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Enduring Love Paperback – June 1, 1998
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- Publisher : Vintage Books USA (June 1, 1998)
- Language: : English
- Paperback : 247 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0099276585
- ISBN-13 : 978-0099276586
- Item Weight : 7.9 ounces
- Dimensions : 7.6 x 5 x 0.7 inches
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Following the incident, Joe, who is a staunchly rational science writer, is plagued by the horrible randomness of the tragedy and his involvement in it. Meanwhile, Jed, one of the strangers who participated in the rescue attempt, becomes obsessed with Joe: he’s convinced that they fell in love that day, and that it’s his duty to show Joe God’s love.
As Jed continues to stalk Joe, Joe becomes consumed by paranoia on top of the guilt he feels from that day. It doesn’t help that no one takes his concerns about Jed seriously—including Clarissa.
This is a super compelling read. The prose is gorgeous, and the ongoing analysis of morality, guilt, responsibility and self-preservation is deeply fascinating. In fact, I think this book would have been interesting enough without all the craziness revolving around Jed. Parts of that storyline are certainly interesting, but it becomes slightly over the top.
It’s the subtler parts of the story that are most satisfying—such as Joe’s encounter with the dead man’s wife, who fears he was cheating on her the day he died. There’s a lot of layered complexity throughout as the characters’ perceptions and subjective realities are challenged. In order to convince others, we must first convince ourselves—but to what lengths, and at what cost?
While the plot-progressive action occurs mostly within the confines of the protagonist’s mindscape, McEwan’s intellectual and exquisite writing style keeps you captivated, rolling into the next chapter before you even realize you’ve turned the page. Through complex character development and internal monologue, McEwan manages to keep the tone of Enduring Love mundane while shading the novel with dark overtones of obsession and paranoia.
Enduring Love is the first Ian McEwan novel that I have read, and it definitely won’t be my last. It’s safe to say that McEwan has recruited another fan. In fact, I think the next book I read will be another one of his that’s been hanging out on my shelf, Saturday. McEwan just might be one of my new favorite authors.
Seriously though, I had to read this book for class and it really blew me away from the first couple chapters on. I have an affinity for one off books, not really a series kind of reader so, I appreciate when a relatively short book can create so much emotion and tension throughout the story. Nothing drags on for too long, even when the main protagonist, Joe, starts rambling about scientist nonsense that most people wouldn’t understand at all. Everything you read is there to help you decide whether you can trust the characters that McEwan is presenting in the story or not. Literally, for most of the novel, I was debating whether two of the major characters were even real!
You ever recall something and then tell someone about it and they ask “are you sure that’s what happened?” and you begin to doubt what you remember, asking yourself “hmm, was it?” Yea, that’s pretty much this book.
Ian McEwan, who’s still alive by the way, delivers a book that spirals into a madness that you can’t seem to stop getting entangled in. Towards the middle of the read, you will find yourself wanting to finish the book just to prove that You’re not crazy and that whatever theories this book has pushed you to think was correct. It’s a beautiful book and really holds true to it’s name “Enduring Love” like a clever entendre, so again, you will not regret the purchase!
Top reviews from other countries
What kept me reading was McEwan's way of writing which is excellent and quite unique in style. The interesting philosophy compensated the events in the book which were too quickly rushed through.
I'd recommend this for a philosophical read but don't expect too much from the story which has an overrated first chapter and dismal ending.