©2010 Ian McEwan (P)2010 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
"McEwan's meticulous prose, his shaping of his material to create suspense, and his adept use of specific settings--Poland's Majdanek concentration camp, Berlin during the dismantling of the Wall, a primitive area of the French countryside--produce a haunting fable about the fragility of civilization, always threatened by the cruelty latent in humankind." (Publishers Weekly)
"Though Bernard and June represent diametrically opposed ways of looking at the world--two views beautifully and succinctly captured by McEwan--they are not mere vessels of thought but lively, distinctive characters in their own right. As the narrator returns to the French countryside where June fatefully encountered the dogs, the deceptively simple buildup makes her brush with violence all the more shocking. A novel of ideas with the hard edge of a thriller; highly recommended." (Library Journal)
Be warned that the last 39 pages are missing. Or they were from my download. A great pity because in my view this is McEwan's finest novel, and it this version is brilliantly read. So wait until Audible confirms the whole text is available. (I've downloaded literally hundreds of audible books, so I don't think it's me.)
It's a superbly constructed page turner that discusses good and evil, and juxtaposes the rational with the passionate, even the spiritual. It's a novel about individual loss, cruelty, love, happiness, contentment, played out against memories of Nazism and the Holocaust, and the failure of communism.
Its evocations of place, particularly the Causse of Southern France, are to die for.
I first read this book years ago and enjoyed it. The audio book version is even better. The narrator depicts the various family members perfectly and paces the story brilliantly. Would recommend if you like McEwen's writing.
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