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Enduring Love

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  25,893 Ratings  ·  1,505 Reviews
Joe planned a postcard-perfect afternoon in the english countryside to celebrate his lover's return after 6 weeks in the States. The perfect day turns to nightmare, however, when they are involved in freak ballooning accident in which a boy is saved but a man is killed

In itself, the accident would change the couple and the survivors' lives, filling them with an uneasy com

Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 28th 2004 by Vintage (first published 1997)
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Atonement by Ian McEwanThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonNever Let Me Go by Kazuo IshiguroOne Day by David NichollsThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Modern British Novels
12th out of 436 books — 479 voters
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Best Beginning
39th out of 387 books — 613 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 30, 2015 karen rated it really liked it
In ____ (place/time), _______________ (name of character) does __________ (action) so that __________ (goal), but _________ (conflict!). This book is _______ (adjective), ______ (adjective), and made this reader _____ (verb).
Jan 16, 2011 Manny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I liked much of Choupette's review this morning, I disagreed with her conclusions... so, although I'm clearly in the minority here, let me present my take. Choupette starts off by observing
really what the book is about is the conflict between a way of thinking based on logical scientific reasoning and one based on emotions. Literature, versus science: "Do the scientific illiterates who run the National Library really believe that literature is mankind's greatest achievement?" (or som
Ian McEwan's novels tend to revolve around a single event, a single moment, or day. This day will change the character's life and everyone around them. It shows the past and the future spiraling around this one narrative point in the story. He's at his best in this format, and that definitely shows in Enduring Love.

It is essentially a case study of a man suffering from extreme, disturbing delusions and a fierce obsession, and the man who struggles to deal with being the object of that obsession
Enduring Love is either a brilliant camp comedy or one of the worst attempts at serious fiction ever.

Joe and his wife Clarissa are having a picnic when they spot a falling baloon. A man tries desperately to pin the balloon to the ground to save his son who's inside, traumatized.; Joe and a group of men who happened to be at the place run to help. The experiment goes bad; the man rolls to the ground while Joe and other men let go of the balloon. The balloon goes up into the air with one of the st
Dec 09, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who are fans of unusual literary deaths
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Before I read (and amused myself by being overly critical about) Saturday by Ian McEwan, I'd also read The Cement Garden, Atonement, The Comfort of Strangers, The Child in Time and On Chesil Beach.
Here are some Ian McEwan statistics based on my own reading habits:

He's written 19 books so far and I've read seven of them which is representative of 36.84% of his total output (I've not included plays or short stories, just novels).

Of these seven books, I have enjoyed four -The Cement Garden, The Co
Aug 03, 2010 Cindy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh, I hate giving such a low rating to a book by McEwan because he writes such beautiful prose, but the plot was such a letdown I also cannot justify giving it a higher one.

McEwan's writing is beautiful, there is no doubt about that. I’d read Atonement, and it was as good as the movie made the story out to be. This book also explores some interesting ideas about love, trust, faith and reason. However, as interesting as the plot's premise is...dear God, what a disappointment at the end.

I cannot
Jan 15, 2011 C. rated it liked it
Recommended to C. by: Dad
Shelves: own-or-access, 2011
I've gone off Ian McEwan lately, for reasons I'm not particularly proud of. In short, I've started hanging with a 'better' (or, for political correctness, 'different') literary crowd, and now McEwan seems to me to be the province of the armchair literati, the people who like to read the Booker Prize winners, the people who are content to read pretty, sophisticated prose that looks nice but means nothing. Yes, I did that too, for a while, but the difference was that I was sixteen at the time, and ...more
I don't know about this book.

On one hand, when all is said and done the narrative feels simply like an intricately-written case study, though occasionally punctuated with inconsistently glorious descriptions, for an odd psychological disorder that even with all of Ian McEwan's brilliance is still only mildly interesting.

On the other hand, it's McEwan's wonderful writing combined with a first-person perspective, which gives us the rare treat of a character reflecting introspectively using all of
Enduring Love is Ian McEwan’s novel about two men, brought together initially by their involvement in a freak accident involving a hot air balloon. In the aftermath of this incident, our protagonist (Joe) finds himself in the awkward position (he’s an atheist) of being asked to pray with the man who ultimately ends up being the antagonist. He politely declines but the religious chap won’t take no for an answer and becomes deeply obsessed with Joe, proclaiming he loves him and that he knows Joe l ...more
Feb 26, 2015 Tania rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best, fiction
on fighting...
Joe has another kind of problem. His emotions are slow to shift to anger in the first place, and even when they have, he has the wrong kind of intelligence, he forgets his lines and cannot score the points. Nor can he break the habit of responding to an accusation with a detailed, reasoned answer, instead of coming back with an accusation of his own. He is easily outmanoeuvred by a sudden irrelevance. Irritation blocks his understanding of his own case, and it is only later, when
K.D. Absolutely
Apr 15, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sonia
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books
Attention getting fast-paced first 3 chapters. Then the story gets a bit boring in the middle as the narration kept going on circles. I could not get the connection between the love of the couple for each other and the love that the crazy guy has for the male protagonist. However, the last 2 chapters including the 2 appendices really brilliant! It's my first time to read Ian McEwan and I am looking forward to read more of his works. I will be buying Atonement next month!
Julian Lees
Jan 20, 2016 Julian Lees rated it it was amazing
A class act.
Feb 10, 2014 James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to James by: Lou Robinson
The third book in the Louise's picks arrangement – (view spoiler). Again, she's chosen to introduce me to an author that I've not read before: Ian McEwan. I knew almost nothing about this novel before starting it, except that I'd seen about 10 minutes of the film (starring Daniel Craig) so I knew it featured a balloon, a stalker and a homosexual obsession – non ...more
Nov 11, 2010 Mariel rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ferdinand de saussure (de so sure)
Recommended to Mariel by: Webster's dictionary
Ian McEwan's Enduring Love and Saturday have some similar ideas. Culpability, survivor's guilt, do we ever really know anybody?, haves versus the have-nots from not only position of material things and social stats, but uneven mental playing fields. Hell, they have similar stories. In Enduring Love, an idyllic afternoon is ruined after a freak hot air balloon accident. Only one man really attempts to save the kid. Joe cannot go back to living with blinders on about himself. Sure, the guy was a B ...more
Jun 26, 2009 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On an idyllic spring afternoon, Joe Rose and his wife were enjoying a picnic, when their lovely day was forever changed. A hot air baloon, which had made a dramatic appearance into their scene, went out of control. Many people rushed to assist, but one man perished in their uncalculated attempts at rescue. Jed Parry, another of the would-be rescuers approached Joe, an atheist, and invited him to pray with him. This confrontation is merely the beginning of the turmoil that Parry created in the we ...more
Rachel McNab
Feb 14, 2015 Rachel McNab rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
de Clerambault's syndrome (also known as erotomania) is when the affected believes that another person, usually a stranger, high-status or famous person, is in love with them. Enduring Love tells the story of a man (Joe) who becomes the victim of a de Clerambault's sufferer (Jed), we witness Jed's building obsession, the breakdown of Joe's and Clarissa's (his partner) relationship and most importantly, how mental illness can be just as devastating to the people surrounding the victim as the vict ...more
Apr 11, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful, disturbing change to think of love as something sinister.

I meant to just reach over on my bookpile next to my bed, snatch Enduring Love and read it for an hour or so before I got dressed and walked to school. I wound up hardly moving for the rest of the day and certainly not getting out of my pajamas because I just couldn’t put this down. An example: even the title made me think. I picked it up thinking that the word “enduring” was meant as an adjective to describe the kind of
Soumen Daschoudhury
Jul 23, 2015 Soumen Daschoudhury rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: 2015-reads
Somehow I feel Ian McEwan is not the author for me, though I have a list of his books on my shelf. The closest I got to liking one of his books was 'Atonement'. And did I mention, the female characters, protagonists in his books just don't cease to irritate me or would it be too harsh to say that I hate them?

Based on a case study of a mental disorder called 'de clerambault's syndrome' or 'erotomania' which is characterized by a strong urge of possession of a man/woman whom he/she considers to be
Aug 26, 2015 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gran-bretagna
Amore autistico. Un ossimòro, una contraddizione. L’innamoramento amplifica la percezione dei desideri, addirittura dei pensieri dell’amato; l’innamorato è come una porta spalancata al suo amore, desideroso soltanto di accoglierlo e fondersi in esso.
Questo libro narra invece un “amore autistico”, una patologia, non saprei in quale altro modo chiamare l’ossessione morbosa e sterile di una persona verso l’altra. Sterile perché non genera vita, ma morte, sia in colui che vive la passione malata, si
Kathleen Dixon
Jun 23, 2008 Kathleen Dixon rated it really liked it
Recommended to Kathleen by: Reading Seals
One of my friends (I don’t remember who at the moment) told me she really likes Ian McEwan because each of his novels is so different. Well, she also meant that she has really enjoyed each of his novels that she has read. After all, you could have an author who writes each novel in a different style and with a quite different theme and manner of working through it, but still dislike his/her novels. This being my first novel by him, I can’t make comment, but next one I read I will be watchful for ...more
Enduring Love has a simple but fascinating premise, which I was at least halfway familiar with before beginning the book (I think there's been a film version, which I haven't actually seen, but remember reading about whenever it came out). Joe Rose, a scientific journalist, is about to enjoy a reunion picnic with his girlfriend Clarissa when he witnesses an accident involving a hot-air balloon; he and a small group of strangers rush to help, but the incident results in a man's death. During thes ...more
May 02, 2011 Nikki rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
I'm not the world's biggest fan of Ian McEwan, thus far. I didn't particularly enjoy Saturday, and I didn't get into Atonement the first time I picked it up, and so he has to work against quite a bit of scepticism from me.

Still, there is something compelling about his writing, and more so when he's not writing two pages all about the modern improvements in kettle technology, as he memorably did in Saturday. His narrators strike me as a bit pompous and over-talkative, but it usually works with th
Mircalla64 (free Liu Xiaobo)
Personal Jesus

Joe è insieme a sua moglie in un prato quando tutti quelli che sono presenti avvistano un pallone aereostatico fuori controllo, quindi si mettono a inseguire le funi, qualcuno le afferra e cerca di tenere giù il cesto, ma la cosa finirà in sera stessa Joe riceve una strana telefonata da Jed, che era presente ai fatti e che gli aveva brevemente parlato in quell'occasione, in cui lui lo informa del fatto che i suoi sentimenti sono ricambiati...Jed lo ama ma non solo, J
Jul 05, 2015 Ubiqua rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Prima dell’introduzione delle leggi anti-stalking, il giornalista scientifico Joe Rose viene perseguitato da Jed Parry, un fanatico religioso innamorato di lui. L’insistenza del folle si trasforma nell’ossessione dello stesso Joe, che si fa risucchiare dal vortice della paranoia introiettando il disagio dell’altro. Un po’ scontata ma comunque efficace la dialettica tra l’uomo comune e il suo doppio distorto; ed è solo apparentemente didascalica l’opposizione uomo di fede – uomo di scienza: agli ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Kimberly rated it did not like it
Wow - this book goes from one extreme to the other! 5-stars for the beginning of the book, but 1-star for the remaining content.

The beginning of this story really captivated my attention with a very descriptive accounting of a runaway hot-air balloon and the tragedy that follows. Every little detail had me so engaged in the story. I loved the way this beginning was written so much that I would read it again. But just the beginning of this book.

Unfortunately, the story goes downhill after this in
Enduring Love has had rave reviews, but I found it taxed my patience. I almost abandoned it.

It begins with a compelling drama: Joe, having a picnic with his lady-love Clarissa, dashes over to help when a runaway balloon threatens the life of a boy trapped inside the basket. He and some other men grasp the ropes and are lifted up into the air as the balloon soars into the sky. One of the men dies, but that’s not the worst of it. One of the other men develops a very strange obsessive love for Joe
Kevin Hosein
Sep 03, 2012 Kevin Hosein rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for something unique with themes of love and obsession
Recommended to Kevin by: Portia S
“How do you feel?'
Scared,' she said. 'Really scared.'
But you don't look it.'
I feel I'm shivering inside.”

Enduring Love was at times a well-written and conscientious account of mixed genres of drama and suspense and at other times, purple prose build-up leading up to an anticlimactic fizzle. The story follows three main players, mostly: Joe Rose, his live-in partner, Clarissa Mellon and an unwelcome third party, Jed Parry. The situation that opens the novel and remains the centerpiece of its c
Jun 30, 2012 Zaki rated it really liked it
I've just given this a second reading and it holds up just as well as the first time I read it. The story started off with a bang and was throbbing with tension throughout.

The dramatic beginning consists of a bizarre hot air balloon accident which brings Joe Rose and Jed Parry together and almost on the spot Jed conceives an obsessive interest in Joe, an interest that is partly religious, partly sexual and completely crazed. Through the story the clearly unhinged Jed starts stalking Joe and wri
Jan 07, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I'm generally not a fan of "your life can change irrevocably in an instant" books, which have always seemed a little gimmicky to me. This book is an honorable exception - I thought that McEwan's development of the disruption following from the book's precipitating accident (one of four would-be rescuers dies trying to save an out-of-control hot air balloon) was brilliant. The plot is smart and thought-provoking, and McEwan's execution is flawless. He certainly kept me off-balance throughout - I ...more
Jan 27, 2015 Fionnuala rated it did not like it
The air of menace that floats over this story seems to me to be out of proportion to the rather insignificant events which unfold. That so much fine writing serves such an unsatisfactory story puzzles me. I sometimes wonder if I don't live in a totally different universe to McEuan...
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add page numbers - ISBN 9780099780915 2 12 Jul 24, 2014 03:59PM  
The Transatlantic...: Enduring Love 6 15 May 02, 2013 01:35PM  
Is it really over for Joe and Clarissa? 8 119 Mar 19, 2013 09:03AM  
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Ian McEwan was born on 21 June 1948 in Aldershot, England. He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970. He received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.

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
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“When its gone, you'll know what a gift love was. you'll suffer like this. So go back and fight to keep it.” 475 likes
“Who you get, and how it works out- there's so much luck involved, as well as the million branching consequences of your conscious choice of a mate, that no one and no amount of talking can untangle it if it turns out unhappily.” 35 likes
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