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The Child in Time [Hardcover]

4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful, Moving March 13 2002
"The Child in Time" is my first Ian McEwan work, although I was aware that he studied at Malcolm Bradbury's creative writing program at the University of East Anglia, as did Kazuo Ishiguro, of "The Remains of the Day" fame.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Child in Time Aug. 22 2001
By A Customer
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 than pay social welfare; easy to imagine, but scary. In spite of the bleak social future portrayed in this novel, and the central tragedy of the book - the loss of a child, there is a core of optimism running throughtout that not only kept me reading to the end, but has made me want to reread it several times since.
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By A Customer
Ian McEwan never disappoints. I've read "Enduring Love" and "The Comfort of Strangers" and they're both excellent. In his 1987 Whitbread Prize winning novel "The Child In Time", McEwan tunnels deep into the subconscious to deliver an outstanding study of interiors that positively glows and radiates with poignance and compassion. There is the inevitable social commentary on power, hypocrisy and corruption but none of the anger and vitriolic you might expect. Using the subject of a child gone missing in a supermarket as its starting point, the novel snakes its way around with dramatic twists and turns nobody could have anticipated - a typically McEwan trait - that continually shatters the reader's evolving preconception of what the novel is all about. One moment you're astral travelling with Stephen as he struggles manfully with his private grief while sitting absentmindedly in parliamentary subcommittee meetings on children's education, the next you're in a nasty car accident and a stroll down memory lane that proves to be pivotal in drawing all the loose ends together. The confession Stephen's mother makes to him will strike you like a lightning rod. It comes full circle, suggesting the power of the subconscious in shaping the reality we perceive as fixed or unchanging when it hangs on a thread. McEwan's command of his craft is none more evident than in suddenly letting Stephen's almost indifferent friendship with Charles take centrestage in the last third of the novel, with devastating effect but for a purpose, not as a gimmick but because it's highly explanatory. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars unforgettable March 7 2001
By A Customer
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. A book that I absolute must have.
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