The ages of M(cEw)an

Does anyone else remember when sexual problems in Ian McEwan’s fiction involved fancying your sister rather than the traumas of experiencing premature ejaculation?  And is On Chesil Beach a subtle metaphor for his relationship with long-standing readers?  Because I too am about to run off never to contemplate his work again.

About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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4 Responses to The ages of M(cEw)an

  1. shaz_rte says:

    You’ve lasted several books longer than me! I gave up after Amsterdam, which hit the living room wall at some speed . . .
    As a result I remember The Cement Garden and the short stories (preserved willies in jam jars, anyone?) rather fondly.

    • When I think how good The comfort of strangers, The Cement Garden, the shorts, and a CHild in Time are it makes the later work all the poorer.
      I’m not sure what infuriated me most about Amsterdam – the thinly veiled Portillo; the infuriating predictability of it (like a really bad Tale of the Unexpected); that no-one felt real (which contrasted with the early books is the most disappointing thing about the way he’s developed)?
      I trace his decline back to the opening sentence of Black Dogs – potentially arresting but in need of a good edit.
      On Chesil Beach is another in the series of McEwan books that wears its research heavily, then has two slightly incredible characters, and an unbelievable outcome. If you know something of the plot there is part of me thinks that this is partly a metaphorical response to McEwan’s early readers.

    • PS I saw from RTE that you’d suffered in the flooding. Hope things are a little better now.

  2. shaz_rte says:

    I think the entirely predictable (definitely shades of the Tales of the Bleeding Obvious) ending made me mad. I was talking to my brother about the books the other day — he has persevered with McEwan — and he said Amsterdam felt like a book written as a ‘well, you didn’t nominate me for the Booker for a good book, let’s see what happens with this one’ exercise ;o)
    I lost interest after Enduring Love.
    Have survived the floods, thanks for asking, Scott! Property and self undamaged, touch wood, but the lack of running water got tiresome very quickly. It’s now back on for flushing loos and showers, but is a rather iffy colour at times. Gloucester and Tewkesbury got the worst of it all, along with parts of Cheltenham. Some of the photos were incredible — namely the one the Guardian had in their centre spread with Tewkesbury as an island.
    RTE will be back to what passes for normal this week . . .

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