal. "A mighty fist socked the balloon in two rapid blows, one-two, the second more vicious than the first," and at once the rescuers are airborne. Joe manages to drop to the ground, as do most of his companions, but one man is lifted sky-high, only to fall to his death.

In itself, the accident would change the survivors' lives, filling them with an uneasy combination of shame, happiness, and endless self-reproach. (In one of the novel's many ironies, the balloon eventually lands safely, the boy unscathed.) But fate has far more unpleasant things in store for Joe. Meeting the eye of fellow rescuer Jed Parry, for example, turns out to be a very bad move. For Jed is instantly obsessed, making the first of many calls to Joe and Clarissa's London flat that very night. Soon he's openly shadowing Joe and writing him endless letters. (One insane epistle begins, "I feel happiness running through me like an electrical current. I close my eyes and see you as you were last night in the rain, across the road from me, with the unspoken love between us as strong as steel cable.") Worst of all, Jed's version of love comes to seem a distortion of Joe's feelings for Clarissa.

Apart from the incessant stalking, it is the conditionals--the contingencies--that most frustrate Joe, a scientific journalist. If only he and Clarissa had gone straight home from the airport... If only the wind hadn't picked up... If only he had saved Jed's 29 messages in a single day... Ian McEwan has long been a poet of the arbitrary nightmare, his characters ineluctably swept up in others' fantasies, skidding into deepening violence, and--worst of all--becoming strangers to those who love them. Even his prose itself is a masterful and methodical exercise in defamiliarization. But Enduring Love and its underrated predecessor, Black Dogs, are also meditations on knowledge and perception as well as brilliant manipulations of our own expectations. By the novel's end, you will be surprisingly unafraid of hot-air balloons, but you won't be too keen on looking a stranger in the eye.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:13 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The bestselling author of "The Innocent" spins a tale of life intruded upon. After attempting to rescue a child from a runaway hot-air balloon, Joe Rose finds himself part of a living nightmare of suspicion and obsession.

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