- Title: Black Dogs
- Author: Ian McEwan
- ISBN: 9780553373677
- Page: 369
- Format: Paperback
In 1946, a young couple set off on their honeymoon Fired by their ideals and passion for one another, they plan an idyllic holiday, only to encounter an experience of darkness so terrifying it alters their lives forever In this highly praised national bestseller, Ian McEwan has written his most humane and compelling novel to date.From the Hardcover edition.
Recent Comments "Black Dogs"
I have read many Ian McEwans, and I am always divided whether I like them or not. There is a witty analysis of contemporary life that appeals to me, put into occasionally brilliant prose. There are characters with interesting traits, and plots that usually have an abrupt twist in the end.It uses to be an entertaining and quick reading experience between heavier, more thought-provoking and more linguistically challenging (and satisfying) classics or historical nonfiction.But this was below par, e [...]
Very disappointing, and yet not a dreadful book either (I've read five other McEwan's, all 4* or 5*).Remembering The narrator is preparing the memoirs of his dying mother-in-law. He particularly wants details of a terrifying encounter with black dogs more than 40 years ago that changed the direction of her life, and therefore that of her husband and children.Jeremy describes his own childhood, contrasting it with that of his wife, and tells of trips to the care home to talk to his mother-in-law, [...]
I don't understand how anyone could dislike this. It's basically a novel about ideologies and philosophies and how they apply to human beings, not about them in general, and McEwan's prose is so precise and fabulous that reading this whole thing, a book where barely anything actually happens except for near the end, was incredibly involving and fascinating. The characters feel like genuine people, there is no political condescension or sloganeering, just thoughtful human debate. I'm also constan [...]
Black Dogs was not as bad as I had expected, based on the reviews, but it does have a lot of problems. The novel tackles diverse themes, which intersect in interesting ways, though they arise in ad hoc rather than deliberate ways, and their treatment is not sufficiently meaningful. The encounter at the heart of Black Dogs is compelling, and raises some interesting ideas about human nature, and the tension between idealism and the reality of the darker sides of humanity. But the explanation is le [...]
I want to love Ian McEwan based on Zadie Smith’s (hilarious) interview with him in the Believer book of Writers on Writing. Maybe Black Dogs wasn’t the place to start. It was interesting to see his life work paralleled against Roth’s in the New York Review of Books (Al Alvarez, July 19 2007), suggesting that McEwan, like Roth, came of age as a writer at a moment when sexuality had to be busted out and that he, like Roth, was in the vanguard of this. I was expecting something more original [...]
A beautifully written novella but hollow in the centre, and leaving me dissatisfied at the end. It essentially revolves around a biography that the “author” Jeremy wants to write about his in-laws, June and Bernard. (To understand why they are so important to Jeremy, you need to read the introduction which is actually part of the novella itself and not, as I first thought, an autobiographical note on the real author’s life. Nice one, Ian).June and Bernard get married just after WW2 but on [...]
I quite liked this -- like it much more, in fact, than the reviews of my GR friends led me to expect I would. It is richly packed with ideas and character into what is almost only a novella in length, and I found the ending to be particularly strong and well prepared by what had gone before. The book is not flawless, there are technical weaknesses early on -- that is, the craftsmanship sometimes shows -- and there are passages where the 'debate' becomes a bit ham-handed, but the fundamental insi [...]
"Ever since I lost mine in a road accident when I was eight, I have had my eye on other people's parents" Jeremy, first person narrator in Ian McEwan's BLACK DOGS, finds what he is searching for in the parents of his wife Jenny, June and Bernard Tremaine. Placing the exploration of his in-laws' complicated relationship over five decades at the story's core around which the philosophical, spiritual and moral themes are continually gyrating, McEwan masterfully dissects the private sphere within an [...]
The introduction to this book blew me away. It sometimes so happens that I start reading a book without really thinking about it. For the first 5, 10 pages, I don't take it "seriously", if you will. I think it's sort of a professional flaw, after reading so many books, I know from the very first one or two pages, how many more I can afford to not attentively read. Usually, that happens when you don't have too many characters and so there are not many introductions to be made. When I read somethi [...]
He tries to meditate upon profound themes in a short span of 174 pages and he ends up being tiresomely symbolic and a real windbag too :"But the next day, and the day after, and on all the succeeding days, they never set foot in the metaphorical landscape of their future. The next day they turned back. They never descended the Gorge de Vis and walked by the mysterious raised canal that disappears into the rock, never crossed the river by the medieval bridge or climbed up to cross the Causse de B [...]
This was a really something and nothing book. I read it a few months ago and normally even confused or disjointed novels look clearer to me from a distance. Rather like seeing a landscape with a fuller perspective and you can catch the beauty of the overall effect, the roll of the hills, the gathering of the woodland, the undulations of the streams which you miss if you are too close. It is only when you step out of the immediacy of the thing that you see its meaning, its purpose.This hasn't hap [...]
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this. An incredibly satisfying quick read, accumulating in the powerful image (both symbolically and literally) for the narrator's mother-in-law at the end of the novel, which is the title of the book. I was also shocked to find a few people didn't like it. This book is part memoir, part fiction, and at the same time an examination of explosions of violence.
I still find it odd that some (if not most) people will never re-read a book. I've just re-read this one because it was my first McEwan and I was so unfamiliar with his odd story structure that the essence of the book didn’t stay with me. But that was something like ten years ago. I like to think I’ve grown as both reader and writer in that time, so I knew the book would speak volumes to me now. It does. But given that you might not have read it, a little something about the storyline. Engli [...]
Domani mi sarò già dimenticato di cosa parla.
This is far from the best novel by Ian McEwan. But even in a less novel, I think he still merits 4 stars. As allways the writing is clear, elegant and compelling. The reason I felt it was less than some other books, was the overflow of themes and subjects. The book sometimes gives the impression of a story meandering on while touching difficult ideas, yet not taking the time to really dig into them.Essentially it is about how people sometimes love eachother very much and yet do not (want to?) un [...]
: I have always been somewhat suspicious of Ian McEwan. I first read Amsterdam which I disliked intensely since it was obvious to me what would happen very early in the novel and I didn’t particularly enjoy seeing it work out just as I predicted. Since then I’ve read a good chunk of his fiction and I’ve had this complaint: that he comes off as a more-than-usually-sophisticated thriller writer who focuses on the intrusion of gratuitous violence into the lives of the characters and watches h [...]
Another McEwan book about people who love each other but somehow fail to stay together. A theme he does well.Here the people who love each other begin their marriage as idealists, British communists with ambitions to change the world. The husband remains political, dedicated to various causes even after he abandons communism. The wife has an experience with black dogs on her honeymoon, which sends her on a quest for spiritual truth. The black dogs and other scenes of danger add an unexpected ele [...]
Dopo ormai 3 libri letti ("Espiazione", "Bambini del tempo", "Miele", anche se l'ho amato in misura minore rispetto ai precedenti), posso dire che con McEwan è ormai amore puro. Lo stesso amore che, purtroppo, non ha potuto provare Jeremy, che, in seguito alla morte dei genitori avvenuta quando aveva solo otto anni, cerca quell'amore vero e naturale che esiste tra una madre e un figlio e che alla fine troverà nelle figure di June e Bernard, i suoceri della moglie Jenny. In un viaggio che si sn [...]
"Zlo o kome govorim živi u svima nama. Uzme maha u pojedincu, u ličnim životima, unutar porodice, i upravo deca najviše pate. I onda, kada su uslovi povoljni, u različitim zemljama, u različitim vremenima, užasno surovo bukne zloba protiv života, i svi su iznenađeni dubinom mržnje u sebi. Onda potone i čeka. To je nešto u našem srcu."
This is quite possibly the longest 174-page book I have ever read. Really! I am not joking.It is well written with excellent characters however, it is slow and even harder going for me than an Iris Murdoch novel. I do like Atonement by the same author, but I can only give this one 3 starsThe story could have been much more engaging. In a way, it's like a Kate Morton story without the heart.
The narrator of Black Dogs, Jeremy lost his parents at 8 years old, latches onto his friends' parents, then his wife's. The story takes place during the Berlin Wall, November 1989. Jeremy is fascinated by his Wife's parents and their unusual relationship: they love one another, but are unable to live together. Their extreme ideologies make it difficult to live together. This is another McEwan that I really liked
Sai che i libri ti lasciano un segno solo quando giri l'ultima pagina e ti rendi conto che già senti la mancanza dei personaggi che hai incontrato.
Attraverso l’inconciliabile conflitto ideologico che distrugge l’unione ma non il reciproco amore di Bernard e June Tremaine, l’autore mette in campo l’eterna dicotomia tra fede e ragione, tra vita attiva e vita contemplativa, tra materialismo e spiritualità. Il romanzo è molto intenso e si presta a chiavi di lettura diverse e personalizzate. A tratti appare un po’ artificioso nell’espediente di collegare alle vicende personali dei protagonisti il maggior numero possibile di eventi [...]
Short, quite interesting. Doesn't really stand out in any major way.Perhaps the same thing can be said about this review?Oh alright! The books Black Dogs are hinted at being physical manifestations of humanities capability for evil. One of the characters in this book confronts these two horrible beasts during an idyllic walk through the French countryside. Although through the use of cunning and violence she manages to drive them away, the experience affects her deeply and changes her life outlo [...]
Black Dogs is a complex and deep tale in which McEwan explores relationships, marriage and love, all the while craftily blending it into a Europe recovering from WWII. There is darkness and beauty, and love and evil, all melded in a dense but melodic and hard to penetrate package. 3-1/2 stars, rounded down to 3 because it just didn't seem to compel me.
I found a used library hardcover of this at Half-Price Books about three months ago - I have a thing about hardcovers, so I had to buy it, although I was not initially terribly excited by the synopsis. I'm a pretty avid fan of Ian McEwan; since I readThe Cement Garden, I've really become enamored of his writing style. It's very intimate while still maintaining a narrative distance and certain coldness that I very much appreciate. However, since readingAmsterdam andOn Cheshil Beach I've become mo [...]
Un racconto lungo sulle dinamiche di un matrimonio complesso, un rapporto a due che nasce su una base comune d'attrazione e di fede politica, ma che si disgrega dopo un'esperienza toccante, che allontana completamente le visioni di marito e moglie, incapaci di rimanere insieme, ma anche di separarsi definitivamente. Il tutto viene osservato dall'occhio attento del genero, orfano fin da bambino, che trova nell'interesse verso i genitori della moglie una sorta di surrogato affettivo alla sua manca [...]
Po Pokání a Betonové zahradě pro mě Černí psi znamenali docela zklamání. McEwan psát umí, ale prostě mě to nezaujalo, ani postavy mi k srdci nepřirostly a podruhé tuhle knížku číst určitě nebudu.
I picked up Black Dogs at a used book store and was happy to find an Ian McEwan book there. Obviously very well written although transparent in places, this is not my favorite of his, but it was still very good. This is an outsider’s, if you consider a son-in-law as an outsider, view of a marriage enmeshed in philosophical differences. Jeremy is Bernard and June’s son-in-law and he appears more concerned with and interested in them, particularly June, than their biological children. Jeremy h [...]
Would be 3.5 stars if possible. I forgot how well he writes. Even if I usually find him/his characters pretentious and unrelatable. There were those moments in this book as well, but I resonated too closely and personally with the classic Rational vs Spiriutal, Good vs Evil, White vs Black - vs Gray inner conflicts of the soul. What do we really really wish for - what "should be" , versus what really is, and how we reconcile the two. I like how McEwan's protagonist/storytelling device, Jeremy, d [...]
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