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In itself, the accident would change the survivors' lives, filling them with an uneasy combination of shame, happiness, and endless self-reproach. (In one of the novel's many ironies, the balloon eventually lands safely, the boy unscathed.) But fate has far more unpleasant things in store for Joe. Meeting the eye of fellow rescuer Jed Parry, for example, turns out to be a very bad move. For Jed is instantly obsessed, making the first of many calls to Joe and Clarissa's London flat that very night. Soon he's openly shadowing Joe and writing him endless letters. (One insane epistle begins, "I feel happiness running through me like an electrical current. I close my eyes and see you as you were last night in the rain, across the road from me, with the unspoken love between us as strong as steel cable.") Worst of all, Jed's version of love comes to seem a distortion of Joe's feelings for Clarissa.
Apart from the incessant stalking, it is the conditionals--the contingencies--that most frustrate Joe, a scientific journalist. If only he and Clarissa had gone straight home from the airport... If only the wind hadn't picked up... If only he had saved Jed's 29 messages in a single day... Ian McEwan has long been a poet of the arbitrary nightmare, his characters ineluctably swept up in others' fantasies, skidding into deepening violence, and--worst of all--becoming strangers to those who love them. Even his prose itself is a masterful and methodical exercise in defamiliarization. But Enduring Love and its underrated predecessor, Black Dogs, are also meditations on knowledge and perception as well as brilliant manipulations of our own expectations. By the novel's end, you will be surprisingly unafraid of hot-air balloons, but you won't be too keen on looking a stranger in the eye. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Warning: Includes spoilers for Enduring Love" and other McEwan novels.
I think this is my favorite Ian McEwan book so far. Read more
Another well-crafted, intelligent, psychologically twisting novel by Mr. McEwan. This one built around a very strange, yet apparently well-documented, mental illness. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
Once again this author has written a touching novel, rich with language and engrossing. He uses a familiar mechanism: beginning with a seemingly straight-forward event, while... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Douglas McDonald
So, our man Ian stumbles upon this syndrome along with its literature and form-fits his novel to compliance and, worse, where the story can't easily be made t to conform, he bends... Read morePublished 3 months ago by 41 Mike
I read this book upon recommendation from a list that Stephen King provided in the back of one of his books. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Britney King
Elegant though MeEwan veers from time to time. The concept is strangely engaging, the characters accessible, the outcome a bit of a puzzle.Published 5 months ago by Elizabeth Appell
This book by Ian McEwan have a great star, a tragic incident happens that will shake the lives of the protagonists. Read morePublished 5 months ago by MP
Interesting story keeps your attention. Depth of descriptive narrative sometimes wearisome.Published 5 months ago by johanna gilbride