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Enduring Love

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  37,084 ratings  ·  2,115 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 ...more
Paperback, 245 pages
Published October 28th 2004 by Vintage (first published September 1997)
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Kay M I studied Enduring Love for my A-Level English Literature. Needless to say I found it boring and tedious.
Rick Patterson Definitely start with Atonement. Then go with Saturday. Then The Comfort Of Strangers. That will introduce you to his love of capricious violence and …moreDefinitely start with Atonement. Then go with Saturday. Then The Comfort Of Strangers. That will introduce you to his love of capricious violence and outstandingly rendered characters. Where you go from there is up to you, but Amsterdam should be up there on the list. It won the Booker probably because they screwed up in not giving it to Atonement, but it's worth a close read nonetheless.(less)

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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  37,084 ratings  ·  2,115 reviews


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Jim Fonseca
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: british-authors
This is a mid-career novel by McEwan, 1997. It’s about erotomania, the syndrome characterized by the delusional idea, usually in a young woman, that a man whom she considers to be of higher social and/or professional standing, who may be a complete stranger, is in love with her. He sends her signs and messages that only she can interpret, keeping the delusion alive. It can occur in males too, as it does in this story, especially in men who have social disabilities; are disconnected loners with n ...more
karen
Apr 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In ____ (place/time), _______________ (name of character) does __________ (action) so that __________ (goal), but _________ (conflict!). This book is _______ (adjective), ______ (adjective), and made this reader _____ (verb).

come to my blog!
...more
Lisa
Jun 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
What happens when people confuse their own feelings of possession with love for another person, and expect the other person to buy into their delusion - a catastrophe in slow motion!

The scary part of this novel, one of Ian McEwan's better works, is not the mentally ill stalker and his eruptions of violence. That bit is a psychological thriller of quite conventional dimensions. The scary part is how stress from an external source can reveal the incompatibility of two passionate lovers, believin
...more
Manny
Jan 07, 2010 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
...more
Maciek
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
...more
Kelly
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
...more
Elyse  Walters
Jul 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read it years ago!!!
A tragic accident.....
love, guilt, moral dilemma..............
Thought-provoking prose........
A terrific writer. One of my favorites!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wen
Apr 03, 2018 rated it liked it
During this stressful work week I was looking for a quick escape from one of my favorite authors, with much anticipation, but ended with a disappointment. Enduring Love was the weakest among the 9 McEwan’s books I’ve read so far.
Scientific writer Joe rose met Jed parry during a heroic group act to rescue a 10-year-old boy during an air balloon accident, and unfortunately the uncoordinated act led to the death of one of the rescuers. Jed became obsessed with his unrequited love for already guilt-
...more
Fabian
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Trying to describe the deeply intimate & personal with psychopathology … this is precisely what made ‘Saturday’ the worst book ever contrived. (Emphasis on CONTRIVED.) Now, this dish is not devoid of that ingredient--it is again about a member of the upper class (DON’T EVER FORGET IT dear reader!) crashing head-on with a creep-o misfit, a defective misanthrope who has this eerie pathological condition stalking the incredibly intelligent and quick-witted protagonist for pages… a neo noir, a-la Sa ...more
Sara
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Can this author really be the same man who wrote Atonement? I have now read enough of his books to know there is a range from horrid to sublime and a bit of everything in between, and this one is the in between.

I hated the first half and almost tossed it in. I didn’t for the obvious reason, I wanted to know which of the two scenarios was right, who was the crazy man here? In the end, I realized, it didn’t really matter if Joe was right or wrong, he was still unbalanced, and he was still a very
...more
Shovelmonkey1
Nov 20, 2011 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 C
...more
Rebecca
Feb 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting to consider this as a precursor to Saturday: both have a scientist as the protagonist and get progressively darker through a slightly contrived stalker plot. Enduring Love opens, famously, with a ballooning accident that leaves its witnesses questioning whether they couldn’t have done more to prevent it. Freelance science journalist Joe Rose – on a picnic with his partner, Keats scholar Clarissa, at the time – was one of those who rushed to help, as was Jed Parry, a young Christian z ...more
Liz
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I just wanted you to know, I understand what you’re feeling. I feel it too. I love you.”

If those words sound sweet or romantic to you, read this book and they will take on a whole new meaning. This is the uniquely articulated story of what unfolds after a tragic hot-air balloon accident, during which a man is killed. It starts with one moment, one look. No turning back.

I found this to be an interesting, layered, and compelling read. Bordering on thrilling, but for the more intricate langua
...more
Patricia Williams
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read a lot of books by this author. I like his writing. Some of them are very good and some IMO are not so good. This one I really enjoyed. Not exactly for the subject of the story but for the way it was told. I could not stop reading this book. I finished it very quickly. The story was told by the main character and I could not stop reading it. I really felt that "Atonement" was this author most outstanding book but I will continue to read him because when I find another book this good it's a ...more
Betsy Robinson
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Joe Rose, a science writer, has a traumatic experience, and then is stalked. I could never tell where this book was going, and I was surprised and thrilled by McEwan’s allegiance to truth that is nuanced, complex, and founded in the way we really feel and act, rather than manipulated via neat literary tricks that are so popular in commercial fiction and, to me, feel packaged.

Enduring Love is my ninth Ian McEwan book and I now have a sense that I can group his work by certain characteristics. Thi
...more
Cindy
Aug 03, 2010 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
...more
Anja
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
The story and opening are haunting and gripping! Sadly there were a few instances, where the author started to ramble on about themes, that I absolutely did not care about, or had no effect on the story or character itself...It took me out of the story. Otherwise a very good novel.
C.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommended to C. by: Dad
Shelves: 2011, own-or-access
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
Will Ansbacher
Sep 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: menace
Another brilliantly-written work that springs from a single defining event. McEwan does that a lot, this time it’s a ballooning tragedy, but the real purpose of it is to allow McEwan to explore his characters. Joe had been picnicking with his partner Clarissa when they see a man attempting to hold a balloon down to free a child trapped inside. Joe and five others run to help but through an unfortunate set of actions, one falls to his death. Thus two men meet: Jed is a lonely religious fundamenta ...more
Charlotte Guzman
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ok, this is my 4th book by Mr. McEwen and was very satisfied with this book. I was hooked from the beginning and was bent over the book a lot when reading just anticipating what was going to happen next. You wondered who was the crazy one in the story and at the end you found out. There was forgiveness and happiness in the end but you have a thought of will it stay that way.
I have read Atonement, Amsterdam, and Black Dogs by this author. The author is very good at keeping you thinking about what
...more
Kate
Mar 26, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1945-2000, own, fiction
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
...more
Scarlet
I’d forgotten how deftly McEwan writes. The prose here is so vivid, it adds layers of complexity and introspection to an otherwise so-so plot. The opening chapter itself is worthy of 5 stars - I felt like I was actually witnessing the accident in real time, that the desperation, helplessness, horror, and guilt outlined on those pages were mine alone. Fantastic.
Blair
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
Paul E. Morph
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
Sarah
Aug 09, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
What a funny book. That's funny as in weird funny. You'd think I would know to expect this as this was my 5th McEwan novel, but I have to say this one was odder than I expected it to be.

The first chapter of this book was excellent, and probably one of the most memorable I have ever read (if you don't know what it's about the cover is a pretty helpful clue). After the first chapter there was a direction I expected the novel to take, but it instead focuses on one character involved in the "inciden
...more
Tania
Feb 26, 2015 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
...more
Sarah Ames-Foley
Objectively, I can see the appeal to this. It is generally well-written and there are some interesting aspects to it. Unfortunately, it totally lost me. I found myself mostly bored and not caring enough about the outcome to bother picking it up unless I had nothing else to do. I can certainly see this working for other people, but it definitely wasn't for me.

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...more
Fionnuala
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...
James
May 29, 2013 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
Barbara H
Mar 13, 2009 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
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Ian McEwan studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970 and later 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 Rites; the Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and
...more

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