In between the Sheets

( 4 )

Overview

The second collection of short stories.

Call them transcripts of dreams or deadly accurate maps of the tremor zones of the psyche, the seven stories in this collection engage and implicate us in the most fearful ways imaginable. A two-timing pornographer becomes an unwilling object in the fantasies of one of his victims. A jaded millionaire buys himself the perfect mistress and plunges into a hell of jealousy and despair.

"McEwan ...

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In Between the Sheets

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Overview

The second collection of short stories.

Call them transcripts of dreams or deadly accurate maps of the tremor zones of the psyche, the seven stories in this collection engage and implicate us in the most fearful ways imaginable. A two-timing pornographer becomes an unwilling object in the fantasies of one of his victims. A jaded millionaire buys himself the perfect mistress and plunges into a hell of jealousy and despair.

"McEwan is entering the same league as Donald Barthelme and John Cheever."--Los Angeles Herald Examiner

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Powers
A writer in full control of his materials...in these short stories, the effect achieved by Mr. McEwan's quiet, precise, and sensual touch is that of magic realism -- a transfiguration of the ordinary that has a...strongish visceral impact. -- The New York Review of Books
From the Publisher
“His stories are so resonant and frightening because they are totally original. They are about the recognizable world of private fantasy and nightmare — a world, despite our protestations to the contrary, we are all involved in.” — Paul Bailey, Observer

“McEwan proves himself to be an acute psychologist of the ordinary mind.” — New York Times

"His stories are so resonant and frightening because they are totally original. They are about the recognizable world of private fantasy and nightmare — a world, despite our protestations to the contrary, we are all involved in." — The Times

"The style recalls some dangerous activity: skillful driving too fast round corners, say — Form and content are so intricately linked you can't divide them. This is a writer whose plainest combination of words is, like the draughtsman's proverbial dot, unmistakably telling." — Financial Times

"His writing is exact, tender, funny, voluptuous, disturbing." — The Times

"The Maestro." — New Statesman

"McEwan has — a style and a vision of life of his own...No one interested in the state and mood of contemporary Britain can afford not to read him." — John Fowles

"A sparkling and adventurous writer." — Dennis Potter

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679749837
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Series: Vintage International Series
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 697,580
  • Product dimensions: 5.05 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Ian McEwan is the author of two short story collections and seven novels. He lives in England.

Biography

One of the most distinguished novelists of his generation, Ian McEwan was born in England and spent much of his childhood traveling with his father, an army officer stationed in the Far East, Germany, and North Africa. He graduated from Sussex University in 1970 with a degree in English Literature and received his MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia.

McEwan burst upon the literary scene in the mid-1970s with two short story collections that highlighted with equal clarity his early predilection for disturbing, somewhat shocking subject matter and his dazzling prose style. Similarly, his 1978 debut novel, The Cement Garden, attracted as much attention for its unsettling storyline as for its stylistic brilliance. But even though his early work was saturated with deviant sex, violence, and death (so much so that he earned the nickname "Ian MacAbre"), he was never dismissed as a mere purveyor of cheap thrills. In fact, two of his most provocative works (The Comfort of Strangers and Enduring Love) were shortlisted for major U.K. awards.

As he has matured, McEwan has moved away from disquieting themes like incest, sadism, and psychotic obsession to explore more introspective human dramas. In an interview with The New Republic he described his literary evolution in this way:

"One passes the usual milestones in life: You have children, you find that whether you like it or not, you have a huge investment in the human project somehow succeeding. You become maybe a little more tolerant as you get older. Pessimism begins to feel something like a badge that you perhaps do not wear so easily. There is something delicious and reckless about the pessimism of being 21. And when you get older you feel maybe a little more delicate and hope that things will flourish. You don't want to take a stick to it."
Among many literary honors, McEwan has been awarded the Somerset Maugham Award for First Love, Last Rites (1976) and the Whitbread Prize for The Child in Time (1987). Nominated three times for the Booker Prize, he finally won in 1998 for Amsterdam. He has also received the WH Smith Literary Award and National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award for Atonement (2001) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Saturday (2005).

Good To Know

While developing the Harry Perowne, the neurosurgeon in Saturday, McEwan actually spent a year observing a neurosurgeon at work, which included time spent in the operating theater.

Although he is known principally for his novels, McEwan has also brought his vision to the screen as writer of the films The Ploughman's Lunch (1983) and Soursweet (1988).

Hollywood loves McEwan. Film adaptions of his novels include The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Innocent, Enduring Love, and Atonement.

McEwan is no stranger to controversy. In 1999, his first wife kidnapped their 13-year-old son.The child was returned and McEwan awarded sole custody. His ex-wife was fined for "defamation" of McEwan's name.

In 2002, Ian McEwan discovered that he had a brother born from an affair between McEwan's parents that occurred before their marriage and given up for adoption during WWII. Since their relationship has come to light, McEwan and his brother have met frequently and forged a friendship.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Ian Russell McEwan
    2. Hometown:
      Oxford, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 21, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Aldershot, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., University of Sussex, 1970; M.A., University of East Anglia, 1971
    2. Website:

Table of Contents

Pornography
Reflections of a Kept Age
Two Fragments, March 199_
Dead as They Come
In Between the Sheets
To and Fro
Psychopolis
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Couldn't Finish!

    I think it was the first story that kind of turned me off - it started off with some interesting characters and family dynamics, but then turned into a story that seemed like it could have been told by some jr. high boys in the I went to school with in the eighties. Another story was just so-so and another was a dud, so I stopped reading. I can probably count the books I haven't finished on one hand, so.

    Loved The Cement Garden, Atonement and On Chesil Beach, though.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    Don't waste your money

    It is hard to believe that the author of "Atonement" and "On Chesil Beach" can write such rubbish. I am a fan of Mr. McEwan's work and I enjoy short stories, but this book was no pleasure to read. Even giving this book one star is hard to do.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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