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Enduring Love (Roman) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 26. Mai 2016

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Joe Rose has planned a postcard-perfect afternoon in the English countryside to celebrate his lover's return after six weeks in the States. To complete the picture, there's even a "helium balloon drifting dreamily across the wooded valley." But as Joe and Clarissa watch the balloon touch down, their idyll comes to an abrupt end. The pilot catches his leg in the anchor rope, while the only passenger, a boy, is too scared to jump down. As the wind whips into action, Joe and four other men rush to secure the basket. Mother Nature, however, isn't feeling very maternal. "A mighty fist socked the balloon in two rapid blows, one-two, the second more vicious than the first," and at once the rescuers are airborne. Joe manages to drop to the ground, as do most of his companions, but one man is lifted sky- high, only to fall to his death.

In itself, the accident would change the survivors' lives, filling them with an uneasy combination of shame, happiness and endless self-reproach. (In one of the novel's many ironies, the balloon eventually lands safely, the boy unscathed.) But fate has far more unpleasant things in store for Joe. Meeting the eye of fellow rescuer Jed Parry, for example, turns out to be a very bad move. For Jed is instantly obsessed, making the first of many calls to Joe and Clarissa's London flat that very night. Soon he's openly shadowing Joe and writing him endless letters. One insane epistle begins, "I feel happiness running through me like an electrical current. I close my eyes and see you as you were last night in the rain, across the road from me, with the unspoken love between us as strong as steel cable." Worst of all, Jed's version of love comes to seem a distortion of Joe's feelings for Clarissa.

Apart from the incessant stalking, it is the conditionals--the contingencies--that most frustrate Joe, a scientific journalist. If only he and Clarissa had gone straight home from the airport... if only the wind hadn't picked up... if only he had saved Jed's 29 messages in a single day... Ian McEwan has long been a poet of the arbitrary nightmare, his characters ineluctably swept up in others' fantasies, skidding into deepening violence, and--worst of all--becoming strangers to those who love them. Even his prose itself is a masterful and methodical exercise in defamiliarization. But Enduring Love and its underrated predecessor, Black Dogs, are also meditations on knowledge and perception as well as brilliant manipulations of our own expectations. By the novel's end, you will be surprisingly unafraid of hot-air balloons, but you won't be too keen on looking a stranger in the eye.

Pressestimmen

"Utterly compelling" (Sunday Times)

"Hypnotically readable" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Taut with narrative excitement and suspense" (Sunday Times)

"A plot so engrossing that it seems reckless to pick the book up in the evening if you plan to get any sleep that night" (A. S. Byatt Daily Mail)

"He is the maestro at creating suspense" (New Statesman)

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Format: Taschenbuch
...the Appendix at the end was written by McEwan after he finished the novel and as a joke he sent it to a british psychiatric journal under 2 pseudonyms which are actually an anagram of his name ... the "case-study" was accepted and duly published.
i think for that alone he deserves a modicum of respect. HOWEVER i would like to contradict everyone by saying that although terrible scenario in chapter 1 is very clever, leading up to it is quite boring, isn't it. and the plot of the novel overall does become a bit forced and unevenly paced. ESPECIALLY the restaurant and hippie/gun scenes. i thought it was unconvincing of mcewan to randomly give us an insight into clarissa's frame of mind (that bit when she comes home from work cross and tired) and yet remain with joe for the rest of the novel - blatantly inconsistent. there were also minor inconsistencies in the text eg joe claims to have lime-flavour ice-cream in the restaurant, but when he relates the incident to the police it is apple-flavour. unusual for both an author as obsessed with detail as mcewan is, and for his eerily similar narrator joe.
and yes the book can be intensely boring - not just when joe is going on about science, but also when mcewan is being generally pedantic about descriptions of ppl/places/events. i couldn't gauge whether mcewan was being boring and scientific because he couldn't help it, or whether he ws writing "in character" as joe.
in the book's favour, i think mcewan invites us to compare ourselves with jed and empathise with him in the horrible way he makes us empathise with all his skewed characters. come on, how many times have you had a crush on someone and suspected/KNOWN that they knew, and they kind of liked you to, but couldn't say ... ? think about it ... think and shudder ...
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Ich möchte vorausschicken, dass ich die Bücher von Ian McEwan unheimlich gerne lese (geradezu verschlinge), weil sie so gut geschrieben und recherchiert sind und oft auch ein bisschen (schwarzen) Humor zeigen. Ich bevorzuge die Originalversion, weil durch die Übersetzung doch immer wieder einiges verloren geht.
Wer etwas mehr als "Schulenglisch" beherrscht, sollte diese Bücher jedenfalls auf Englisch lesen!

Kommen wir zu "Enduring Love".
Ein sehr schöner, stimmiger Roman in gewohnt hoher schriftstellerischer Qualität, aber auch mit einigen Schwächen. Was besticht? Zuallererst die wundervolle Sprache. Dann der scharfe Blick auf die Spezies Mensch mit all ihren Stärken und Schwächen, Unsicherheiten und Eitelkeiten. Schließlich die durchaus interessanten Charaktere.

Der Plot? Joe und Clarissa, ein glückliches Paar, dessen Beziehung durch die Ereignisse enorm strapaziert wird. Die Gründe dafür: Ein schreckliches Ballon-Unglück und Jed, der Stalker. Wie entwickelt sich die Beziehung? Wachsen die beiden zusammen - oder driften sie auseinander???

Manko Nr. 1: Meines Erachtens ist die ganze Geschichte ein bisschen zu dick aufgetragen. Wir haben zwei Handlungsstränge, von denen einer völlig gereicht hätte:
a) Wie gehen Menschen damit um, in ein Unglück (hier: Einen Ballon-Unfall mit tödlichem Ausgang) verstrickt zu sein – was bewirkt der Schock in ihnen – wie gehen sie mit den Schuldgefühlen um (habe ich genug getan? Etc?
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Joe Rose is a lucky man: though balding, biggish and not really on the height of the career he would have wanted for himself, he does neither lack a decent job nor a fulfilling relationship.
When he sets out for a nice picnic with his girlfriend, he is not expecting anything like the peculiar events that will ensue. Or would you expect to be stalked by a deeply religious gay maniac who you have shared a very tragic accident with? Parry, who is convinced his love for Joe is mutual, is relentless in his efforts to convince him of both the Lord's and his own love for him. Joe, on the other hand, makes quite a few false moves that end up in endangering the perfect harmony he used to share with his girlfriend, who is finding her boyfriend's obsession increasingly irritating.
Mc Ewan's well-researched novel on erotomaniac patterns and their shattering effect makes for an entertaining and quite fascinating read. The narrative perspective is very personal albeit very distanced, thus making you feel chillingly uncomfortable. The blend of very unusual events and turns and the all too well-known deterioration of a relationship uses defamiliarization to point out how very fragile both the human mind and intimate relations are.
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Ian McEwan's enthralling new novel Enduring Love begins rather simply "with the touch of a wine bottle and a shout of distress." Joe Rose leaps up from a picnic with his wife, Clarissa, and runs to help a boy trapped in the basket of an ascending balloon. He and four other men run from all sides to assist the boy.
All five men grab ropes dangling from the balloon, but four of them drop off as the wayward balloon rises, leaving one brave man clinging on for life. Eventually he loses his grip and falls hundreds of feet to the ground. "I've never seen such a terrible thing as that falling man," Joe writes later.
In a moment of unnatural calm after the man's death, Joe turns to one of the other men, Jed Parry, and gives him a quick, nervous, reassuring nod. "It's all right," he says before running to attend to the dead man. In that instant, an obsession is borne.
Parry's obsession with Joe manifests itself almost immediately, and it is confirmed that night when he calls to tell him: "I just wanted you to know, I understand what you're feeling. I feel it too. I love you."
Already struggling with guilt over the death of the fallen man, Joe must now also fend off the advances of Parry, a man of deep religious conviction, with an increasing propensity towards violence.
Essentially, Enduring Love is a study of de Clerambault's syndrome. According to the book, in 1942 the French psychiatrist de Clerambault described his eponymous syndrome as a state of erotomania in which the "'subject,' usually a woman, has the intense delusional belief that a man, the 'object,' often of higher social standing, is in love with her.
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