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Enduring Love
     

Enduring Love

4.1 27
by Ian McEwan
 

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A sad, chilling, precise exploration of deranged love. -- starred, Kirkus Reviews

Will keep readers hooked. -- starred, Publishers Weekly

The calm, organized life of Joe Rose is shattered one day when Joe takes part in a rescue effort to save a child in a runaway ballon gondola. The day ends with a tragedy that takes only seconds, but

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Enduring Love 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like psychodrama, you will probably like this. Certainly, the opening chapter is rivieting, but the rest of the book doesn't quite measure up. I read it for a book club, but probably would not have finished it otherwise. There is a nice mystery here, but there are better reads out there. don't read the other reviews here -- they give away too much of the plot. I guarantee you will enjoy it less if you know the ending before you start.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Just when one thinks that existence couldn't get any better than this, the ofetn overlooked details converge to unravel the larger tapestry of life. Small threads of doubt and mistrust directed toward others inevitably return and manifest themselves in a gut-wrenching questioning of one's own fallibility. Such is the case with Joe Rose, the main character of Ian McEwan's novel 'Enduring Love.' An idyllic day of intended sharing and unencumbered love above a sweeping English meadow is unraveled by a tragic event that will forever change Joe's life. McEwan's captivatingly eloqent account of the balloon accident in the first chapter does more than hook the reader and set the basis for all later plot situations. It leads the reader to ponder the perplexity of the human condition. It conjures up questions of human values. Just how far are you willing to go to save someone else's life? What personal price are you willing to pay in order to help someone else? Are you willing to face the future challenges that may result from your present actions? 'Enduring Love' is more than a novel that recounts the oftentimes undesirable outcome of actions taken simply because they were right at the moment. The balloon accident is the key that opens the door to other personal revelations and challenges that lay hidden inside Joe Rose. Even though Joe and Clarissa's relationship is more complicated than simply having great sex, I got the impression that that was about the only honest connection that they shared. Joe (a science journalist) views the world as scientific theories and mathematical equations, whereas Clarissa (a professor of literature) perceives life as being a continuously romantic Keats poem. This disparity of perception between them gets more complicated when Jed Parry (a young man who was also galvanized into action during the balloon tragedy) turns out to have a homoerotic obsession for Joe brought about by their ill-fated sharing of a tragedy and a deranged mental condition de Clerambault's syndrome. As Jed begins a shedule of stalking Joe with the intent of bringing him closer to God, Joe and Clarissa begin to question the lack of trust and support between them. They find themselves battling a commitment to each other that never really appeared to be there from the start. If there had been, it would have taken more than Joe's uncontrolled urge to rifle through the personal letters in Clarissa's desk to possibly end the marriage. I found Clarissa to be a self-absorbed person who failed to internalize the romantic compassion of love one learns from literature. This brings me to a few other events in the novel that I found to be a bit implausible. It seems a bit fantastic that Clarissa would not be overly concerned about a man who would obsessively stand across the street and watch her husband's every move. It also seems a bit peculiar that when Jed Parry decides to act, he chooses a public restaurant packed with patrons when he had many more private opportunities. However, who knows what goes on in the minds of those deranged? I grew perturbed that someone as cerebral as Joe would fail to think of easily available means of proving his case. Why wouldn't he merely take Clarissa to the window and show her the deranged man consistently standing across the street? Or better yet, tell her to watch for the man scurrying up the street to avoid being detected by her when she walked out of the door. As a reader, I grew frustrated with the characterization. Rarely have I read a novel where I often didn't care what happened to the protagonist. I didn't fully feel connected to Joe and his conflict. A reader who finds displeasure in reducing life's happenings into black and white scientific theories will find this novel tedious. However, those readers who marvel at the complexities of human nature will find Ian McEwan's book engaging.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had to force myself to finish this book. 7th I wasn't reading this for book club probably wouldn't have finished it. When you have to ck dictionary for word definitions every other page not enjoyable. This is from someone who taught psychology .
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Omerta More than 1 year ago
McEwan continues to dazzle us with his diversified approach to writing. At one moment he is describing the full bloom of vegetation in an inviting park, in exquisite detail, and in the next he is using street vernacular to identify the sexual act of two lovers. This is what makes him so unique and palatable. You read a little, and want more of the book, and then want to start another one. I'm enthused with the idea of being able to read any of McEwan's work in any order. He does not bow down to the tireless drivel of serials.
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LifeExamined More than 1 year ago
I always have a bit of a tough time reading this reknowned author and this book is no exception. I read and read, almost forcing myself to get through the pages, run across a few accounts that are quite stimulating and imaginative, and then read and read again. Then the book is over. Perhaps I should stop trying to like McEwan?
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CatSlater More than 1 year ago
One of the best books I have read and one of the most disturbing. From a chance encounter one's whole world can change and become a nightmare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Colorful prose with visuals that place you at the scene. The weight of emotional young love anchors the reader throughout to the end. Not only a story about love, but a story of chance and conviction sometimes two opposites that never attract. Cant wait to read another one of his books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As with so many novels, the title reveals nothing. (Are we running out of book titles?) The title suggests a pulp novel. The reality presented, as in any McEwan novel, is from the outset a series of modern moral choices, and the sequellae that may flow from those choices when taken. Some of these choices must be taken in the throes of an emergency. Some are undertaken after great deliberation, or under the control of a poweful obsession. McEwan has the consummate skill to cocoon these choices, and their outcomes, in the shell of a good story. This is a thinking person's novel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first McEwan novel and it held my attention from page one. He took the story from one plane to another while holding the central themes of obsession and forgiveness. One thing that drew me to this author was the commitment of his readers and now I can see why. This won't be my last.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A deliciously exhilarating plot is to be found in Enduring Love. What an absolute joy to be thoroughly immersed in the main character's flight as he is stalked by a shadowy man with whom he has shared a terrifying event (the attempt to save a boy from death in a runaway balloon.) Again, Mr. McEwan fascinates the reader by drawing us into rich plots and undertones of meaning. The main character is haunted by the man at every turn: If he parts the curtains of his apt., the man is there. Telephone calls and disturbing street meetings lead to a final confrontation preceeded by carefully layered plot and rich characterization. As with so many of Mr. McEwan's books, one will re-read them carefully, savoring every turn of the page. As in Black Dogs, Atonement and Amsterdam, readers experience the thrill of the moment and the ingenious literary skills of a true master. Read everything by this author. His works are literary gems. Kathryn Forrester, Poet Laureate Emeritus of Virginia
Guest More than 1 year ago
At First i was intrigued by the opening chapter but as the novel developed i became more curious and impatient to find out what would happen later. I believe this novel gets better as you read it and that there are alot of links with the title throughout. There are 2 sides to Joe in this - the scientific side and the story telling side, often Joe detaches himself from his current situations by telling them as an onlooker in a story form. In real life people can relate to this as in awkward situations you wish you could detach yourself away from it. Jed Parrys views on matters stem from religious beliefs - he see`s Joe as a challenge because he believes it is his duty to bring him to God. This novel is a gripping and exciting read and i would recommend it to anyone.
Guest More than 1 year ago
the book is easy to read has many cliff hangers which keeps the reader in suspence. The first chapter of enduring love is the heart of the book as it brings the book to life. I have also enjoyed the characters in the novel as they all bring new stories into the novel. The use of film convention in the book is prehaps the cleverest. Overall 'a fantastic book to read'
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm also reading this book for my English Literature AS level course. Being just 16 I find the lexis very hard to grasp yet the majority is enthralling! The first chapter captures you, forcing an obsession upon yourself so that you have to read on. The descriptions of actions are just as exciting yet McEwan tends to sway off of the subject, over-doing it slightly with the scientific knowledge of Joe Rose. Apart from that, a truely expertly written novel- much recommended by myself!