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A Talented Wordcrafter Describes an Improbable Honeymoon,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On Chesil Beach: A Novel (Gebundene Ausgabe)
If you are easily seduced by beautiful sentences, you'll feel On Chesil Beach is a five-star book. If you love exploring inner dialogue, you'll be even more pleased with this book.
If, however, you like your stories to be compelling because of their relevance and interest to your own life, you'll wonder why in the world Mr. McEwan chose to write about this particular problem of poor communications in the context of 1962. As you delve deeper into the book, you'll be even more puzzled by the book's pivotal event and the characters' reactions to it.
The short book (neither novella nor full novel) is organized in five parts that seem much like the acts in a Greek tragedy. The opening scene shows a couple dining in their room at an inn. "They were young, educated, and both virgins on this, their wedding night, and they lived in a time when a conversation about sexual difficulties was plainly impossible." The second act describes how they met. The third act takes place in their bedroom in the inn. The fourth act describes their courtship. The fifth act takes place on the beach and in their lives afterward as they attempt and fail to communicate.
Mr. McEwan does a good job of capturing your attention through exploring the couple's growing tension as they move toward the consummation of their marriage. But past that point, the story seemed like a punctured balloon to me: My interest was gone. I suspect that reaction is because I didn't feel close to either character; they are more there to entertain me than to lead me into experiencing the story like the characters do.
Clearly, the story would have worked much better for me if focused around a more universal trial in marriage, such as handling both sets of parents during the birth of a first child. I also thought that Mr. McEwen played the role of the Greek chorus too often . . . telling us what was going on rather than letting us see and hear the action. The fourth part seems clearly out of place; it should have preceded the third part.
Unless you are drawn to beautiful sentences and images, I suggest you skip this book . . . it's a misdirected storytelling foray by a talented writer that is eminently avoidable.
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