Ian McEwan

I think I ve only got two more novels to read and right now I m in the middle of Cement Garden. As a writer Mcewan has been one of my most important mentors. I feel absolutely safe in his hands. I love every tenderly crafted sentence,  but recently I ve had a few conversations that have made me pause. One great friend whose views I listen to greedily called him a show-off,  declared that despite the perfection of his prose she was left unmoved.

It’s got me thinking. Does perfection distance us from emotion?  Have i ever cried whilst reading his novels? I dont know, maybe not, but I have laughed. I read Solar recently and I laughed so much I forced my friends to listen to passages – especially the frozen penis episode. Hilarious.

Is perfection boring? And what does that mean? Surely we all struggle to acheive those occasions when we sit back, exhale and say – yeah, job done.  When whatever it is – words,  views, relationships, a particular taste seems, well, perfect. I think I do.

In fact I m not sure you can say something is perfect unless it engages our emotions. Hmmm. So maybe it’s all about language. Oh dear, now I’m getting confused.

What do you think?


2 thoughts on “Ian McEwan

  1. Sam, I’ve just read the Cement Garden. Beautiful written, but I was utterly distracted by the extremely disturbing subject matter.. I can’t say I enjoyed it all that much. It has left me reaching for the new Jilly Cooper for light relief (guilty pleasure). Have you bought Nutshell? Please let’s discuss next time I see you. Xx


    • Yeah – me too, but I rather like grizzly. I’m now reading The Comfort of Strangers. I love everything he writes – have you read Solar? It’s really very funny. I wonder if I’m allowed to put up an exert? And Sweettooth? bloody marvellous.


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