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In Between the Sheets Taschenbuch – 1900

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Taschenbuch, 1900
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Format: Taschenbuch
"In Between The Sheets", was published in 1978 following two very highly prized and one award-winning book by Mr. McEwan. I have become a great admirer of his more recent work so; I had gone back to read some of his earliest published books including this collection of short stories. The book is physically small and brief at 153 pages, and what it contains even less of is substance.
Seven short stories are contained and only the last even begins to rise to the level of mildly interesting, but it too quickly dissolves in to a bit of trivia. When reading an early collection like this I often wonder if it was published to fill a demand for who was then a new hot sensation of a writer, and secondly would it ever see publication today? My guess is the first question would be answered as yes, and the second would be not a chance. Mr. McEwan has become a writer that has an international reputation as a very good author, it is deserved, and he has been honored repeatedly for his work. Nothing of the present author can be found in this book.
In the late 1970's or whenever these stories were read there were probably trendy bits of hip phrasing that would be used to describe and justify these stories. But as with most trends they lack substance and fade as quickly as they arrive. I suppose surreal could be applied to some of the tales, but others would have different ideas about bestiality as shared in the story, "Reflections of a Kept Ape". The story, "Pornography", has been played out so many times in real life that it fails to even mildly shock. "In Between The Sheets", the short story, is simply the nadir in a book of stories competing for descriptions of the most dysfunctional human behavior. I cannot say any more here as it would be unprintable no matter how it was phrased.
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Format: Taschenbuch
The title of Ian McEwan's collection of seven short stories can be interpreted two ways. 'In between the sheets' could refer to what goes on between lovers or people involved in some other form of sexual congress. But, a writer almost automatically thinks of another kind of sheets -- paper. The title can also evoke what writers put on and between the sheets that lurch or pour from our computers. The book supports both interpretations.

Several of these short stories feature writers involved in the fight to write. One of the oddest is told from the perspective of the pet ape and former lover of a woman writer. She has achieved the kind of notoriety that sometimes strikes once for mediocre writers of pedestrian fiction. Her novel gave voice to the timely issue of infertility among otherwise healthy, middle-class couples. It became a flash-in-the-pan success in the market for commercial fiction. Her challenge is to write another book without the help of exceptionally good luck. As she slouches toward a return to obscurity, the writer briefly attempts either a diversion or the embrasure of a different kind of muse. She has a sexual relationship with her chimpanzee. The episode lasts only a week, but is the most important event in the intelligent animal's life. His inability to give voice to his desires becomes as suffocating as hers in "Reflections of a Kept Ape."

There isn't a writer in one of best of the seven selections, "Two Fragments: Saturday and Sunday, March 199-." However, the story is revealing of what a virtuoso like McEwan can do between the sheets. An unspecified apocalype, perhaps a nuclear war, has occurred, leaving British society bereft of housing, transportation, food and even water. Henry, the narrator, has managed to retain a low-level job as a government functionary, but society is degenerating into mayhem all around him, as people struggle to survive
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Format: Taschenbuch
Ian McEwan has always been the doyen of the macabre. In this, his second collection of stories, his language can be both resonant ('I do not care for posturing women but she "struck" me') and profane ('I love the scent asparagus lends the urine'). Whether describing the 'love' of a tailor's dummy or bondage games in a metropolitan setting, McEwan's prose is masterly and his insights unsettling. Excellent but not as great as his earlier volume, 'First Love, Last Rites.'
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Von Patrick L am 19. Dezember 2015
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
Great title, great stories, all with that McEawn raw twist. Always manages to claw at your heart. Worth repeated reading.
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