Reader reviews and comments on 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

  • 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

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...
  • Book Jacket: Fortress America
    Fortress America
    by Elaine Tyler May
    In Fortress America, Elaine Tyler May presents a fascinating but alarming portrait of America's...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Force of Nature
    by Jane Harper

    A riveting, tension-driven thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G O T P, B The P, F T P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.