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The Cement Garden by Ian Mcewan
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The Cement Garden (original 1978; edition 1994)

by Ian Mcewan

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2,567662,339 (3.61)152
Member:pdebolt
Title:The Cement Garden
Authors:Ian Mcewan
Info:Anchor (1994), Edition: 1st Vintage International ed, Paperback, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:Fiction

Work details

The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (1978)

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» See also 152 mentions

English (53)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (65)
Showing 1-5 of 53 (next | show all)
I really like it over Atonement. It was concise and kafkaesque. He did use stream of consciousness but it fit the narrative style and the character thoroughly. There was no fillers, although it took me a while to accept the morbid elements and the incest sexual exploration the teenage narrator had but it was a good book on its own. But I felt empty while reading it. It felt distant and unrelatable. It was dry of emotions and despite the underlying twistedness in it, it simply isn't horrifying. I mean the creep level similar to dragging nails on a blackboard and you cringe even if it was imagery and you get nausea at the back of the throat. I get that from The Handmaid's Tale, The Road and some other books that was as controversial as this. It felt bland. ( )
  aoibhealfae | Jun 2, 2014 |
This book is a fairly easy read, but it's pretty disturbing. I more or less enjoyed it, but after Confederacy of Dunces I wanted something a little more lighthearted.

Most disturbing to me is the sexual tension between Julie and her brother... ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Great wirting, interesting story, excellent characters... ( )
  Sanja_Sanjalica | Mar 14, 2014 |
Without a doubt, the best thing about The Cement Garden is the author photo. That's not to say the book is so bad that the photo stands out as being exemplary; instead, it is meant to be an indication of how awesome the photo is. Now I know, some may have read more recent editions of this novel, and for those individuals I am truly sorry, because they've missed out. You see, that Ian McEwan we all know, the one with the feathery gray hair, suit jacket, and professorly stare, once aspired to be the Lennon of Literature. Oh yeah, didn't I tell you?

Enough about the seventies. Some people hate The Cement Garden and they should. It might give them cooties. Yeah, there are some of those societal taboos here, but they didn't phase me. Maybe I'm just as perverse as McEwan, though I can honestly say I was never able to rock a vest quite like that. The novel worked for me. It got across what it needed to in its brevity and it did so in a terrific voice. I like young McEwan—he knew how to simultaneously stay involved in his characters while keeping the reader interested. I have to read more McEwan before making a definitive judgment, but I get the feeling his earlier works are the most... engaging.

Some will find this book vulgar—and I certainly think many authors who would've touched the same subject would've made it so—but with McEwan it almost has a beauty to it. It's a straight forward story told without flair or trick, and, for some readers, that itself may be more vulgar than the plot. What's not vulgar, however, is that photo. ( )
  chrisblocker | Jan 27, 2014 |
It was okay. There is something odd about reading these early works of writers you greatly admire. Proofs that Master's aren't just born into it, I suppose. There is hope for all of us!
It's good writing but I feel like it relies entirely too much on shock and disgust effects instead of actual character development or interesting other plot facets. ( )
  Laila_Blake | Oct 1, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 53 (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 editionsconfirmed
Enzensberger, ChristianTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hockney, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holt, Heleen tenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wagner, AstridEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I did not kill my father, but I sometimes felt I had helped him on his way.
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:53:36 -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)

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