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on June 12, 2001
How amazing is it to capture audience's attention within 171 pages'novel? The writing is enviably beautiful and peaceful; the theme is intelligent and rich. The struggle between rationalism and spiritualism are explored in this book. Basically, the novel is describing a young couple begins their honeymoon almost the day they're married. But it seems like it is not a perfect time to have a honeymoon after War World II. This novel is a more rounded journey. From introduction to conclusion, it seems like we walked back to the starting point, which is a wonderful writing skill. McEwan also plays around with the character's roles, it makes more interesting. He uses the playing of writing skills to attract audience's attention. Each character is fully realized, and the dialogue perfect in its realism as well as its restraint. Although I was not very enjoying reading few chapters, I still finished the reading. As I read, I found out the preface and conclusion is most phenomenally.¡§ Once we began to see the world differently, we could feel time running out on us and we were impatient with each other.¡¨This is the quotation I found more attracted. The reason is because I feel it described the truth out of my mind.
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on May 22, 2000
I loved this story: it stayed with me for days. The writing is enviably beautiful and rich; the theme is intelligent and challenging. Ostensibly, the debate between mysticism versus rationalism sunders Bernard and June. But each of the combatants possesses the worst traits of the other's ideology. Bernard has a slavish faith in the scientific method, while June feels the necessity to shore up her spirituality with flawless rhetoric and argumentation. They must both explain: and the irony is that their marriage ends, even though they are both talking about the same thing: the truth as they perceive it.
While this certainly isn't a new theme (postmodernism and its subsequent backlash has provided us with a lot of reading lately), McEwan handles it creatively and respectfully. He gives us no answers and never insults our intelligence.
Finally, McEwan brings up the question of evil and how we respond to it. In one situation, our narrator would turn away from it given his choice(when Bernard faces the mob, and the narrator doesn't); in another situation, the narrator confronts evil in another, bigger man and in himself.
It is a short, worthwhile, well-crafted read.
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on March 29, 2001
The story of a young couple whose estrangement begins almost the day they're married, as told by the fascinated son-in-law, an orphan himself. An amazing novel, as universal as the fall of Communism and the memory of genocide and as introspective as one young woman's discovery of the mystical, of God, inside herself when she encounters some vicious dogs. As cosmic as the problem of pure evil and as ordinary as a bickering couple. Beautifully written, masterfully paced, and told with just the right amount of tension mixed with a soothing degree of acceptance. Each character is fully realized, and the dialogue perfect in its realism as well as its restraint. McEwan lets the characters reveal themselves, though their actions as well as actual descriptions of each other, and the subtleties, and potential misunderstandings, are complex and brilliant.
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on April 1, 2002
McEwan tells a tale of a couple that met at the end of WW II. They are pretty, passionate, and intelligent people. They love each other, but cannot live together. He seeks "progression" through life as a scientist, author, politician while she sees life as a "transformation". She is searching for that spiritual thing in her that she 1st noted at a moment when she thought she would die. The author tells a story, but he also paints with his words. This tale, the phrasing, and the rhythm show the difference between just a story teller, and an artist. This a short (140 pages) and thoughtful book that should be read slowly (not in one sitting), and it will stay inside for a long time.
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on November 4, 2007
This book reads more like a chunk taken from a longer unfinished novel... upon finishing it, I was left with a feeling that there had to be more.

"Black Dogs" features a remarkably boring romance coloured by the knowledge of a mysterious life-altering event involving dogs. The actual incident with the dogs occurs near the book's end and is the first time "Black Dogs" is involving.

Check that - the prologue is a well-written introduction to the narrator. Unfortunately, the incidents and information contained in the prologue have no real impact upon the rest of the story.

Between the prologue and the climax are 100 dreadfully dull pages.
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on April 6, 2001
Mcewen fans will love this book-I put it in the same class as the best of Mcewen, i.e., Enduring Love. This is a book that explores the struggle between rationalism and spiritualism, and contains some of the most graceful writing you will see. In particular, the preface is phenomenally appealing, and will not allow you to put the book down. The same is true for the characters' musings on war as the accumulation of countless personal tragedies. This is a good one!
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on June 12, 2000
McEwan has the ability to capture in 170 pages what many writers stuggle with for a lifetime- A great thought-provoking story with interesting characters, written in amazingly fluid prose. I prefered this novel his more recent Amsterdam. The later is recommended but not as conclusive, Blackdogs on the other hand is a more rounded journey through complex relationships.
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on July 17, 1998
Take the time to search for this book in the library or used book store. It's one you'll want to loan to friends or read again yourself. There is so much in just 160 pages. A relationship, a memoire, a narrator's connection to the people he is writing about... Plus, the countryside of France and top notch writing. What more could you want?
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on January 11, 1999
A good book that is best appreciated for the unbelievable beauty of the author's prose. McEwan writes sentences that normal humans -- or even talented writers -- could not pen in a 100 years. There's no one I've read that compares.
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on March 14, 1998
This brief but beautiful book is filled with subtle nuances and powerful insight. A must-read for anyone who has a passion for politics or stories of relationships. One of the best books of the year it was released...or any year.
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