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Enduring Love

Narrated by: Steven Crossley
Length: 9 hrs
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
3.5 out of 5 stars (303 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Ian McEwan has earned international acclaim for his writing and is considered one of England's best contemporary novelists. In Enduring Love, he sets a tale of obsession and desperation spinning amidst one man's comfortable British world.

On a sunny afternoon, the middle-aged writer Joe Rose and his wife look up from their picnic in the countryside to see an elderly man desperately trying to anchor his giant helium balloon. Running to help, Joe is joined by other bystanders. But from that fateful day, one of them, Jed Parry, will begin to stalk Joe. Driven by religious zeal and misdirected love, the strange young man will slowly unravel each strand of Joe's life.

Perfectly capturing the moments when a familiar world begins to shift out of balance, this first-person narrative traces Joe's growing unease and frustration. As Joe watches his marriage, his profession, and his character dissolve, Enduring Love fills with psychological tension and emotional suspense.

©1998 Ian McEwan (P)2003 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • EVERETT
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 12-28-04

Thriller of the minds and relationships

I found this novel to be original and engrossing. It's about a writer makes a chance acquaintance with another man, who is psychologically disturbed. They both have witnessed a tragic balooning acident. The disturbed man falls in love with the writer after this briefest of encounters and stalks him persistently, creating tension in the writer's marriage. The author describes the writer's research into the man's clinical disturbance and makes this almost unbelievable plot seem plausible. This book has suspense, as well as an interesting cast of characters. A good read!

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Thriller of the minds and relationships

I found this novel to be original and engrossing. It's about a writer makes a chance acquaintance with another man, who is psychologically disturbed. They both have witnessed a tragic balooning acident. The disturbed man falls in love with the writer after this briefest of encounters and stalks him persistently, creating tension in the writer's marriage. The author describes the writer's research into the man's clinical disturbance and makes this almost unbelievable plot seem plausible. This book has suspense, as well as an interesting cast of characters. A good read!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jeannie
  • Columbia, SC, USA
  • 07-31-08

de Clerambault's syndrome

This was a book I had a hard time staying with. Some technical problems and my interest in the story waned however after a 2 hour drive I was captivated. His first person narrative kept me guessing for most of the book. Is the book's view point Joe's or is he the one having the delusions. The story unfolds and the characters are introduced and the stunning revelation Jed Parry is perusing Joe with romantic notions entwined with religious undertones with the need to save Joe's soul. You feel frustration for Joe as he unsuccessfully tries to communicate the advances of his admirer to friends and family. The term de clerambault is introduced and I found I needed to Google the definition. This mental illness has also been called erotomania and was demonstrated by in the stalking behavior of John Hinkley. His attempt to shoot President Regan in order to impress Jody Foster is much like Parry's behavior. These behaviors confuse those directly involved and in this first person narrative you find at times you question Joes sanity.
All in all I am glad I stayed with this book. The authors narrative at the end discusses this illness and real cases McEwan reviewed to weave this compelling story.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting exploration of love and pathology

I'm not sure what I expected from this novel. I went in having only ever read a few McEwan short stories. So I guess my assumptions were that this would be a novel full of lush descriptions, evocative and beautiful, deep characters with surprising traits and personalities. What I hadn't expected was to read a psychological thriller involving a menacing stalker, an endangered relationship, and a surprising ending. I liked this story, quite a lot. It's got me hooked. I'll definitely add more of McEwan's work to my listening library.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

nine hours of pure fascination

Knowing the author's close friendship with Christopher Hitchens added a grace note of humor to this otherwise dark marvel. I laughed, winced, and went without needed sleep as the characters lurched toward their destinies. The narration was spot on with uncanny and lightning switches between characters, both male and female. At the end,I felt both more and less sane for having ridden the roller coaster thoughts of Joe and Jed. The antidote may well be another McEwen book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Haunting, engaging, disturbing

A contented marriage intersects with a bizarre ballooning accident and suddenly everything in this man's life is different - even him. It's beautifully written, exploring the subtle changes that happen when obsession - yours or someone else's - enters a life. The reading is masterful - the voices and characterizations are brilliant.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Master in narative

The narration is so masterful. You want to keep on reading to find out how the story moves from one event to the other. Characters are well built. I did enjoy the audible a lot.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lanlady
  • Woodbridge, VA USA
  • 05-31-08

in with a bang, out with a whimper

Enduring Love is a nicely crafted story with rich characters and beautiful passages. The narration by Steven Crossley is superb. Unfortunately, the story really doesn't deliver the goods in the end. There is suspense throughout and the tantalizing expectation of a surprise twist or two. But... the story simply fizzles out. No revelations, no ah hah! moment, nothing to remotely satisfy those raised expectations. I was very disappointed in what is supposed to be one of McEwan's best works. A friend of mine in the British literary business finds him quite overrated as a novelist, and now I understand why.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Really good

Interesting subject matter told in a good story. A hint of the mystery. Never a dull moment. I really like his style. The reader was very convincing.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • Colorado Springs
  • 10-25-19

it felt like two books at times

Enduring Love was published in 1197 and made into a movie in 2004. But to be honest I knew nothing of it. It is a book about De Clerambault’s syndrome (now known as erotomania); a young woman is convinced that a man of higher social standing is in love with her when in fact she is a stranger to him. She believes that he sends her personal messages and signs of his love. She believes that only she can interpret the signs. And all of this keeps her love alive. It is an odd and unique condition that made the book equally odd and unique. It also captured my attention right away.

Our main character is a journalist. He is a married man who writes articles about science for magazines. The story begins when there is a tragic accident when a hot air balloon is escaping its moorings with a child aboard and a man who is trying to save the boy is left clinging to the rope as it quickly ascends. He dies from the inevitable fall. Several other men who tried to help are left to deal with the emotional aftermath. And part of the aftermath involves the woman who becomes a stalker of the journalist.

He shares his fears with his wife, which leads to a very clear and harsh impact on his marriage. He is far too emotional and his quickly changing moods affect his wife and his marriage. He is quite clearly dealing with PTSD, and is struggling to know how to talk about the events on the day of the accident. Unfortunately he doesn't even know if there is anyone in his life with whom he could talk. Our journalist is reliving the accident, feeling guilt about it, being stalked, and seeing his marriage change.

My biggest complaint is that at times the two storylines felt a bit too separate and distinct as though they could have been two separate books. Overall, however, I enjoyed the book.