I really wanted to give this book a four, I really did, but I just couldn’t. This is not because of McEwan’s writing, but because I simply did not like this book. I truly wanted to like this book, because I was impressed by it, but I just couldn’t. Perhaps you are wondering how one can be impressed by a book but not like it? I admit that this predicament is a rather strange one, but alas, here we are.
I was impressed for two reasons: McEwan’s writing and the unique perspective from which this story is told. McEwan’s writing is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. I am perhaps a bit envious of his writing – I wish that I could write like that. Strong writing was essential to this story; if it had been attempted by a mediocre writer it simply would have fallen apart. This is because of the unique narrator of this story. I do not want to give this point away, because I believe this is what makes the first chapter of this book so strong. When I started it, I had no idea what to expect, and thus I was immediately impressed.
However impressed I was, I simply did not like the story. The plot was intriguing, but I became frustrated by the tendency of the narrator to go off on seemingly random tangents. I found it hard to believe that this particular narrator could have so much to say about such a variety of topics. I know that sounds incredibly obscure, but it is difficult to say too much about this without revealing the identity of the narrator.
Have you read this book? I would love to know what you thought in the comments below.