What readers think of On Chesil Beach, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

On Chesil Beach

A Novel

by Ian McEwan

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan X
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2007, 208 pages

    Paperback:
    Jun 2008, 224 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 1
There are currently 5 reader reviews for On Chesil Beach
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Maya

Brilliant
The only book that broke my heart when reading, it's absolutely stunning the way the characters are driven to the tragedy!
Mamcu

Also wondering
I also felt there is room for finding subtle references to possible incest from Florence's father - perhaps on the sea voyage -- though I would have expected this to be dealt with in the conclusion. So, I am still wondering ...
J. Arnold

A Modern Greek Tragedy
McEwan's On Chesil Beach is a wonderful story of expectations, maturity, communication, and lost chances. At the same time, the hero (if that is what he is?), Edward, is tragic. Whether he has been "tricked" into his marriage with Florence or whether she has been the victim of incest is not at the core of this novel. Edward's inability to with deal with flaws, whether unintentional (his mother's mental illness) or intentional (Florence's psychological repulsion of sexual intimacy), is at the heart of this novel. As a man, I have to sympathize with Edward, but I found myself asking the same questions McEwan's does in the last section of the book: Is Edward's lack of compassion morally right? McEwan and I reach similar conclusions. Like Saturday (McEwan's previous book), this book - unfolding in a single time span - is tight and exciting. If nothing else, read this book for McEwan's well-crafted sentences.
Cariola

Stunning!
Although I'm a big McEwan fan, I wasn't sure, after reading a few reviews, that I would enjoy On Chesil Beach. How much could one write about a single night, even a failed wedding night? Plus the reviews tended to focus only on the awkwardness of that night (and the sexual details) and the repressiveness of the 1960s. On Chesil Beach is so much more. It's a story about individuals, their love for and misunderstanding of each other, the question of whether people from very different backgrounds can make it as a couple, the conflict ebtween desire to be loved and the need to be oneself, the experience of falling in love, the sadness of lost love and lost opportunities, the pressure of expectations, the fear of the unconventional, the haunting sorrow of what might have been, and the lingering effects of disappointments in our lives.

This sparsely written, elegant little book stayed with me for months after I finished reading it. McEwan keeps getting better and better, more introspective and kinder to his characters as he ages. Don't miss it!
Ellen Johns

Have I read too deep between the lines?
Although the book centres around a period in time, the early 60's, when sex and related topics were a taboo subject, I can't help but be lead by the author,albeit in very subtle references,to believe that the young woman in the story has suffered some form of sexual abuse or trauma, possibly from her father.

I feel that the decade in which the novel is set, is cleverly chosen to distract the reader from this fact. Of course I may be way off mark, but my suspicions were aroused very early on in this short, but riveting novel.

I am curious as to whether other readers of this excellent writer intepreted this aspect of the novel.
  • Page
  • 1

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.75 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    Stories from the Tenants Downstairs
    by Sidik Fofana
    'Everybody got a story, everybody got a tale / Question is: Is it despair or prevail?' ...
  • Book Jacket: Fire Season
    Fire Season
    by Leyna Krow
    Fire Season is a thoroughly enjoyable novel that touches upon multiple genres and themes. It ...
  • Book Jacket: The Story of Russia
    The Story of Russia
    by Orlando Figes
    In The Story of Russia, British historian and writer Orlando Figes shares panoramic and ...
  • Book Jacket: Moth
    Moth
    by Melody Razak
    On August 15, 1947, India gained independence from the United Kingdom, and on that same day the ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Ways We Hide
by Kristina McMorris
From the bestselling author of Sold On A Monday, a sweeping tale of an illusionist recruited by British intelligence in World War II.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Book Club Giveaway!
Win A Minor Chorus

A Minor Chorus

A debut novel from a rising literary star that brings the modern queer and Indigenous experience into sharp relief.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

Y Can't G H A

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.