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dogmatix

The Comfort of Strangers - Ian McEwan

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McEwan has a delicious way with sensual details, be it fish soup, potted gardenias, or sex. The Comfort of Strangers is no exception. A month long vacation shared by a well worn couple, Colin and Mary, is gorgeously described, inserting the reader firmly within a relationship cultivated with care and the routines of a shared life; quiet and content, certainly not passionate, much like many a well seasoned marriage. A chance encouter in a darkened alley with Robert, a native of this exotic city, awakens a lost awareness of each other's sexuality. Colin and Mary become enchanted with this machoistic stranger and his imprisioned, meek, injued bird of a wife and in turn - once again- with each other. Somehow this strange and desperate relationship awakens a lost sexual longing in Colin and Mary. A series of sensual meals and frantic sexual encouters is punctuated ever so gradully with the tiniest stabs of blackness as an insidious sense of dread grows within the belly of this erotic tale.

The progression and development of tension is insidious, masterful, unpredicatble, and complete. McEwan's ending is shocking and disturbing but leaves you wondering, "Was it fate, chance, or a subconscious will that brought about this unexpected and disturbing denoument?"

 

THIS IS NOT A LOVE STORY lest my review lead you to think otherwise. I read this bewithcing tale in one sitting and was both disgusted and arosed by the macabre ending.

 

The Comfort of Strangers is McEwan at his best.

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Oh sounds interesting gonna have to add it to the list...

 

My 'To Read' list just keeps getting longer and longer at this rate i should be ok for books for the next 3 years lol

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have never read McEwan before.

I read Atonement, but thought it was really overrated. I can't even remember the story now, but I think I thought the ending was poor or a let down!

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I read Atonement, but thought it was really overrated. I can't even remember the story now, but I think I thought the ending was poor or a let down!

 

Please don't say that - it's one of my favourite books! :friends0:

I haven't enjoyed his others quite as much but as Dogmatix says about The Comfort of Strangers (which I haven't read) all his books have an insidious development of tension that keeps you gripped - there's always something dark going on underneath the surface. I think he's a great writer.

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Please don't say that - it's one of my favourite books! :friends0:

Sorry!

 

I just felt it was overrated - to me, the hype really didn't do it justed. Horses for courses... or whatever that silly saying is!

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Sam, have you read The Cement Garden? I'm very intrigued by it, but I don't know anyone who's read it.

 

No, I haven't. I've read Enduring Love, Saturday, Amsterdam, and of course, Atonement. Oh, and the Innocent, which I didn't like as much. But I've been meaning to read it - it seems to be the one everyone talks about.

 

Bagpuss, apology accepted. :friends0:

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Regarding Saturday, it's just gorgeous prose, gorgeous!

Have just finished this and loved the way it was written, its about the events of one day and the detail was fascinating, I was with them from page 2! The descriptions of minutiae like a squash match or listening to a song gave me shivers, have never felt this way about a book, fantastic!

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