by Ian McEwan | Other |
ISBN: 0099469685 Global Overview for this book
Registered by BookGroupMan of Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on 2/6/2006
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2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, February 06, 2006
tbr for my book group

(19/02) Finished - review to follow

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, February 27, 2006
*slight spoiler*
This took quite a while to get going, mostly because IM seems to be suffering from those twin-ills of modern writers; researchaholism and detailitis…too much information on neurosurgery, the blues and cooking fish stews(!), too much extraneous detail, expanding every second of the day (erm…Saturday) in what felt like hours. But, after a while, the pace and reflection, introspection & super-inspection settles into a hypnotic and fulfilling novel. But, take off the wrapping, remove the padding and the bubblewrap, and you are still left with a complex multi-layered novel of our time.

Henry Perowne is a successful neurosurgeon and family man - in that order – setting out to fill his ‘day off’ with preparations for a reunion meal, visiting his sick mother, playing squash and any number of other jobs. As events start to go out of his control, his earlier vague sense of unease takes a more sinister turn.

One of the interesting themes was how much of our lives are governed by external events (e.g. the threat of terrorism, the mass of humanity & cars in London, and random encounters) and the internal ‘plumbing’ of the brain. As well as his own patients Henry has to deal with the sick and unpredictable Baxter and his failing mother...both examples of our fallibility and fragility when the physical brain goes wrong. Of course, everything else that happens in the novel; including Henry’s own reactions to events; his irascible father-in-law; his poetic headstrong daughter; his loving & caring wife; his laid-back musician son; are more constructs of the consciousness and the conditioning. McEwan briefly touches on the mind vs. brain debate, but that’s a whole different matter, for a different review :)

A repeated quote from Darwin sums it up nicely; "There’s a grandeur in this view of life."

Released 13 yrs ago (3/11/2006 UTC) at Caffe Nero IP1 book-crossing zone in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom



Taking along to the Ipswich meet-up tomorrow - to share or leave at the OBCZ

Journal Entry 4 by Gooner from March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Sunday, March 12, 2006
Picked up at yesterday's meet-up.

Journal Entry 5 by Gooner from March, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Just finished this and was amazed. I can't give it a rating of anything less than 10. I never re-read books, but this is an exception. Thanks so much, BGM.

BookGroupMan's journal entry sums it all up better than I can. However, as I've just read McEwan's 'Atonement', maybe I'm acclimatised to his 'researchaholism and detailitis'! Perhaps I revelled in both, and wouldn't have had it any other way. At so many points in the novel I could identify: life in central London; the way in which we are nowadays dominated by actual global events and aware of global responsibilities which affect us as individuals; an increased awareness of threat of terrorist atrocities affecting us here in the UK, although the book pre-dates 7/7/05; Henry Perowne's parental wonder in contemplating his adult children with their interests, talents, knowledge and wisdom worlds apart from his own ...

I could go on with subjective comments, but will close objectively: please read this book!

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