Thursday, October 23, 2008

Black Dogs by Ian McEwan - Tammy's review

Title: Black Dogs

Author: Ian McEwan

No. of Pages: 176

Synopsis (from B&N): "Set in late 1980s Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Black Dogs is the intimate story of the crumbling of a marriage, as witnessed by an outsider. Jeremy is the son-in-law of Bernard and June Tremaine, whose union and estrangement began almost simultaneously. Seeking to comprehend how their deep love could be defeated by ideological differences Bernard and June cannot reconcile, Jeremy undertakes writing June's memoirs, only to be led back again and again to one terrifying encouner forty years earlier--a moment that, for June, was as devastating and irreversible in its consequences as the changes sweeping Europe in Jeremy's own time. In a finely crafted, compelling examination of evil and grace, Ian McEwan weaves the sinister reality of civiliation's darkest moods--its black dogs--with the tensions that both create love and destroy it."

Fiction or Nonfiction: Fiction

Comments and Critique: This is the first Ian McEwan novel that I've read. I'm amazed at how skillful he is with words, it makes me so jealous. This is one of those books in which the plot really isn't important. What is important is the interaction of the characters and the psychology behind those interactions. I actually read this book several months ago and unfortunately did not make any notes, so I feel unequipped to provide an adequate review here. All I can say is that I thought it was a great book and I'm absolutely going to keep McEwan's other books on my TBR list.

For a professional opinion of this book, see Bette Pesetsky's review in the New York Times (originally published Nov. 8, 1992) here.

Would You Recommend This Book to Others: Yes

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