Book Reviews of The Cement Garden

The Cement Garden
The Cement Garden
Author: Ian McEwan
ISBN-13: 9780679750185
ISBN-10: 0679750185
Publication Date: 1/13/1994
Pages: 160
Rating:
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 43

3.2 stars, based on 43 ratings
Publisher: Anchor
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

10 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Cement Garden on + 600 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was a very macabre and disturbing short novel about four children who were suddenly left as orphans when there mother passed away. Not wanting to split up the family, the children decide to cement the mother's body into a trunk in the cellar. A very unforgettable piece of fiction. McEwan, as usual, does a great job with his descriptive prose and characterizations. The ending was especially shocking and bizarre and maybe a bit gratuitous but overall I would recommend this one.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Dark and powerful. It's a book you can feel long after you finish.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Disturbing yet interesting. A very strange story. I've heard it likened to Lord of the Flies and I'd have to agree with that. It's a fast read too, only ten chapters, I finished in a day and a half. I'm not sure if I would recommend it to friends because I feel that you'd have to be able to handle it. It's not scary terrifying, just leaves you with an unsettling feeling.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Guess not many people liked this book by Ian McEwan. It is a sharp contrast to Atonement (the book that probably put the author on most people's radars in the first place) because it has absolutely zero romantic element. Yes, this book is about incest. Yes, most of the characters are despicable. Luckily, the book is short enough that if you overlook the sex stuff (and honestly, McEwan writes about it in his usual, clinical and sterile way...the main sex scene at the end is about as thrilling as your last dental appointment) you'll get through this quickly. It's worth re-reading to catch onto the real underlying issues of broken parenting, a weak mother-figure, a verbally abusive father, the effects on the children. Just don't get hung up on the incest.
reviewed The Cement Garden on
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely LOVE this book. It isn't for most people though. I think most would find it too shocking and disturbing.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
To say almost anything about this darkly strange and disturbingly beautiful book would inevitably give away too much. On the surface, "The Cement Garden" is the story of four siblings coping with life after the death of their parents. This short and engrossing novel, however, is so much more.

Be warned that "The Cement Garden" is not for everyone. But those readers who have come to expect masterful prose and intoxicating character studies from Ian McEwan will not be disappointed.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 354 more book reviews
I am an enormous fan of Ian McEwan, so I am puzzled that an author of his stature and with his abililty to captivate his readers could have written this book. The subject matter is disturbing on so many levels. I read as much as I could without finding anything redeeming in content or characterization. Could this be the same author who wrote On Chesil Beach and Atonement?
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 52 more book reviews
The Cement Garden is a tale of four siblings who must deal with life after their parents die. The oldest two start developing lives and personalities independent from the parents while they try to make sense of their dysfunctional lives, the younger daughter retreats into a world of reading and writing, and the youngest reverts back to baby behavior.

If you have ever heard of this book, you know their is incest and sexual abuse, but don't let that turn you off from this brilliant masterpiece by Ian McEwan. It's an interesting look of several different characters and what happens to their lives after their parental figures are gone.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 611 more book reviews
Book Description
In this tour de force of psychological unease--now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack--McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting--or denying. "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."--Washington Post Book World.

My Review
I enjoyed this book and Ian McEwan's writing. The character's are very well drawn and the plot is the driving force of the novel. The subject matter of adolescent incest between brother and sister is disturbing and unsettling yet the book is a page-turner until the very end. I recommend this book as it is a chilling tale of suspense and survival.
reviewed The Cement Garden on + 354 more book reviews
I am an enormous fan of Ian McEwan, so I am puzzled that an author of his stature and with his abililty to captivate his readers could have written this book. The subject matter is disturbing on so many levels. I read as much as I could without finding anything redeeming in content or characterization. Could this be the same author who wrote On Chesil Beach and Atonement?