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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

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    111
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  • 2 Stars
    18
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    15

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    49
  • 4 Stars
    58
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    24
  • 2 Stars
    4
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Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    40
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    50
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  • Overall
  • 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

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!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • 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
  • Performance
  • Story

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
  • Performance
  • Story

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
  • 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 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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

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

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.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This is NOT a love story

And yet it is.... I was palpably disturbed by this book. Ending was a little flat, but the romance was detailed and horrible and very well written.