Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Too sophisticated to believe in destiny

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan is my fourth book for the year. I haven't been to my book club in some time and this is one of the ones for this month. It was a fairly quick read; I finished in just a couple of days.

The novel revolves aroudn the wedding night of Edward and Florence. They are British and get married in 1962. However, they seem to be living in 1952 or perhaps the Victorian age. Edward cannot think of anything but finally getting to sleep with Florence and Florence is grossed out by the thought of having to have sex. We get a lot of information that at times seems to be a little much. I enjoyed the flashbacks to how they met and their courtship, but I pretty much love anything British. If the book has tea time in it I have a hard time hating it.

That being said, I don't think that the book was great. It wasn't Atonement. I have the urge to shove this book in the hands of everyone who insists that they are waiting until they get married to really kiss their significant other (there are people like that out there, I saw it on tv). I expected not to like the ending because my friend did not, but I thought that it fit. I love that Florence could not help but look for him in the set 9C.

I am completely enthralled with McEwan's writing style, but I think this book just did not live up to expectations. Perhaps if I had read this first and then Atonement. I bought his Saturday and I really want to read Amsterdam as well.

I did love one character that is only introduced for a moment, Harold Mather. He's the kind of guy I would like. After hitting a guy for smacking Harold, Edward has this thought: "Later on, Edward realized that what he had done was simply not cool, and his shame was all the greater. Street fighting did not go with poetry and irony, bebop or history."

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