Another new author…

…experienced. Finally finished Ian McEwan’s “Enduring Love” a couple of days ago.

For once, the book’s blurb gets it spot on. The first chapter of Enduring Love must be one of the finest first chapters I have read. In fact, I would say that both the first and the second chapters are outstanding. Literally left me gasping for breath. Can’t say the same for the rest of the book though. Much as I enjoyed McEwan’s mastery of language, his ability to stretch out even the most commonplace of scenes, and the almost claustrophobic intensity of his writing, at the end of it all, the novel itself left me feeling somewhat cheated, for it rests on a rather silly plot. It’s almost like he didn’t know what to do with the story after he had gone past the first few chapters, and ended up taking the easy way out.

Nevertheless, worth a read, simply because of his mastery of his craft. I think he is the kind of author who will appeal to people who like J.M. Coetzee.

Right now reading Fritjof Capra’s “Hidden Connections”. Another author who I haven’t read before. Fascinating stuff, but the subject is a touch difficult to follow. So I end up reading a few passages twice or thrice over to get a hang of what he is saying.


Posted on February 22, 2005, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Ya, the later parts of Enduring Love had me disappointed, too. Towards the end of the book he had me bored and suffocated and I just wanted it to END. But that first chapter is something.
    Coetzee is a far, far better writer than McEvan. Call McEvan’s writing ‘mastery’ is stretching it a bit, no?

    • Yeah, what I meant to say was that the quality of his writing was excellent. Mastery is stretching it a bit? I agree. 🙂

      The only Coetzee novel I have read is Disgrace. I didn’t quite enjoy the book though the quality of his prose shone through. It’s been a while since I read Disgrace, but I thought McEwan’s writing style was similar to Coetzee’s. Undercurrents is the word that comes to mind w.r.t. both.

  2. McEwan is quite a name here and I very recently gifted his ‘Atonement’ to someone. I was thinking of giving ‘Enduring Love’ but I read about it on the net and a bit of a read at the bookshop made me change my mind. He won the Booker some years ago and I’d imagine that he’d be good. Will try and read him sometime.

  3. Read Capra’s ‘The tao of physics’ – I’d read it a few months back and liked some parts a lot. Some of his stuff here too is a bit difficult to follow (he is a physicist, remember), but can be omitted.

  4. another new author

    martin amis. read time’s arrow when you get the chance because, quite simply, it’s just brilliant.

    i like ian mcewan, but to each his own, i guess.

    also, adding you to my reading list.

    • Re: another new author

      Thanks. saw this a bit late. shall check out martin amis one of these days. I keep thinking of picking one of his books from the British Library, and everytime I end up picking something else.

      • Re: another new author

        well, when you do, start with time’s arrow. i’ve read a bunch of books that try to go backwards in time, but most of them fall short of being absolutely memorable.

        (i’m only saying this because i’ve been put off by many an author critics constantly rave about just because i started out with the wrong book.)

      • Re: another new author

        Will do. Thanks!

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