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Enduring Love (1997)

by Ian McEwan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,261981,389 (3.69)269
The story begins on a windy spring day in the Chilterns when the calm, organized life of Joe Rose is shattered by a ballooning accident. The afternoon, Joe reflects, could have ended in mere tragedy, but for his brief meeting with Jed Parry. Unknown to Rose, something passes between them - something that gives birth in Parry to an obsession so powerful that it will test to the limits Rose's beloved scientific rationalism, threaten the love of his wife, Clarissa, and drive him to take desperate measures to stay alive.… (more)
Recently added bylucabi90, ibqc, Reani, GabbyHM, private library, ameem, Pezski, scmuther1215, gleipnir, nr76
  1. 10
    Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick (Limelite)
    Limelite: Both are literary love stories. Both spiral into violence.
  2. 10
    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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» See also 269 mentions

English (86)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  Hungarian (1)  Polish (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  All languages (98)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
A man is killed in an attempt to save a child in a hot-air balloon being tossed by the wind. A stranger named Jed Parry joins Joe Rose, a science writer, to bring the balloon to safety. Unknown to Rose, Parry becomes obsessed with Rose to the point where it threatens the love of his wife, Clarissa, and drives Rose to the brink of murder and madness. It‘s a novel of love, faith and suspense and how life can change in an instant. A must read! ( )
  EadieB | May 18, 2020 |
Objectively, I can see the appeal to this. It is generally well-written and there are some interesting aspects to it. Unfortunately, it totally lost me. I found myself mostly bored and not caring enough about the outcome to bother picking it up unless I had nothing else to do. I can certainly see this working for other people, but it definitely wasn't for me.

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  samesfoley | Apr 24, 2020 |
The human mind is a wonderful and baffling thing. Its capabilities amazes even ourselves while its misfunctions and illnesses destroy our lives and sometimes the lives of others. This book digs deeply into the psychology of its characters, describing in vivid and earnest detail the functioning of a mind which has beheld a horrific event, the ecstasies of a mind in love, the despair of a mind confronting a lost love, and most significantly, the dangers created when a mind goes astray creating for itself a reality that cannot co-exist with the actual realities of our lives.
I have always been partial to book where the psychology of the characters dominates the storyline of the book. The psychological insights found in so many novels by 19th and 20th century Russian novelists, the terrors wrought in the minds of characters created by Edgar Allan Poe, the tortures the mind endures from a character in love, the pain experienced when a person experiences tragedy and every other human emotion novelists explore as they tell their stories all offer depth and reality to the fictional accountings of the novels, these are the things I most enjoy finding in a book. "Enduring Love" is rich in explorations of the human mind. It demonstrates excellently that the novelist often understands people and the workings of their minds better than highly trained psychologists.
This is a good book, a worthwhile read and a good example of what Faulkner meant when he said that all good literature "explores the human mind in conflict with itself." ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
The human mind is a wonderful and baffling thing. Its capabilities amazes even ourselves while its misfunctions and illnesses destroy our lives and sometimes the lives of others. This book digs deeply into the psychology of its characters, describing in vivid and earnest detail the functioning of a mind which has beheld a horrific event, the ecstasies of a mind in love, the despair of a mind confronting a lost love, and most significantly, the dangers created when a mind goes astray creating for itself a reality that cannot co-exist with the actual realities of our lives.
I have always been partial to book where the psychology of the characters dominates the storyline of the book. The psychological insights found in so many novels by 19th and 20th century Russian novelists, the terrors wrought in the minds of characters created by Edgar Allan Poe, the tortures the mind endures from a character in love, the pain experienced when a person experiences tragedy and every other human emotion novelists explore as they tell their stories all offer depth and reality to the fictional accountings of the novels, these are the things I most enjoy finding in a book. "Enduring Love" is rich in explorations of the human mind. It demonstrates excellently that the novelist often understands people and the workings of their minds better than highly trained psychologists.
This is a good book, a worthwhile read and a good example of what Faulkner meant when he said that all good literature "explores the human mind in conflict with itself." ( )
  Paul-the-well-read | Apr 21, 2020 |
Joe and Clarissa are picnicking when they hear cries from a hot air balloon that was descending nearby. The man controlling it had tried to get out, the rope had caught round his leg and it was rising again dragging him with it. A few men converge on the balloon, grabbing hold of the ropes hanging down to try to hold it down, but one by one they drop off. One man, John Logan, hangs on for as long as he can before he drops off at a height that can only be fatal. They rush to him to see if they can help, but it is too late.

In this intense moment, the other man who got to the body at the same time asks him to pray about the situation, but Joe flatly refuses. Jed Parry though is a man possessed, he thinks that something has passed between him and Joe and in the moment that they shared that Joe has fallen deeply in love with him. He thinks nothing more of it and heads home but is slightly disturbed when he receives the first phone call from Parry at 2 am. From this moment Parry begins stalking Joe, writing letters to him, leaving countless messages on his answerphone and standing outside his flat. Joe is severely unnerved by it and Clarissa thinks he is losing his mind but the police aren't interested as he has done nothing wrong

He meets with Parry briefly, but it only exacerbates the situation. Pushed to that absolute limit, Joe snaps and sets about taking matters into his own hands. Then he gets a phone call from Clarissa; Parry is with her and wants Joe to come home to talk.

McEwan has written a book about those suffering from de Clerambault's syndrome a delusional disorder where an individual thinks that person is infatuated with him or her, thankfully it is rare, but as McEwan does in this book when coupled it with religious fervour, it has a deeply sinister edge. There is plenty of tension in the plot as Parry becomes more extreme in his actions to be with Joe. It is very creepy, as McEwan manages to convey just how disturbing stalking is for any victim of it. There are a couple of sub-plots that really didn't add much to the story either. However, there were several details that I couldn't get along with, in the book; I didn't quite understand as all these men ran to save the balloon with the child in, how they knew each other almost immediately, the balloon is described as a helium balloon later in the book too. Not bad, but could have been so much better. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (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.
 

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McEwan, Ianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Basso, SusannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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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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