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In itself, the accident would change the survivors' lives, filling them with an uneasy combination of shame, happiness, and endless self-reproach. (In one of the novel's many ironies, the balloon eventually lands safely, the boy unscathed.) But fate has far more unpleasant things in store for Joe. Meeting the eye of fellow rescuer Jed Parry, for example, turns out to be a very bad move. For Jed is instantly obsessed, making the first of many calls to Joe and Clarissa's London flat that very night. Soon he's openly shadowing Joe and writing him endless letters. (One insane epistle begins, "I feel happiness running through me like an electrical current. I close my eyes and see you as you were last night in the rain, across the road from me, with the unspoken love between us as strong as steel cable.") Worst of all, Jed's version of love comes to seem a distortion of Joe's feelings for Clarissa.
Apart from the incessant stalking, it is the conditionals--the contingencies--that most frustrate Joe, a scientific journalist. If only he and Clarissa had gone straight home from the airport... If only the wind hadn't picked up... If only he had saved Jed's 29 messages in a single day... Ian McEwan has long been a poet of the arbitrary nightmare, his characters ineluctably swept up in others' fantasies, skidding into deepening violence, and--worst of all--becoming strangers to those who love them. Even his prose itself is a masterful and methodical exercise in defamiliarization. But Enduring Love and its underrated predecessor, Black Dogs, are also meditations on knowledge and perception as well as brilliant manipulations of our own expectations. By the novel's end, you will be surprisingly unafraid of hot-air balloons, but you won't be too keen on looking a stranger in the eye. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Enduring Love was my fifth Ian McEwan novel and it definitely reaffirmed the author's status as one of my favourite fiction writers. Read morePublished on May 30 2011 by Reader Writer Runner
Okay, so McEwen has one a few Bookers, but I hated Amsterdam, and I didn't like Enduring Love much better.
What do we have here? Read more
One one level, at least, McEwan descends to that of the ordinary: the mere plebian. This is the first book of his I have read where one of the main characters isn't a busom buddy... Read morePublished on April 20 2002 by Richard Cunningham
I was given this novel to read for english class and found it a little difficult to get into in the beginning. Read morePublished on April 2 2002
I started this book with an open mind but just could not finish it. It is one of the worst books that I've ever picked up. How did people get past the ridiculous premise? Read morePublished on March 31 2002
I think the opening pages of Ian McEwan's "Enduring Love" are among the finest in all of literature. "We were running towards a catastrophe," says one of the characters. Read morePublished on March 30 2002
This is a well-written book, in fact a superbly written book, with McEwan demonstrating his considerable narrative and descriptive skills. Read morePublished on March 25 2002 by email@example.com
McEwan has aged well and in "Enduring Love" his razor-edged prose is still chilling... The book is, at once, a dazzling meditation on causality and circumstance, science and... Read morePublished on March 2 2002 by Gavin B.
The first chapter of this book, describing a ballooning accident, is one of the best openings I've read in modern fiction in a long time. Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2002 by J. Marren