McEwan! My god, what can’t he write! In The Comfort of Strangers the tension never lets up. At first it just appears that we are dealing with a couple on holiday somewhere, Italy I’m guessing, who are slightly fed up with each other and always seem to leave it very late to go and have dinner. One night they leave it extremely late and find themselves in a different part of town, completely lost. From then on the tension increases and I didn’t put the book down.
I found it particularly interesting what things the couple told each other and what they withheld. It is interesting to realise too, how different this couple is to the couple in On Chesil Beach – they are older of course but they communicate differently and although they often don’t talk that much to each other they are obviously a couple physically and emotionally in tune - most of the time. All of this is conveyed in a very short book – another sign of McEwan’s skill and deftness. Highly recommended.