Incredibly shocking ending! Too bad, though, for such a short novel (120 pages or so) you have to get through about 90 pages of boredom to reach it. You literally have to put up with pages and pages of two really boring people, Mary and Colin, wandering aimlessly around a European city (never identified) saying "I'm bored" and "I'm thirsty". Then a stranger, Robert, befriends them, and since Mary and Colin are such boring people, they never really stop to question this stranger's actions until it is too late.
This book held me only intermittently.My opinion is that McEwan is getting steadily inaccesible over time, too dry and detail obsessed, I am sorry to say it but he has lost his appeal for me.
Color me underwhelmed. I read the book in just under a few hours but I was left questioning the purpose. The story is neat, tight, and not going anywhere, that is until they meet a stranger who sort of gets the couple to reassess themselves but still they come up short of something. The climax of the story is in the last few pages but still not enough to make this one a success, at least for me.
Finished reading this this afternoon. A very moody, disturbing, and haunting short novel by McEwan. This story of two lovers on holiday being drawn into a plot by another couple to fulfill the couple's violent fantasies was very unsettling. I have read several other McEwan novels and I wouldn't consider this his best work but it definitely left you with a chill at the end.
Great read. McEwans knows how to subtly make you feel fear and dread as you turn the pages.
An exquisite miniature gothic nightmare.
One of the author's earlier works. Very well written. He has a gift for description, and a subtle way of introducing a sense of foreboding into the story as it goes along. The climax is eye-popping, but not for the faint of heart. Definitely not a book I will forget soon.
If there was a way to do it, I'd give it three and a half stars - it's a cut above average, but not quite up to the standard I set for books I keep because I might want to re-read them someday.