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The Cement Garden by Ian Mcewan

The Cement Garden (original 1978; edition 1994)

by Ian Mcewan

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2,628662,275 (3.61)160
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. 50
    Lord of the Flies by William Golding (KayCliff)
  2. 00
    Our Mothers House by Julian Gloag (FemmeNoiresque)
    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)
  3. 00
    Mother's Boys by Bernard Taylor (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Another story of a disintegrating family with incestuous overtones.
  4. 00
    De rode strik by Mensje van Keulen (Anonymous user)
  5. 02
    We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (Monika_L)

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» See also 160 mentions

English (54)  Dutch (4)  Finnish (3)  German (2)  Norwegian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (66)
Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
Living in a vacuum once their mother dies four children find their own way of surviving. With little contact from the outside world the group fragments, each coping with freedom and independence in their own way. How they interact with each other is explored in an edgy, pared back style. The setting of the old house perched alone in an abandoned housing estate echoes their isolation, forcing them to resolve their complicated sibling rivalry. ( )
  Robert3167 | Dec 13, 2014 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 54 (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 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)

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