Monday, June 08, 2009

Ian McEwan: On Chesil Beach

It is, I suppose, really a rather moving little story (more novella than novel) of how desire, inexperience and fear of sex drive a wedge between two young people on their wedding night. In his customary manner McEwan tells the short tale in minute detail, handling and turning over every detail of what is being felt and thought and sensed and said, and afterwards finishes off with a sort of epilogue where we find out how it all ended for the two. Did they sort things out or was this it?

Of the McEwans I've read I actually think it's the best one. There is no discrepancy in it really, no bit that seems shoved in there leaving me wondering whether it belongs. I'm still debating inside whether he's overrated or not - right now leaning towards not. I'm kind of struck by a feeling that he has done historical research even for this little thing set in 1962 - there's a description at the start of how mediocre English cuisine of the time is, and how their wedding dinner's starter is a slice of melon with a glacé cherry on top. Somehow seems rather detailed, as though he'd read an old hotel menu.

I didn't hate it, nor was I that enamoured. I suppose he's not really my kind of writer. Something is lacking. Mostly I'm annoyed that I finished the book before 2 am and I didn't finish work until 8. What was I supposed to do - play Bubbleshooter all that time? Like, omgz.

No comments: