First Love, Last Rites Paperback – Jun 13 2000
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“A talented and genuinely imaginative writer, McEwan’s details often grow into strange, powerful images… the ironies, throughout this impressive collection are tellingly weighted.” -- Julian Barnes
“A brilliant performance… There’s an assured and terribly macabre depravity about Ian McEwan’s short stories… as if some of the characters from early Angus Wilson had been painted by Francis Bacon.” -- Anthony Thwaite, Observer
"Ian McEwan writes to shock and succeeds -- All his stories have a feeling of impending evil -- It is a tour de force of concision, and funny, too, in a deadpan manner." -- TLS
"A brilliant performance -- There's an assured and terribly macabre depravity about Ian McEwan's short stories -- as if some of the characters from early Angus Wilson had been painted by Francis Bacon." -- Observer
"His writing is exact, tender, funny, voluptuous, disturbing." -- The Times
"The Maestro." -- New Statesman
"McEwan has -- a style and a vision of life of his own...No one interested in the state and mood of contemporary Britain can afford not to read him." -- John Fowles
"A sparkling and adventurous writer." -- Dennis Potter
From the Inside Flap
Ian McEwan's Somerset Maugham Award-winning collection First Love, Last Rites brought him instant recognition as one of the most influential voices writing in England today. Taut, brooding, and densely atmospheric, these stories show us the ways in which murder can arise out of boredom, perversity can result from adolescent curiosity, and sheer evil might be the solution to unbearable loneliness. These tales are as horrifying as anything written by Clive Barker or Stephen King, but they are crafted with a lyricism and intensity that compel us to confront our secret kinship with the horrifying. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
For the most part, the reader stays on morbid ground. Some have described these tales as having a definite aspect of horror to them, but I would not equate them with horror at all.Read more ›
1. "Homemade" 2. "Solid geometry" 3. "Last day of summer" 4. "Cocker at the theatre" 5. "Butterflies" 6. "Conversations with a cupboard man" 7. "First love, last rites" 8. "Disguises"
These stories are about weird people on the margins of society. Most of them have been written in the first person, in a way turning them into a kind of confession. Though it is written as if the 'subject' of the story is a unique scientific specimen set free in order to observe its behaviour, sometimes one identifies with ("Homemade" ?), or is repelled by the charachter ("Butterflies"). Often one may like and disklike the subject as the story goes along. What makes these stories interesting are the characters, the crazy people making their sometimes funny, sometimes abysmally pathetic confessions.They are only alike in that the subjects are all men. My favorites are "Homemade", full of black humor and irony, and "Disguises" where a boy, forced to dress at home like a girl by the aunt that has adopted him, begins to <think> as a girl, and goes on to see himeself as his own girlfriend. Complex? Read the story. "Coker" is special in that it is written in the third person, and it seems like a joke on modern theater: a narration about a group of down-and-out actors in the rehersal of a play that recreates the sexual act under the direction of a cynic homosexual. Though funny, its quite short. It originally appeared in Time Out.
Most recent customer reviews
Possibly Ian's best work. This collection of disturbing short stories demands repeated reading. You will love this book if you are familiar with McEwan. Highly recommended!Published 19 months ago by Sam Hatzaras
I recommending avoiding this book as the stories in it are disturbing, and horrible.
This is the first book I have ever burned rather than inflict it on anyone else.