Set in late 1980s Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Black Dogs is the intimate story of the crumbling of a marriage, as witnessed by an outsider. Jeremy is the son-in-law of Bernard and June Tremaine, whose union and estrangement began almost simultaneously. Seeking to comprehend how their deep love could be defeated by ideological differences Bernard and...more
It uses to be an entertaining and quick reading experience between heavier, more thought-provoking and more linguistically challenging (and satisfying) classics or historical nonfiction.
But this was below par, ...more
The narrator is preparing the memoirs of his dying mother-in-law and particularly wanting details of a terrifying encounter with black dogs more than 40 years ago that changed the direction of her life, and therefore that of her husband and children.
Jeremy describes his own childhood, contrasting it with that of his wife, and tells of trips to the care home to talk to his mother-in-law, recountin ...more
A beautifully written novella but hollow in the centre, and leaving me dissatisfied at the end. It essentially revolves around a biography that the “author” Jeremy wants to write about his in-laws, June and Bernard. (To understand why they are so important to Jeremy, you need to read the introduction which is actually part of the novella itself and not, as I first thought, an autobiographical note on the real author’s life. Nice one, Ian).
June and Bernard get married just after WW2 but on their ...more
It sometimes so happens that I start reading a book without really thinking about it. For the first 5, 10 pages, I don't take it "seriously", if you will. I think it's sort of a professional flaw, after reading so many books, I know from the very first one or two pages, how many more I can afford to not attentively read. Usually, that happens when you don't have too many characters and so there are not many introductions to be made.
When I read somethi ...more
I read it a few months ago and normally even confused or disjointed novels look clearer to me from a distance. Rather like seeing a landscape with a fuller perspective and you can catch the beauty of the overall effect, the roll of the hills, the gathering of the woodland, the undulations of the streams which you miss if you are too close. It is only when you step out of the immediacy of the thing that you see its meaning, its purpose.
This hasn't hap ...more
"But the next day, and the day after, and on all the succeeding days, they never set foot in the metaphorical landscape of their future. The next day they turned back. They never descended the Gorge de Vis and walked by the mysterious raised canal that disappears into the rock, never crossed the river by the medieval bridge or climbed up to cross the Causse de B ...more
It does. But given that you might not have read it, a little something about the storyline.
English c ...more
Here the people who love each other begin their marriage as idealists, British communists with ambitions to change the world. The husband remains political, dedicated to various causes even after he abandons communism. The wife has an experience with black dogs on her honeymoon, which sends her on a quest for spiritual truth. The black dogs and other scenes of danger add an unexpected ele ...more
Lo stesso amore che, purtroppo, non ha potuto provare Jeremy, che, in seguito alla morte dei genitori avvenuta quando aveva solo otto anni, cerca quell'amore vero e naturale che esiste tra una madre e un figlio e che alla fine troverà nelle figure di June e Bernard, i suoceri della moglie Jenny.
In un viaggio che si snod ...more
It is well written with excellent characters... however, it is slow and even harder going for me than an Iris Murdoch novel. I do like Atonement by the same author, but I can only give this one 3 stars..
The story could have been much more engaging. In a way, it's like a Kate Morton story without the heart.
Perhaps the same thing can be said about this review?
Oh alright! The books Black Dogs are hinted at being physical manifestations of humanities capability for evil. One of the characters in this book confronts these two horrible beasts during an idyllic walk through the French countryside. Although through the use of cunning and violence she manages to drive them away, the experience affects her deeply and changes her life outlo ...more
I will clo ...more
McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last ...more