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Customer Review

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best forgotten - not even for big McEwan fans !, December 6, 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: In Between the Sheets (Paperback)
I'm a big, big fan of Ian McEwan's. I've read and loved virtually everything he's written, especially "Black Dogs" and "Atonement", so it's doubly disappointing for me to say that "In Between The Sheets", his second collection of short stories, is without doubt the worst and only substandard piece of work he has put out so far. Granted, what we have here is very early McEwan but that doesn't excuse the amateurish and shoddy quality of these mostly pointless vignettes. "First Love, Last Rites", his earliest work, wasn't McEwan at his prime but it was more than halfway decent and contained more than a trace of promise of his developing craft as a short story writer and novelist. "In Between The Sheets" just seems like scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I can't name anything in here that is remotely memorable. Indeed, it was so bad I hardly finished the book. "Pornography" is mundane and pedestrian. It's been done to death (and better) by others. "Reflections Of A Kept Ape" almost succeeds - could the ape be the retarded child of the woman ? are the ape's sexual fantasies just its hallucination ? I haven't a clue what "Two Fragments" is all about. "Dead As They Come" is ludicrous. By the time I got to "In Between The Sheets", I lost interest and couldn't wait for this slim volume to end.
The publishers should quietly delete this title from McEwan's catalogue as it diminishes his tall standing among the great contemporary writers of today.
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