[Ebook] ➬ Pe plaja Chesil ➫ Ian McEwan – Writerscompany.co.uk

Pe plaja Chesil We know the story in advance from the book jacket a disastrous wedding night Both are virgins Young people will find that hard to believe these days, but this is set in the 1960 s As the author tells us, the pill was only a rumor They had no opportunity for intimacy while dating While in school in London he lived in a room in the house of a strict aunt She lived in a women s rooming house with a dorm mother keeping watch and no men allowed.We learn about their families and upbringing h We know the story in advance from the book jacket a disastrous wedding night Both are virgins Young people will find that hard to believe these days, but this is set in the 1960 s As the author tells us, the pill was only a rumor They had no opportunity for intimacy while dating While in school in London he lived in a room in the house of a strict aunt She lived in a women s rooming house with a dorm mother keeping watch and no men allowed.We learn about their families and upbringing how they met and how they dated Both are intellectuals He s studying to be a professor of history her life is music and playing the violin They areor less in love and they are getting married because it s what you do This was still the era when to be young was a social encumbrance, a mark of irrelevance, a faintly embarrassing condition for which marriage was the beginning of a cure The woman suspects there is something wrong with her she knew nothing about sex, just what she read in a how to guide She was terrified and repelled by all the talk of fluids and penetration He s anxious and fumbling He mistakes her moans of disgust for signs of pleasure It was a good story and it kept my attention, but I found the book a bit dragged out Maybe it should have been a short story This is my sixth McEwan Enduring Love, Nutshell, Amsterdam, Saturday and Atonement and only the last I rated a five Photo of Chesil Beach from Southampton.ac.uk This deceptively light novella describes the events of Florence and Edward s disastrous honeymoon night in 1962, interspersed with details of their childhoods and courtship to suggest how those influenced what happened Update re film at the bottom It is clinical and understated from the start The wedding had gone well and the weather not perfect but entirely adequate and continues in the bedroom with detailed descriptions of physical sensations of skin, muscle, and even individu This deceptively light novella describes the events of Florence and Edward s disastrous honeymoon night in 1962, interspersed with details of their childhoods and courtship to suggest how those influenced what happened Update re film at the bottom It is clinical and understated from the start The wedding had gone well and the weather not perfect but entirely adequate and continues in the bedroom with detailed descriptions of physical sensations of skin, muscle, and even individual hairs stroking forthan one and a half minutes too precise.Florence is incapable of rudeness , Edward polite to a fault and both are virgins and unable to discuss intimate things There were no words to name what had happened, there existed no shared language , leading to misunderstandings, lost opportunities and unexpected consequences Edward is guided by duty Florence is guided by guilt though not being religious, she can t get absolution and has a visceral dread of sex, realising that sex with Edward could not be the summation of her joy, but was the price she must pay for it.Photo On Chesil Beach, April 2016 sea in front barely visible , lagoon behind DestinyA major theme is destiny, which is perhaps the converse of missed opportunities They regarded themselves as too sophisticated to believe in destiny , yet it was a belief in destiny that prompted Florence to form her quartet, and Florence and Edward inferred the hand of destiny in the extreme improbability of their meeting, plus Edward wants to study and write about how powerful individuals can change destiny.ContrastsThey are very different Florence is a classical musician from a privileged academic city background, lacking in confidence except where music is concerned Edward is quiet but in the past occasionally explosive, a history graduate from a rural squalid family home with a brain damaged mother Both are used to leaving things unsaid Florence is adept at concealing her feelings from her family and lived in isolation within herself , while Edward grew up in a family that colluded in his mother s fantasy of a well run household by not talking about it He secretly chose a London university instead of nearby Oxford as part of his sense of a concealed life Music is often important in McEwan s works Florence and Edward s musical tastes are fundamentally incompatible though they try , yet for Florence music is her path to pleasure , rather than physical intimacy Although Edward s family home was chaotic and somewhat repressed, it was loving He enjoys the exotic opulence of Florence s home, and although not a social climber, his desire for Florence was inseparable from the setting Florence was raised by nannies, and her mother is uninterested in her, tone deaf and had barely ever touched her daughter Her relationship with her father issubtle, but perhapstroubling Sometimes she found him physically repellent and sometimes she d hug and kiss him, and loather herself for it She even jokes about marrying him Although he never touched her in Edward s sight , they were intensely aware of each other he did hug her sister , and took overnight trips alone together, even sharing a room on the boat At times, Florence feelslike the parent or child of Edward, rather than his girlfriend or wife.Ebb and FlowThere is plenty of see sawing in the book the ebb and flow of the sea on the stones of Chesil Beach of desire of who to blame for what goes wrong both in the minds of the characters and the readers and Florence s feelings about her father, and whether or not she thinks there is something wrong with Edward or herself.NowadaysThe story, and especially the ending, would be implausible nowadays, but fits the characters and the period My parents married at almost exactly the same ages, in almost the same year, and I can see many similarities in aspects of my mother s upbringing and attitudes and Florence s I m unsure whether she d see that or want to.The fact that Edward fell away from history to live snugly in the present seems entirely appropriate.It is a raw and painful book in places, all theironic given that it is set in the allegedly swinging 60s There is additional irony in the fact that Florence takes Edward s cherry but only at dinner an image oddly missing from the film Complimentary NovelsTwo were written in the 60s, about the 60s, and feature a woman struggling with sexual intimacy, against the zeitgeist of the swinging 60s Margaret Drabble s The Millstone see my review HERE.Lynne Reid Banks The L Shaped Room see my review HERE.One of my two favourite books was written in the 60s, describing the life and awful marriage of a man born at the turn of the century, John Williams exquisite Stoner see my review HERE Also, Julian Barnes 1986 novel, Staring at the Sun see my review HERE , has similarly poignant anxiety about sex, though it takes ahumorous angle UPDATE re Film of 2018The film was brilliant, beautiful, and mostly true to the spirit of my memory of the book eight years earlier with one HUGE caveat The significant difference is that there wasafterstory than I remember That didn t feel necessary, and in particular, the fact that in the film, Florence went on to view spoiler have three children, starting very soon after the annulment of her marriage to Edward, totally changes the causes and consequences of what went wrong on their wedding night hide spoiler Florence s relationship with her father was still subtle so much so, my husband, who hasn t read the book, was oblivious to its likely significance.It stars the luminously vulnerable and always watchable Saoirse Ronan, who first rose to prominence in another McEwan adaptation, Atonement The rest of the cast are good, too See On Chesil Beach on imdb.The dramatic views of Chesil Beach are perfect, avoiding the clich of extreme weather, but having a vaguely brooding heaviness You hear the crunch of the pebbles, underfoot, and as waves wash up and percolate down The lagoon behind is still and silent Florence and Edward are the only people in sight McEwan wrote the screenplay, so it s not surprising it s faithful It certainly brought home the message that their wedding night conversations should have happened long before they married Go see it but don t stay for the end The first thing you should know about this book is that, like the other Ian McEwan books I ve read, it is about the most uncomfortable, awkward, and squirmy thing you ll ever read Don t believe me What if I told you that the book which is 200 pages long only covers about two hours of time the first two hours of a newlywed couple s honeymoon in which they fumble to consummate their marriage And that both of them have very embarrassing sexual dysfunctions Well, that s what the book is abo The first thing you should know about this book is that, like the other Ian McEwan books I ve read, it is about the most uncomfortable, awkward, and squirmy thing you ll ever read Don t believe me What if I told you that the book which is 200 pages long only covers about two hours of time the first two hours of a newlywed couple s honeymoon in which they fumble to consummate their marriage And that both of them have very embarrassing sexual dysfunctions Well, that s what the book is about The reader looks on helplessly and squirmingly as two virgins, Edward and Florence, sit in a hotel room on the beach embarrassed out of their minds It s 1962, on the cusp of the sexual revolution, and the pair have neither the presence of mind or even the vocabulary to communicate openly with each other There is only a handful of words spoken until the very last chapter of the book it was tough for me not to use the word climax here, but I try to stay classy For the first 50 pages or so I was convinced that McEwan was just selling a freak show to us again that he s a popular author because people like reading about sex and other people s weirdo sex problems Who needs a plot or well executed sentences when we could have incest, brain damage, erectile dysfunction, and a 30,000 word sex scene Bring on other peoples guilt and shame But I kept reading and I m glad I did Through a number of seamless flashbacks, the history of the couple unfolded before me so slowly and steadily and adeptly that I am now convinced that Ian McEwan is a genius A dirty old man genius It made me think back to a few years ago when Ben and I were lucky enough to interview Jim Shepard, Ben s favorite contemporary writer and a visiting author at the University of Montana visiting because Ben requested him, no less We sat in the Union Club sipping straight whiskeys and Jim Shepard told us that the truly great books he was specifically talking about Marilynne Robinson s Housekeeping are books that are constantly revelatory And that s exactly what I though about On Chesil Beach Everyone we re talking about the characters and me were learning and understandinganddeeply with each page It felt like a blossoming or, to be less lame and corny, like a picture very slowly coming into focus Many times when authors reveal information it seems cheap or as if they were withholding it from you in order to keep you reading dime mystery book stuff But McEwan s real gift is in the natural and subtle ways that he presents information to the reader In fact, many of the biggest revelations in the book are never said outright, but only seep into the story until you understand each one as truth It s really pretty well done So if you can handle cringing non stop for three or four hours and have a strong stomach, you should pick up this book And let me know if you can figure out exactly how McEwan does what he does, because I d like to know about it This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Love lost through an inability to speak truth.It is 1962 Edward and Florence have gone to a lovely seaside hotel on their wedding night, totally unprepared for the actual mechanics of sex Both are virgins Both have little knowledge of what can or should be done and the result is not a happy one Still, the issue here is not about the s of the 50 s, I believe Is it really possible for two 20 somethings to be so ignorant, even in 1962 I suppose it is possible But this is a novel about co Love lost through an inability to speak truth.It is 1962 Edward and Florence have gone to a lovely seaside hotel on their wedding night, totally unprepared for the actual mechanics of sex Both are virgins Both have little knowledge of what can or should be done and the result is not a happy one Still, the issue here is not about the s of the 50 s, I believe Is it really possible for two 20 somethings to be so ignorant, even in 1962 I suppose it is possible But this is a novel about communication and trustthan about the uptight s of a bygone time Ian McEwan from his websiteWe are shown the history of their relationship via flashback Florence came from a home bereft of physical contact There is one scene in which it is intimated, although not conclusively, that her father may have been guilty of a crime against her youth No wonder she is frightened Physicality to her is a source of shame And once given as when she was cuddled by one of her nannies as a child the pleasure is soon yanked away The nanny was let go But the crime here is that Edward and Florence are unable to talk with each other about their problem Had they exercised the power of speech they might have found a way out of their marital jungle We are shown what the future holds for them And maybe in that is a message about disparate times Maybe, even with all the angst of changes over the last 50 years, we are in a better position to address our issues in the 21st century, even despite the divorce rate Two other McEwans I have had a go at, Atonement and Saturday This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com Regular readers know that this month CCLaP is taking an extended look at the nominees for the 2007 Booker Prize and regular readers also know that so far I ve been mostly disappointed by the nominees I ve read, finding most of them to be inconsequential little wisps of stories, many of them well written but certainly not weighty enough to be called The Best Novel of 2007 And thus The much longer full review can be found at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography cclapcenter.com Regular readers know that this month CCLaP is taking an extended look at the nominees for the 2007 Booker Prize and regular readers also know that so far I ve been mostly disappointed by the nominees I ve read, finding most of them to be inconsequential little wisps of stories, many of them well written but certainly not weighty enough to be called The Best Novel of 2007 And thus do we come to the fifth Booker nominee to be reviewed here, as well as the one easily most well known, Ian McEwan s On Chesil Beach and let me tell you, if a common complaint about this year s Booker nominees is of their slight and inconsequential nature, On Chesil Beach isn t helping matters at all, in that it is such a non excuse for a novel as to almost not exist In fact, I can literally give you the entire plot of this 200 page, paperback sized book in literally 177 words and this is a major spoiler alert, by the way, because I m not kidding, I really am about to tell you the entire storyline of On Chesil Beach from beginning to end, without skipping a single detail, in 177 words Ready A young middle class couple get married in England in 1962, and spend their wedding night on Chesil Beach He only got married because he s horny as hell and lives in middle class 1962 England, where getting married is the only chance you re going to have to get laid, and as a result has now become a cuckold employee of his upper class father in law she despises the very idea of sex altogether, but is too much of a coward to tell her husband, instead spending months psyching herself up into performing her upcoming wifely duties The wedding night arrives He gets so excited that he has a premature ejaculation on his wife s stomach She becomes so disgusted that she flees the room in a panic He chases her down the beach, where they have an explosive argument based on mutual misunderstanding of each other s behavior She leaves him that night and their marriage is annulled presumably And he spends the rest of his life thinking about the relationship that was never meant to be No, dude, seriously, that s it that s the entire freaking plotline of the book Which, fine, I don t necessarily mind when it s a 10,000 word short story in a literary magazine, that I m reading on a boring Sunday afternoon down at my neighborhood cafe but seriously, as a standalone book for 22 damn dollars And that the Booker committee has the gall to nominate as the best novel of the entire year Seriously Are you kidding meIt s hard for me to Having read my first McEwan, I think I can begin to understand why so many good friends feel conflicted about him, even though almost all my friends have recorded positive reviews for this particular novel the reason I chose this one over others On Chesil Beach is hilariously funny, boldly intimate, and admirably candid when it describes the internal turmoil of its characters and their struggles to interpret their own truths, but taken whole I think the novel is just so so the story, the basi Having read my first McEwan, I think I can begin to understand why so many good friends feel conflicted about him, even though almost all my friends have recorded positive reviews for this particular novel the reason I chose this one over others On Chesil Beach is hilariously funny, boldly intimate, and admirably candid when it describes the internal turmoil of its characters and their struggles to interpret their own truths, but taken whole I think the novel is just so so the story, the basic premise that holds it, is very contrived and a whole lot of fillers in the shape of flashbacks have been thrown in to make it big enough to be a novel.1962 Newly married couple Wedding Night Virgins Afraid of sexual failure our storyline Much can be said about Florence s total lack of interest in sex, her fear of intimacy, her disgust at being touched Okay, we know she was a product of her time a time just before the cultural change that revolutionized romance and sex in the West we know social conditioning had led her to view sex as dirty and corrupting, and we know there had not existed an acceptable common language to discuss those matters and we know that she was kind of introvert with a singular aim of making it big in the world of classical music Some of those possibilities are explored briefly, some only alluded to, but none of those make her problem convincing I hoped in vain to learn something startling at the end, something Zweig like But there was nothing.Was she frigid or asexual, a claim Edward, her one night husband, hurls at her as an accusation Was there some other psychological reason from her past that changed her attitude towards copulation Perhaps She says at one point, Perhaps what I really need to to d0 is kill my mother and marry my father she did not seem to have an emotional attachment with either of her parent, not in the normal sense Or was she a queer and did not know about her own sexuality I admit this last one felt like the most plausible reason But perhaps none of it matters to the story It is not about sex but the failure of romance, about lack of faith in one s own abilities, about missed opportunities, about the passing of time, about doing nothing How an entire course of a life can be changed by doing nothing.The novel works as a basic portrait of the 1960s England with focus on London, Oxford and its vicinity, its cultural and political scene, and two young people from different classes growing up apart and coming together in an uneven relationship that ends in a horrible crash on the Chesil Beach And that was that Also, it gets rather treacly in the end, to make us feel sorry for the couple, enlarging on their romance post breakup, summing up their whole lives after going separate ways in two or three pages that should not have been inflicted on the reader.December 16 UPDATED May 24, 2018, after watching the new film This is my second viewing of the film I first saw it last September during the Toronto film festival I read the book a month ago And I rescreened the film a few days ago to review before its theatrical release I prefer the novel, especially for the witty, all knowing narrator The flashbacks are handled muchsubtly in the book than they are in the movie.But the film McEwan wrote the screenplay captures the same tone of light comedy an UPDATED May 24, 2018, after watching the new film This is my second viewing of the film I first saw it last September during the Toronto film festival I read the book a month ago And I rescreened the film a few days ago to review before its theatrical release I prefer the novel, especially for the witty, all knowing narrator The flashbacks are handled muchsubtly in the book than they are in the movie.But the film McEwan wrote the screenplay captures the same tone of light comedy and tragedy Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle are beautifully cast as are Samuel West and Emily Watson as Florence s parents , and it s quite something to see the actual Chesil Beach In the film you understand that if you walk all the way out on the beach, there s only one way to come back which is an intriguing metaphor for the central decision in the book.The biggest difference in the movie, apart from view spoiler the abuse being much clearer hide spoiler , is the ending As I point out in my review of the movie, film and literature are different mediums I think we want to see certain things play out in a movie that we don t necessarily need in a book So the ending in the film has a certain power I cried both times I saw it I love the book s ending it s quiet, subtle andbelievable than what we re given in the movie But even though it doesn t all work view spoiler the old age y makeup, especially for Edward, is a bit much hide spoiler , it s still very effective A note perfect novellaOn their wedding night in a seaside hotel room in 1962, a young British couple, both virgins, have a disagreement, and it has lasting implications On the surface, that doesn t sound very interesting, but McEwan manages to suggest so much There s obviously lots of humour in the young couple s awkward fumblings waiters barge in and out of the room serving them their bland, proper meal although they re not hungry neither the man Edward nor the woman Florence knows who should make the first move and when they eventually start to get intimate, things like zippers don t behaveFurther, Edward desperately wants to have sex he s refrained from masturbating or self pleasure, as the euphemism goes all week , while Florence, intimidated by having read a dry sex manual, is dreading it But there s something deeper at play in their inability to say what s bothering them and why.This is, remember, Britain before the sexual revolution of the late 60s and early 70s, before people talked openly about their wants and feelings to friends and therapists or on TV And the couple s separate backgrounds, skillfully interwoven through flashbacks from the main narrative, also play a key role McEwan s omniscient, all knowing narrator is a delight, finding just the right tone between comedy and tragedy At one point he ll have you chuckling about the little insecurities that bond us all, and then he ll leave you crying at things not said, not expressed.Plus there s lots of subtlety in the way that McEwan describes a bit of Florence s history that absolutely affects her attitude to sex Surprisingly, many of the 1 and 2 star reviews of this book fail to mention this perhaps they missed it Early on we re introduced to the idea of fate Edward recently graduated university with a degree in history, and he had a theory that great people determined their destinies This becomes an intriguing theme as we re shown how the two met, and, if we dig deeper as we re meant to, with McEwan , see the links that perhaps drew them together Edward has a bit of a temper, much like Florence s wealthy industrialist father and Edward s mother, who suffered brain damage from a life altering accident at a train station, is also something of a musician, like Florence a violinist who dreams of being in a professional string quartet.The climax, set on the eponymous Chesil Beach, is heart stopping Think of the setting a narrow stretch of shingly land surrounded by water on either side meaning if you go down it, you have to come back the same way.And the final few pages, which flash forward a year or two and then decades, are simply devastating This is one of those books where, when I eventually pick it up again at a bookstore and reread the final pages, I know I ll tear up again See also The Goldfinch and Middlemarch As McEwan demonstrated in theambitious but no less affecting Atonement, lives can change in an instant over a lie, something misunderstood or perhaps even words simply unsaid If you ll excuse me, I m going to listen to Mozart s String Quintet in D major K 593 You ll want to too, after reading this exquisite, note perfect book In Vara Anului , Cu Putin Inainte Ca The Beatles Sa Devina Faimosi, Edward Si Florence Se Casatoresc In Orasul Universitar Oxford Ceremonia Decurge Bine, Serviciile Sint Satisfacatoare, Petrecerea, Vesela Si, In Sfirsit, Cei Doi Ramin Singuri Sint Fericiti, Poate Un Pic Prea Emotionati Iau Cina Intr Un Loc Numit Plaja Chesil, Asteptind Noaptea Nuntii Cu O Acuratete Innebunitoare, Vom Afla Povestea Acestei Nopti, Care, Incalcind Orice Simt Al Firescului, Nu Se Mai Consuma Cei Doi Tineri Traiesc Drama Unei Crize Sexuale Intr O Epoca In Care Conversatiile Despre Asemenea Dificultati Sint Imposibil De Purtat Si Ce Ii Oprea , Noteaza Autorul, Personalitatile Lor, Trecutul, Ignoranta Si Temerile, Timiditatea, O Sensibilitate Excesiva, Lipsa Sigurantei, A Experientei Sau A Dezinvolturii, Ramasitele Unor Scrupule Religioase Istoria Insasi Edward Si Florence Sint Cu Adevarat Un Cuplu Ciudat Amindoi Inteligenti Si Educati, Dar Diferiti Poate Nu Neaparat In Mod Ireconciliabil, Daca Ar Fi Reusit Sa Vorbeasca Sincer Unul Cu Altul I ve been in a relationship with Ian McEwan for less than a month now, and, let me tell you he s driving me CRAZY I wonder things about him, like does he have a particularly magical keyboard that only types out the right words Does he even bother with an editor, or do his manuscripts sprout wings and fly independently to the publishing house, where they are lovingly pressed into clever books Has he been in every complicated, interpersonal entanglement How does he do this How does he t I ve been in a relationship with Ian McEwan for less than a month now, and, let me tell you he s driving me CRAZY I wonder things about him, like does he have a particularly magical keyboard that only types out the right words Does he even bother with an editor, or do his manuscripts sprout wings and fly independently to the publishing house, where they are lovingly pressed into clever books Has he been in every complicated, interpersonal entanglement How does he do this How does he take two virgins on their wedding night in 1962, put them in one hotel room and create a captivating novel from that one scene How does he make your stomach ache with anticipation and suspense without murder or violence or action merely the psychological tension that exists between two humans And how does he manage such taut, sparse prose Ahhhhhhhh Mr McEwan I m sitting up I m paying attention I m your newest fan You ve shouldered your way into the crowded room of my favorite authors, and I don t think I m kicking you out anytime soon I have a First Edition of this small hardcopy book I read it in 2007 There are other passionate 5 star reviews but I was incredibly disappointed I felt it could have been a short story I was angry that I paid full price for it However..I may re read this book soon it only takes a few hours with an open mind to see if my thoughts have changed I m guessing people today didn t pay 30 for this as I had Funny how the price bothered me so much and it did at the time.


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