Child in Time / 90889
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The Child in Time opens with a harrowing event. Stephen Lewis, a successful author of children's books, takes his 3-year-old daughter on a routine Saturday morning trip to the supermarket. While waiting in line, his attention is distracted and his daughter is kidnapped. Just like that. From there, Lewis spirals into bereavement that has effects on his relationship with his wife, his psyche and time itself: "It was a wonder there could be so much movement, so much purpose, all the time. He himself had none." This beautifully haunting book won a 1987 Whitbread Prize. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
A sense of loss pervades this fine, provocative new novel by the author of The Comfort of Strangers. The protagonist, Stephen Lewis, a successful author of children's books, is introduced to us in a scene more frightening than any from a horror novel: while he is shopping with Kate, his three-year-old daughter, the child is kidnapped. Stephen's mounting terror as he combs the store for Katetrying in vain to recall the face of the dark-clad stranger he glimpsed behind themis palpable. As the story moves forward, it focuses not only on Stephen's search for his daughter, but also on his attempts to come to terms with his loss and the likely collapse of his marriage to Julie, a musician. Woven through the narrative is a subplot that deals with childhood and loss of a different sort. It is the innocence of youth that Stephen's friend and former editor, Charles Darke, longs for and ultimately recaptures at a terrible price. This is a beautifully rendered, very disturbing novel. First serial to Esquire.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Something happened to a number of bang-up in-for-the-kill horror writers in the early to mid eighties. I'm still trying to figure out what. Patrick McGrath, who'd given the world some of its most wonderfully gut-wrenching tales in _Blood and Water_, started writing slick, witty novels that came to just this side of horror. Clive Barker started writing fantasy. Anne Rivers Siddons gave us one of the definitive modern haunted house novels and then started churning out "women's novels."
And then we have Ian McEwan.
McEwan's first novel, _The Cement Garden_, is one of the most unpredictably horrific novels in the last half-century. It's a thing of absolute beauty, comparable to Koja's _The Cipher_, Deveraux's _Deadweight,_ and a handful of other horror novels that push the envelope so far that the reader will have second thoughts about ever reading another novel by the author. Then McEwan dropped out of sight for a while, released a second novel I haven't been able to track down (so this transformation may be earlier than I suspect), and finally got major-label recognition with this, his third full-length offering.
The Child in Time is the story of a couple whose daughter is abducted in broad daylight in a crowded supermarket. The two of them react differently to the disappearance as time goes on with no ransom note, and the inevitable breakup occurs. We phase in right there, not long after the breakup, and follow the husband, Stephen, as he tries to put his life back together while simultaneously watching his best friend come apart.
I want to savage this book.Read more ›
McEwan is a subtly brilliant writer with amazing psychological understanding and insight. With equal ease, he navigates the political landscapes of family; personal life; commercial London, and Thatcher's 1980's Whitehall.
The tribulations of his friend, publisher Charles Darke in the treehouse in rural Suffolk is altogether telling and allegorical in itself. The stark tragedy of losing his child Kate, brings the neccesary focus needed to capture the reader's attention for the duration of the novel.
Heartfelt, and very well worth the read.
The plot revolves around Stephen Lewis, an author of children's' books who takes his 3-year old daughter to a supermarket where she is kidnapped. The events which follow concern Lewis' reflection on his life, on time, and on his relationship with his wife.
A premise full of promise for McEwan's signature dark insight, but one which in my opinion never really pans out. Read instead McEwan's excellent Black Dogs or The Comfort of Strangers.
Most recent customer reviews
Ian Mc Ewan's 'Child in Time' is a chilling future fantasy set in London. It's really not that hard to imagine a future in which our governments decide to legalise begging rather... Read morePublished on Aug. 22 2001
I read this book years ago for my literature list. After all these years I can still remember how emotionally involved I was with this book. A true page-turner for me. Read morePublished on March 7 2001
To be alive is all, is reason enough to be. And that is reason enough for a young man of no accomplishments to write his autobiography, if he can write as beautifully as McEwanPublished on May 22 2000