The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan

The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan

Length: 608 words (1.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
Review of The comfort of strangers by Ian McEwan

This is a very interesting book by McEwan as well as being rather
confusing. The name ‘the comfort of strangers’ fits the storyline

This is a very mysterious book in which the two of the main characters
Caroline and Roger are slowly tightening the noose on the necks of the
other two main characters Mary and Colin.

I think the book fits into the mystery genre as far as the writing of
the author goes and I found that some parts of the book reminded me of
‘Enduring Love’. The way that that Colin and Mary blindly get involved
with Roger shows one of many weaknesses in the novel. Roger’s shady
character and his weird story about how his father was very strict and
how his jealous sisters made him eat chocolate so that he would get
into trouble with his father along with other things should have kept
Mary and Colin away. Stories like this one, which require the reader
to suspend disbelief as the actors venture further and further into
the abyss are extremely hard to pull off, so it's not surprising that
McEwan doesn't quite manage it. An author can get away with making his
characters naive, but at the point where the reader is yelling at them
and calling them idiots for following along with the novel's plot,
that author has lost control of his own narrative. A big complaint
that reviewers have had with this novel or rather this ‘short story’
is that the author works around taboo issues meaning he may talk about
them for a moment or two and then ignores them. Another problem which
links onto this is that many times the author builds up the story as
something really dramatic is going to happen and then nothing out of
the ordinary happens for example when Mary jumps in the water you
would think that one of them may drown but it turns out to be
something just ordinary. I think this has a negative effect on the
reader as well as the fact that sometimes the reader is left to ‘fill
in the gaps’ themselves when we are not given enough detail on the
characters or the storyline. There is no real solution at the end of
the novel. Another problem with the novel is how Mary and Colin’s sex
lives suddenly become great again after meeting Caroline and Roger.
Another similar instance is when Roger punches Colin in the stomach
for NO reason. The setting of the novel, which is Venice, is not
really used well by

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan." 15 Dec 2019

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Analysis Of Ian Mcewan 's Atonement

- Ian McEwan’s Atonement is great example of character involvement in text, for to understand a characters need to atone, the reader needs to understand the psyche of the character. The book, which is aptly named after that which it represents, is written so that the events transpiring either give insight to the mind of the character, set up the conflicts that will lead to the need for atonement, or are the act of atonement themselves. It is by focalizing through specific characters throughout the book that McEwan creates a theme of atonement and it is by understanding the psyche of the characters, and their need to atone that the novel gets it’s forward movement....   [tags: Novel, Ian McEwan, Narrative, Mind]

Research Papers
1214 words (3.5 pages)

Analysis Of Ian Mcewan 's Atonement Essay

- Whole hearted originality is that of an oxymoron, simple because, “true originality” is not something that can be created. Yet originality is something that can be imitated and stolen from. The act of stealing is what generates “true originality.” Artists and every other creatively thinking person take from one another to make something revolutionizing. Take for consideration Ian McEwan, and his novel Atonement; the novel employs what would be a revolutionizing form of literary technique for British Literature....   [tags: Fiction, Novel, Ian McEwan, Marcel Proust]

Research Papers
1277 words (3.6 pages)

Ian McEwan's Enduring Love Essay

- Ian McEwan's Enduring Love Evident throughout the entire plot of ‘Enduring Love’, Ian McEwan fuses three different genres: love story, detective story and thriller. Each genre I believe has a set of expectations that captures the reader urging them to read on, for example a thriller genre would stereotypically be led by a fast, tense pace with characters easily identifiable as ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’. Different, fresh and ‘novel’ McEwan establishes his break up of typical genres as he mixes the elements of the three main genres and purposely doesn’t stick to their rigid framework that many authors swear by....   [tags: Ian McEwan Enduring Love Essays]

Research Papers
1205 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Urban Alienation in Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden

- Urban Alienation in Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden It was not at all clear to me now why we had put her in the trunk in the first place. At the time it had been obvious, to keep the family together. Was that a good reason. It might have been more interesting to be apart. Nor could I think whether what we had done was an ordinary thing to do In this essay I shall be examining the socio-cultural context of The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan (1948 - ). Once placed within context, an examination of the internal worlds of the bereaved children will follow....   [tags: Ian McEwan The Cement Garden]

Research Papers
2776 words (7.9 pages)

The Opening Chapter of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan Essay

- The Opening Chapter of Enduring Love by Ian McEwan A dictionary defines the word addictive as being: wholly devoted to something, a slave to another and in a state of wanting more. Ian McEwan claimed that he wanted to write an opening chapter that had the same effect as a highly addictive drug. In my opinion he has achieved in doing this. At the end of chapter one the reader is left needing more information about the characters introduced and what tragedy actually occurred. McEwan took the definition, addictive, and wrote the opening chapter, never forgetting what his objective was....   [tags: Enduring Love Ian McEwan Essays]

Research Papers
1363 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on Stranger Than Fiction, By Ian Mcewan

- In Ian McEwan’s Saturday and Marc Forster’s Stranger than Fiction, the protagonists ' lives are nothing extraordinary. Henry Perowne is a neurosurgeon and Harold Crick is a tax auditor. They exist in a world not too different than the audience and live relatively mundane lives. It is only when the synthetic aspect of each of their character is used that the narrative can really begin. This aspect often plays a background role to the mimetic and thematic parts of characters, which are more interesting to the audience as they help trigger catharsis within the narrative....   [tags: Novel, Protagonist, Character, Narrator]

Research Papers
1394 words (4 pages)

Atonement by Ian McEwan Essay

- Manipulation is a strong tool allowing individuals with a minor role to subtlety, yet critically affect the course of a storyline. In the novel Atonement by Ian McEwan, the story is divided into three parts. In the first third of the book, a thirteen year-old girl named Briony Tallis writes a play for her older brother Leon: the Trials of Arabella. She wishes to use a fairy tale in order to persuade her brother to attain a stable relationship. The play, interpreted by her cousins, must be cancelled under unexpected circumstances due to her younger cousins’ refusal to collaborate as well as the fountain scene she witnesses....   [tags: manipulation, theme analysis]

Research Papers
974 words (2.8 pages)

Hooking the Reader in Ian McEwan's Enduring Love Essay

- "The beginning is simple to mark". This is the opening sentence of Ian McEwan's novel "Enduring Love", and in this first sentence, the reader is unwittingly drawn into the novel. An introduction like this poses the question, the beginning of what. Gaining the readers curiosity and forcing them to read on. The very word "beginning" allows us an insight into the importance of this event, for the narrator must have analysed it many a time in order to find the moment in which it all began, and so it is obviously significant period of his life....   [tags: Literature Analysis McEwan]

Research Papers
988 words (2.8 pages)

Nicholas Lezard's Critique of McEwan's Atonement Essay

- In Nicholas Lezard's critique of McEwan's Atonement he states that, "…the novel is itself the act of atonement that Briony Tallis needs to perform; yet we are very much in the land of the unreliable narrator, where evasion and mendacity both shadow and undermine the story that is told." To atone is to seek forgiveness for one's sins. The novel is Briony's attempt to be forgiven for the crime she committed as a naïve girl of 13, during the summer of 1935 heat wave. The narrator delivers the story from different points of view; she bases the other characters thoughts and reactions upon her own knowledge of their persona....   [tags: Ian McEwan]

Free Essays
954 words (2.7 pages)

Ian McEwan's Characters Essay

- After reading and analyzing two of Ian McEwan’s literary works, “Saturday” and “Solar”, you can tell that McEwan frequently writes about characters who lead successful lives. Although the characters in the two books are successful in the sense of profession, and money, it appears as if they both have troubled personal lives. I think that Ian McEwan might not have such an exciting and interesting personal life, so he enjoys writing about characters that do. McEwan’s use of characterization makes it clear that these characters, for the most part, are satisfied with their professional achievements, and are actually quite confident in their abilities to use the knowledge they’ve acquired over th...   [tags: Character Analysis ]

Research Papers
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Related Searches">Ian McEwan either as Venice has hundreds upon
hundreds of restaurants but amazingly Roger and Mary can’t find one.

Some possible positives of the novel are that McEwan as usual uses
very descriptive language and the build up is really great. This
however does not take the away from the fact that the novel is rather
incomplete and isolated and is probably worth giving a miss.

I think it would be best to read McEwan later novels such as Enduring
love and Amsterdam as they are the ones which have gained him
international recognition. McEwan writing seems to have improved as he
has written more pieces. I can say this after having read all of
Enduring love and having begun reading ‘Amsterdam’ by the same Author.
I don’t think it is very easy to review this novel because it is very
short and there isn’t much really to talk about and the rest is up to
the reader to read and find out what the key points in the novel are.
Return to