Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Cement Garden by Ian Mcewan

The Cement Garden (original 1978; edition 1994)

by Ian Mcewan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,847752,038 (3.62)185
Title:The Cement Garden
Authors:Ian Mcewan
Info:Anchor (1994), Edition: 1st Vintage International ed, Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (1978)

  1. 60
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both books show children suddenly left without controllers.
  2. 00
    Where the Lilies Bloom by Bill Cleaver (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Orphans home alone.
  3. 00
    The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane by Laird Koenig (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Orphans home alone.
  4. 00
    The Masters of the House by Robert Barnard (SomeGuyInVirginia)
    SomeGuyInVirginia: Orphans alone in a house.
  5. 00
    Our Mothers House by Julian Gloag (FemmeNoiresque, SomeGuyInVirginia)
    FemmeNoiresque: The Cement Garden follows the same basic plot as Our Mother's House, with situations (children communing w/ hidden mother, a charming rogue male enters their lives & entrances one of the sisters, the neglected younger children suffer subverted into Ian McEwan's style. Our Mother's House is of a more heightened and gothic style. Like The Cement Garden, Our Mother's House was adapted into an underrated and unusual film with Dirk Bogarde, Pamela Franklin, Yootha Joyce and babies Phoebe Nicholls and Mark Lester.… (more)
  6. 00
    De rode strik by Mensje van Keulen (Anonymous user)
  7. 00
    Mother's Boys by Bernard Taylor (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Another story of a disintegrating family with incestuous overtones.
  8. 02
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (Monika_L)

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 185 mentions

English (65)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (3)  Norwegian (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (75)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
Certainly an unusual story - bizarre in parts. On the other hand, much of it was an entirely believable description about how family members interact and what might happen in an isolated family which is suddenly deprived of its adults. It's only a short book and is comparatively easy reading so, although I was somewhat put off by the bizarre elements, there wasn't ever any doubt that I would read through to the end. I did wonder at times whether McEwan deliberately placed some elements in the story for their shock value. ( )
1 vote oldblack | Jan 4, 2017 |

What did I just read? ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |

What did I just read? ( )
  s.pando | Nov 4, 2016 |
Leaving aside any controversy about whether McEwan borrowed the plot for this novel from another source, for an author’s first effort, this isn’t half bad at all. Macabre, disturbing and laden with symbolism, this is as gripping a read as you’re likely to get out of something 127 pages long.

The plot centres around the two oldest children of a family bereft of parents and what happens when adults aren’t around to maintain the social status quo. If you’ve read Lord of the Flies, imagine that with a female.

McEwan has a reputation for starting his novels magnificently and then running out of inspiration about halfway through. There’s certainly no indication that this was to come from his debut. The prose fizzes along right until the end which, although somewhat predictable, is nevertheless surprising in its clarity. McEwan was definitely out to make an impression.

If you’re new to McEwan, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to start here, where McEwan himself started. ( )
2 vote arukiyomi | Aug 20, 2016 |
The list of 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die has several problems-- and high among them is the fact there are too many books by Ian McEwan on the list. His debut novel "The Cement Garden" is definitely one of the books that could easily be removed.

It's the story of four children who have problematic relationships with each other. Those relationships get even worse after their parents die and they encase their mother in cement in the basement to keep social services from finding out. Their dysfunctional relationship deteriorates even further.

The story wasn't particularly believable and seems to be designed to be as shocking as possible. I would have gone through life just fine without reading this one. ( )
  amerynth | Jul 6, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
The Cement Garden is in many ways a shocking book, morbid, full of repellent imagery—and irresistibly readable. It is also the work of a writer in full control of his materials.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, Robert Towers (pay site) (Mar 8, 1979)

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Enzensberger, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hockney, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, AstridEditorsecondary 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
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
For Penny
First words
I did not kill my father, but I sometimes felt I had helped him on his way.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0679750185, Paperback)

In this tour de force of psychological unease--now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack--McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting--or denying. "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."--Washington Post Book World.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:34 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"In this tour de force of psychological unease - now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack - McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting - or denying."--From publisher's description… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
13 avail.
166 wanted
1 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.62)
0.5 2
1 16
1.5 5
2 62
2.5 20
3 191
3.5 84
4 280
4.5 32
5 128

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 | 116,173,153 books! | Top bar: Always visible