"The Cement Garden" took me exactly two hours to read, and in that time I never been subject to a more disturbing novel so deeply intent in it's power to shock and astonish the reader. What strikes me about this novel is the deadpan tone the author adopts to convey an array of taboo subject matter, ranging from death to, more importantly, incest. Everything is detailed in a simple, matter-of-fact tone that one would perceive as being from an adolescent. The families 'secret' made known to the world through Derek yet we arent given full detail of his horror at the discovery and the children never seem to fully comprehend the consequences of their actions. The fact we never find out what happens to the children once they have been discovered heightens the fact that this novel is unlike any other, which would almost allude to the idea that the novel is largely lacking a sufficient closure. The allusion to a dream in the closing words of the final chapter, coupled with the various dreams of the protagonist scattered throughout the novel makes the reader think that maybe the entire events of the novel is just one mere daydream. The novel, like a dream itself never seems to end, and the reader is left at their discrtion to almost imagine typical scenarios that give answers to their unanswered questions. I think the novel serves as an accurate characterisation of the modern working-class family (although events for the average modern working-class family WOULD differ considerably) and embodies everything that is quintesssentially english about being English, ranging from the various attitudes to setting. In conclusion I would emphasise that the book has many strengths, and should be pursued by many to pass excite and intrigue an otherwise dull afternoon.