Tuesday, 10 November 2009
Book Review: The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
This is the first book by Ian McEwan I have read. It was a nice, quick read after getting through 'Cloud Atlas' by David Mitchell. I took 'The Comfort of Strangers' on holiday with me to Venice, completely and honestly ignorant of the book's plot: a couple go on holiday to Venice, where they become unintentionally involved with some strange locals.
As an Ian McEwan virgin, and as I'd heard so many good things about this writer, I wasn't disappointed. McEwan's writing style is both familiar and original. It flows easily, and is extremely observational - perhaps a little too observational at times, which slows the pace slightly. However, this book is so short that the pace could never be slowed for long. McEwan seems to effortlessly turn what first appears to be stereotypical characters into complex protagonists. By the time the novel reaches its horrific climax, the reader is totally shell-shocked by the empathy they feel.
By other half read this book in two days, and it is the first book he has read for years. He loved it, and I really enjoyed it too. Definitely worth a quick read.