Dear Reader

Random musings on reading and books from a librarian in training.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

On Chesil Beach

I just finished reading On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan. This was a Christmas gift. :-D More a long short story than a novel, On Chesil Beach chronicles a newly wed couple's first married night with flashbacks on their meeting, relationship and families. It takes place in the early 1960s and illustrates the changing political, social and cultural norms of the day. As Edward and Florence start their married life, they have conflicting views of their first night together. While Edward views it with a mixture of trepidation and excitement, Florence views it with dread.

I loved Atonement, but found parts of this book a hard slog. In some parts I felt like he was just stretching a great short story into a short novel. While I thought the prose was beautiful and it was moving in parts, in other parts I felt like it was dragging.

"This is how the entire course of a life can be changed -- by doing nothing."

Oddly enough, I found this nugget after googling the Booker prize: "Ian McEwan’s short novel ‘
On Chesil Beach’ causes controversy when the media claim that is a ‘novella’ and therefore not eligible for the prize."

My impatience might have had something to do with the fact I just got The Brief and Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao from the library. The clock is ticking, I jut have two weeks. The waiting list for it was incredible, so I know I probably won't be able to renew it. I'll be sure to post my thoughts on it!

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