Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.98 shipping
The Cement Garden Paperback – January 13, 1994
|New from||Used from|
"A Cold Trail" by Robert Dugoni
In author Robert Dugoni’s riveting series, Seattle homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite returns home to a brutal murder and her haunted past. | Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Frequently bought together
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“A superb achievement: his prose has instant, lucid beauty and his narrative voice has a perfect poise and certainty. His account of deprivation and survival is marvellously sure, and the imaginative alignment of his story is exactly right.” -- Tom Paulin
“Marvellously creates the atmosphere of youngsters given that instant adulthood they all crave, where the ordinary takes on a mysterious glow and the extraordinary seems rather commonplace. It is difficult to fault the writing or the construction of this eerie fable.” -- Sunday Times
"A shocking book, morbid, full of repellant imagery - and irresistibly readable...The effect achieved by McEwan's quiet, precise and sensuous touch is that of magic realism -- a transfiguration of the ordinary that has far stronger retinal and visceral impact than the flabby surrealism of so many experimental novels." -- New York Review of Books
"His writing is exact, tender, funny, voluptuous, disturbing." -- The Times
"The Maestro." -- New Statesman
"McEwan has--a style and a vision of life of his own...No one interested in the state and mood of contemporary Britain can afford not to read him." -- John Fowles
"A sparkling and adventurous writer." -- Dennis Potter
- Item Weight : 6.1 ounces
- Paperback : 160 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0679750185
- ISBN-13 : 978-0679750185
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
- Publisher : Anchor; 1st Vintage International ed edition (January 13, 1994)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #224,972 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Ian McEwan is a great writer and in this short story he used many incest issues and scenes that I found it disturbing at times. The family consisted of two parents and four children, Julie age seventeen, Jack age fifteen, Sue age thirteen, and Tom age six.
Jack is the one narrating the story.
The family was barely functional and was struggling to find some kind of emotional balance. The father soon dies of a heart attack and the mother is sickly and she too dies. They did have a funeral for their father but when their mother died soon after they had to decide if they should have reported it but feared being separated and sent to foster homes. Julie and Jack decided to bury their mother in a bed of cement in the cellar.
It was an unstable situation where Tom reverts to being a clinging baby and insists to be dressed as a girl. Than Sue withdraws to her room where she reads and writes in her diary. However, Jack becomes confused because he is maturing sexually and is drawn to his older sister for satisfaction and she doesn’t discourage him. Plus, Julie is the one above the others and becomes easy flexible with rules, she is an athletic beauty to whom the others look up to.
There were incest scenes even before the parents died. The children had no one to guide them and they continued to live in the rundown area of the town in a ramshackle old house.
An English family living in the rundown part of town lose their father to a heart attack then their mother to sickness. The children hide their newly orphaned status and try to continue life as best they can. They experience all the usual trials of puberty and growing up with no guidance as they idle away the days in their ramshackle old house. Dark undercurrents of sexuality, incest and loss bubble away beneath the surface of this book and the author portrays what life is like when you have no-one very well.
Easily read in a single sitting this book will haunt you for weeks afterwards.
Julie and Jack are central to this story. Jack, the narrator, was helping his father mix concrete for a garden path when he died from over exertion. But Julie is the driving force in this drama. She is a lithesome, athletic beauty to whom the others gravitate. She and Jack, fearful of nebulous authorities, decide that their mother, her death occurring after weeks of being confined to bed, must be concealed in a bed of concrete in the cellar.
It is an unstable situation; most of them are struggling to find some sort of emotional balance. Young Tom reverts to being a clinging baby and insists on being dressed as a girl; Sue withdraws to her room where she reads and writes in her diary; and Jack, maturing sexually, finds himself increasingly drawn to his older sister, which she does little to discourage. The author, despite the abnormalities, seems to be generally sympathetic towards the efforts of these kids to survive, but there is a pervasive sense that all of the various cracks in their arrangement will inevitably result in its collapse.
I didn't understand the point of this book. It was a very quick read. It resembled the Flowers in the Attic story, but it was weirder, and boring. I know that The Cement Garden novel came first, but still. I would have maybe understood the story better if there was more to it. It just felt like the story didn't add up for me. I mean incest is a very odd subject, and kind of hard to read through. I guess I just didnt understand why there was incest to begin with. I mean the children in the story go through awful things, and are left to their own. But it's like none of the characters had emotion or relatable qualities.
All in all, I love reading. I dont like to say I regret buying or reading a book. But I didn't enjoy this read. I was ready for it to be done the whole time reading it. Just not what I had expected is what I have to say.