The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan

The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan

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

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

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Related Searches

123helpme.com/search.asp?text=ian+mcewan">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.
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