On Chesil Beach
27 journalers for this copy...
From the book jacket -
"A short novel of remarkable depth and poignancy by a writer at the height of his powers.
It is July 1962. Edward and Florence, young innocents married that morning, arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their private fears of the wedding night to come...
On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from Ian McEwan - a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken."
I agree with that synopsis entirely, and it is difficult to say much more without spoiling the story. It is a short read, which I finished within two sittings. I felt very moved by the eventual outcome of that fateful night, which has lifelong repercussions, certainly for Edward.
Ian McEwan can be a very patchy writer, but in my opinion, this is one of his best, and I'm really glad I've found other bookcrossers to share it with me as a bookring :-)
I'm not a great one for "rules" but I'm suggesting the usual guidelines, to help things run smoothly and enable us to keep track of where the book is.
*When the book has been received by you and you have nearly finished reading it, please PM the next person on the List for their address so that you can post it to them.
*Please do 3 journal entries, the first when you receive the book to say that it has arrived, the second when you have read it, to tell us what you thought of it, and the third when you post it to the next person on the list to say that it has left your hands.
*You should aim to read and pass it on within a month of receiving it. As it is a very short (and an enthralling!) read, hopefully this shouldn't present a problem, but if for any reason at all you're not able to meet the commitment, please let me and the person after you in the List know.
Now that's out of the way, here's the fun bit :)
klaradyn- South Africa
Alectoness- UK ....
max9 -UK....BOOK IS HERE
Back to me - Annodyne UK
Journal Entry 3
-- controlled release in -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Saturday, April 21, 2007
Released 12 yrs ago (4/21/2007 UTC) at -- controlled release in -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Started the bookring today by posting to Triggerfish.
Hope you all enjoy the book and keep it moving on its travels!
Arrived safely today, thank you!
The story is set in 1962, before "the Sixties" really started. (" This was still the era when to be young was a social encumbrance ..."). Carefully and beautifully written, this is a powerful and moving story. As you can see, I couldn't stop reading!
Will post on tomorrow.
Thanks for including me in this ray/ring!
Posted book to redhouse today.
Arrived safely, a lovely new book, what a treat!
Perfectly captures the era. I was 15 at the beginning of the sixties and can remember with great clarity the feel of the time when 'to be young was a social encumbrance'.
When the sixties are recalled it's always the perceived freedom of the latter part of the decade that is remembered, but the early sixties were very innocent by comparison, and McEwan gets this absolutely.
The claustrophobic atmosphere is just right.
I loved this for the memories it brought back, but I have to say that it took me ages to engage with the characters, and I'm not sure that I ever did with Florence, although it kept me turning the pages, so I must have wanted to see the outcome.
Thanks for giving me the opportumity to read this annodyne, like you I often find McEwan patchy, but this was a pretty good read.
Posted to cassiopeia 03/05/07
Arrived safely in this morning's post, thank you redhouse for sending it on.
I really enjoyed this book. Atmosphere just right, period spot on, beautiful writing, length perfect, and story truly believable and apt. Thank you Annodyne for sending this book travelling.
In the post today to silvia-pco in Portugal by Airmail.
Edited October 10th 2007 to Add: I have just finished listening to the audio CD read by Ian McEwan and really enjoyed it. He has just the right voice for this period. A bonus which caught me by surprise was the interview with him at the end, which I found extremely interesting. Listen if you can.
And here it is :D Thanks for sending it, cassiopaeia, and for sharing it, Annodyne. I'll be as brief as possible.
I really liked this book. The story is amazing, beautiful and well written. I loved the characters as well.
Thanks for sharing, Annodyne. I'll PM deadendmind.
I got back from vacation yesterday and it was waiting for me! I will read it soon and send it to the next participant. Thank you, it looks great!
I just finished the book and I loved it. Beautifully written, as I'm used to in McEwan's style. That is why I love his books and this one is no different.
I enjoyed it very much and I'm glad I participated in this bookring. Thank you Annodyne!
I'm waiting for ajsmom's address to send it on.
A quick and easy read - interesting how some of his books, like Amsterdam, are like that, when others, like Saturday or Atonement take a little longer. I''m curious about his writing process now.
I thought the book was an interesting snap shot in history, and I liked the POV''s of two characters rather than just one. He fleshed them both out in relatively few words, since he spent so much time explaining where they were from, how they met, etc. Thanks for the read, Annodyne! I will PM the next in line now.
Journal Entry 18
to the next participant in sent by post, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Released 12 yrs ago (8/7/2007 UTC) at to the next participant in sent by post, A Bookray -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Air mailed to cardamom-wolfe.
I got the book yesterday from ajsmom (as part of the book ring/ray organised by annodyne) and am looking forward to reading it on my upcoming journey to the East Coast, especially since the critics have been crazy about it and Ian McEwan''s last novel (Saturday) was not a favourite of mine (and his others, such as Atonement, Black Dogs, Amsterdam and The Child in Tim all were).
I was very moved by Ian McEwan's latest. While a short, sweet read, the protaganists really made an impression on me and I felt that I understood what motivated their actions (or lack of actions). I think what is captured well in this little novel is how one moment can change our lives - not with earth-shattering repurcussions, but just enough of a shift to put us on another road of life.
In the case of the characters, we are made to understand that the 'times' played a big part in their folly -- they are unable to discuss their sexual lives because of their upbringing. I would take this tale a step further and say that culture aside, it really is ego that comes out as the main culprit in the destruction of a relationship.
If I have any critiscism of the book it is just that the end seems rushed. I want to know more how that one moment on Chesil beach changed their lives...instead I was left with a quick skim over how their lives turned out.
Anyway, very enjoyable and good for a read on the plane etc.
I'm sending the book on to PaulsBooks (US) next. Enjoy!!!!
This lovely little book is on its way to PaulsBooks (USA). Enjoy!!!
(aka PaulsBooks) I received this book today! Thanks for sharing Annodyne...and thanks for the card and for mailing this book to me cardamom-wolfe!
After reading everyone's reviews, I might just pop this one to the top of my reading list! I am intrigued...!!!!
Oh goodness! What a tragic story! I appreciated this quote: "...all she had needed was the certainty of his love, and his reassurance that there was no hurry when a lifetime lay ahead of them. Love and patience..."
What perfect wisdom for all relationships! Thank you for sharing this book with me!
I will be sending this off to istop4books!
Just came in today. I love the fact that it's short and sweet as I'm struggling with a long very deep one that I'm almost done with, this will be a very good break!
This was a great read, a gem of a slim book, almost a novella. It's the story of two young adults, of diverse backgrounds, who come together in the early 1960's to marry. They are both strong individuals outside of their relationship, but within there are just some things better left unsaid -- and this is where the relationship unravels. The book is at once tender and poetic with well developed characters and tense with anticipation of what we think might happen on that tragic wedding night. I found McEwan nailed the fumbling inadequacies on both sides, with their sexual inhibitions and lack of ability to talk it out excellently. What bothered me though is that there was a hint of sexual abuse on the part of Florence, but it was never developed. At one point it says, "And there was another element, far worse in its way and quite beyond her control, summoning memories she had long ago decided were not really hers ... which dragged with it the stench of a shameful secret locked in musty confinement ..." Was she abused? And although we do find out about the next few decades of Edward's life we don't know much of what became of Florence's life afterwards? I would have liked to know.
Thanks so much Annodyne for sharing this book with us.
I've PM'd next in line and will be mailing this out shortly.
Sent on its way to South Africa today!!
Arrived today - thanks for sharing, Annodyne, and for sending on, istop4books.
I found this very enjoyable. McEwan manages to create a gripping story in only 166 pages. Like the journaller before me, I also thought there were hints about Florence having been sexually abused, but was glad this point wasn't expanded on - it would have been too "easy" or "obvious" an explanation of her character.
Sent to ellie02 this morning.
Received this book yesterday and will read as soon as possible
Beautifully written book. Really enjoyed it The characters were very well written. Thank you for sharing will PM Brunton 11 for their address and let you know when i post it
Sorry for delay in posting have been ill the past week but the book is now in the post!
Received yesterday - I'm looking forward to this one based on previous reviews.
This is the first book that I have read by Ian McEwan. It made a train journey to London go very quickly - I enjoyed the style, particularly the different points of view from each character.
Thanks all for sharing - I have an address for Alectoness so I will get this book in the post to her tomorrow.
Arrived safely this morning - thanks to Annodyne for starting the ring and brunton11 for sending it on...
A great expanded short story - while the events of the plot only really take place on one evening, McEwan's managed to create a fantastic portrait of a relationship and an era.
Will PM Midlifecrisis now, and hopefully get the book moving again early in the week. Thanks again!
This arrived today, Midlifecrisis has asked to be skipped. It's the third ring received in a week (after weeks without one), but I should have it read by Easter. Thanks for sharing.
This is the third book I've read of McEwan's and by far the best. I also believe it helped me to reflect better on his style and my thoughts of Atonement which I read this month.
Having read through the journals here (after reading the book), there is very little I can add. Yes I picked up on a possible abuse of Florence and yes I felt the end rushed still wanting to know more of Florence. Then I thought that maybe this was the intention, performing as Miss Ponting. Never able to form a meaningful relationship. I wonder if situations like this happened on a more regular basis at the time but where divorce was never an option, and "love and patience" worked.
I also wonder if McEwan also works on communication (or lack of it) for all his books. This was perhaps more obvious, but his plots twist on misunderstandings, things unsaid, too much information, misdirection. Of course I will have to read some more of his work to find out.
Thanks Annodyne for allowing me to read this, I will now PM darkhorse4460 for an address.
Received this morning from molekilby. Thank you. Im looking forward to this and will start it as soon as I've finished with my current read.
I generally agree with most of the comments here. Ian McEwan writes beautifully, creating atmosphere of time and place and getting under the skins of his characters. I think that he is very good at showing us the kind of internal processes of thought and feeling and instinct that can lead people to behave in a particular way at a given moment, perhaps foolishly or irrationally, and with far reaching consequences.
These two characters exist on the cusp of a new world when psychotherapy and couple counselling and a franker attitude to sex became commonplace, but in this area of their lives at least, they are still in Victorian England. It’s really painful that they do not have the language to describe what is happening to them and therefore cannot share and resolve their problems. The scene on the beach made me wince, but I can understand why it happened and how Edward’s frustration and Florence’s disgust finally erupt into bitterness and recrimination.
Like other readers I felt that abuse of Florence by her father was implied and I think that would go some way to explaining her problem.
Altogether I found this an engrossing and moving, if rather uncomfortable read
On a lighter note I enjoyed the descriptions of Edward and Florence’s very contrasting homes and families and the references to places in Oxford and Oxfordshire that I know quite well. I love those Chiltern place names – Bix Bottom, Pishill – yes they really do exist!!!
Will be in touch with Max9 soon.
Journal Entry 41
by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Monday, April 07, 2008
Released 11 yrs ago (4/7/2008 UTC) at by mail in To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Sent to max9 - hope you enjoy!
thanks darkhorse it arrived safely. I'm nearly finished what I'm reading so won't keep it too long.
The first I've read by Ian McEwan and thought it was perfect. Will have to read some more now. Very carefully written and thought provoking. Very well observed, I liked and identified with ' she confided to Edward that she found it an ordeal to be in the street, walking towards a friend from a distance'. I didn't really think the references to Florence's father needed expanding on. The fast forward through Edward's life and regret at the end - how sad.
Thanks Annodyne and everyone who sent the book on, I'm the last in line! Annodyne, please could you PM me your address and I'll send it off this week.
Sent 30/04/08 - sorry for the delay in braving the post office queue
Arrived home after a year of travelling! Many thanks to everyone who kept it moving and wrote such interesting Journal Entries. I've loved reading all your comments, and am glad that it was enjoyed. Hopefully, it may be on its way to more readers again in the future....
15/5/08- I've now compiled the new list of readers and rejigged the order of reading a little bit to fit in with everyone's shipping preferences. Here it is-
I'm hoping to send it on its way early next week. Enjoy!
This lovely little book is on its travels again - posted to next reader afraberg in the Netherlands today. Bon voyage!
Arrived at my doorstep today. Thank you for sending Annodyne!
Wow what a well travelled little book! Thanks to everyone concerned, especially Annodyne and Afraberg. This arrived yesterday from The Netherlands, thanks also for the magnet you enclosed for me Afraberg, which is now on my fridge. I will be reading this next and doubt it will take long so will PM the next person now in readiness.
A very sad and sensitively written story, a young woman’s innocence and naivety was to change the course of a couple’s life irretrievably; when all it had needed was a little reassurance from her lover.
Edward and Florence young well educated and both virgins when they married are the protagonists of this emotional novel. It is the early sixties and they were both very much products of the era with all the inhibitions of that time. The swinging sixties had yet to arrive, had it been just a few years later this episode in their lives may have caused life to turn out very out very differently for them.
Younger readers may find it difficult to empathise with the characters as life in the C21st is rather different.
With Chesil Beach Ian McEwan has shown us once again what a talented writer he is. Hardly a novel at 166 pages but not disappointing in that to write more would certainly have spoilt the story.
I already have an address from Ashleigh4985 so this will be en-route to them soon.
Journal Entry 50
To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, July 20, 2008
Released 11 yrs ago (7/22/2008 UTC) at To the next participant, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
En route in the mail to the next participant Ashleigh4985
Received in the mail this morning, i will get started on it just as soon as I finish my current book thanks LindyLouMac!
Just finished this book today and really enjoyed it. I have much the same comments as everyone else. I felt it was a really uncomfortable book and was really sad that Florence and Edward were not able to talk and deal with their problems instead they let them destroy what seemed to be a beautiful relationship. I also picked up on the hints of abuse by Florence's father and would have really liked to know what became of florence. The regret felt by edward was so sad at the end of the book i was half hoping they would meet and reconcile.
I have pm'd tagesmann for their address but go on holiday on monday so might have to delay posting until i return.
Journal Entry 53
on Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Arrived on Saturday. I'm looking forward to getting to this pne as soon as I have finished two other rings.
Journal Entry 54
on Monday, November 03, 2008
Sent to UlrikeW
It arrived yesterday, thank you!
Journal Entry 56
-- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Saturday, December 13, 2008
Released 10 yrs ago (12/12/2008 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Sent on to MrsGaskell
Journal Entry 57
on Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Book arrived safely - will get to it ASAP after Christmas - thanks for sending it on UlrikeW.
I finished this about a week ago, but am a bit behind in journaling. I've enjoyed reading everyone's comments and agree with much of what has been said.
This is the third book I’ve read and enjoyed by Ian McEwan. The other two were Atonement and Saturday. He is a wonderful writer and I am amazed at how well he evokes the different time periods in which these books are set. On Chesil Beach is the story of a young couple, Florence and Edward, both virgins on their wedding night in 1962. It is only a novella and yet McEwan conveys much of the couple’s back story, their different backgrounds, their meeting and courtship. Because of their inhibitions, lack of experience, and even more so, their inability to talk openly about sex, this couple who truly love each other lose the promise of a shared future. There are hints that Florence may have been abused by her father but it is never made clear and I think the book is the better for that.
It seems a common theme in McEwen’s novels that one moment, one failure to communicate can have lifelong repercussions.
Thank you Annodyne for sharing this book! Since you don't want it back but have expressed a hope that its bookcrossing days aren't over, I will see what I can do to keep it moving.
Journal Entry 59
Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Released 10 yrs ago (3/10/2009 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I promised to keep this book moving so I'm taking it to the monthly Winnipeg Bookcrossing meet-up at The Park Theatre Cafe. If it doesn't get taken home by one of our members, it'll be left on the shelf of the OBCZ (Official Book Crossing Zone).
I picked this book up a few days ago at our monthly gathering at the Park Theatre Cafe. It's a book I've heard about from a few people and I'm glad to have the chance to read it. Thanks mrsgaskell, and thanks Annodyne for starting it on its journey in the first place.
...and how's this for a co-incidence? I notice that this book started its second journey on my birthday last year! I think I'll consider it a birthday present that just took a while to find me. (grin) I promise to read this book soon, and I'll make sure it continues on its way when I'm done.
Well, I finished reading this book a few days ago, but it's difficult to know what to say about it. I certainly enjoyed reading it, but I was frustrated by the foolishness of the main characters. I kept wanting to smack them and yell "TALK to each other!!" I notice from other journal entries that folks think McEwan captured the period well. OK, I'm not in a position to comment - I was only a few months old when this story takes place. But if throwing away a beautiful relationship for reasons of pride and ego is typical of the early 60's, all I can say is I'm glad I grew up in a different time. I was left feeling vaguely irritated and not at all sympathetic to the characters. Neither of them was willing to take the risk of opening up enough to save their relationship. They got what they deserved. But all that is just what I thought about the characters - I really did enjoy the writing. If McEwan meant me to feel for these characters, well, he missed the mark with me. However, I do have a copy of Atonement on my shelf that I'm now going to move closer to the top of Mt. TBR. I may not have liked his characters, but I did like his writing.
I'll pass this book along soon.
I brought this book home from our April meet-up at Winnipeg's official bookcrossing zone at the Park Theatre Movie Cafe. What a well travelled book! I promise to do my best to release it in a manner that keeps it moving! :o)
Journal Entry 63
Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Monday, September 14, 2009
Released 9 yrs ago (9/14/2009 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Bringing to the monthly meeting of local bookcrossers at our official bookcrossing zone at the Park Theatre Movie Cafe. If none of the members attending this evening take it home, it will be left on the shelf for someone else to take and enjoy.
Hello lucky reader.
You are holding a special book. A book that wants to be read by many different readers, and wants it previous readers to know where it has been. Please consider making a journal entry – you can remain anonymous if you like, and it costs nothing.
I hope you will consider joining this global book club, and if you do, I hope you will list me – teenie-k, as your referring member. Basic membership is free, and bookcrossing is a lot of fun.
You may do what you like with this book, but I hope you will consider passing it on, to a friend, co-worker, family, or just leave it somewhere new for someone else to find. If you have become a member, you might get to read about this book’s future adventures!
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Oh, I've watched this book come and go from our BC meetings and I've wanted to stick my hand out for it long before now. But I don't want to look like a greedy guts! Surely, it's not fitting to stick your hand out for everything! But last night I couldn't stand it any more and thrust out my greedy little paw before anyone else could. *Sigh* There is no cure is there. Once again I left with more books than I'd arrived with.
Thanks all who have come before me. I'm looking forward to reading all your comments.
Well, if this book is reflective of the time in which it is set, all I can say is thank goodness I was born a decade later than these two unfortunate souls. As a matter of fact, as I was reading, I kept wondering if it really was the case that people were so straight-laced and formal. I can accept the naivety, the inexperience and uncertainty to a point, but really, folks managed to marry, endure their wedding night and remain married through all decades prior to and following the sixties. I think it is, as Florence herself suspected since childhood, she is (and they are) not normal! While professing to love the other, each is bent on preserving the self at the cost or harm of the other. While each blames the other, it is, as cardamom-wolfe says, their own egos that destroy this relationship.
Having said that though, I have to say I enjoyed reading the book, tragic as it was. It reminded me of Somerset Maugham's *A Farewell to Arms* for some reason. (Or perhaps it was another of his books - it's been about 40 years since I read them and the memory fades). But thankfully this book is much shorter. I tend to prefer my tragedies in small doses!
I'll try to keep this book moving. So, I'll bring it back to the next meet-up and if no takers then, perhaps I'll check out the wish lists.
Journal Entry 66
Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Sunday, January 10, 2010
Released 9 yrs ago (1/12/2010 UTC) at Park Theatre & Movie Cafe in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm not sure if everyone who shows up at our monthly meetings has read this book, but I'll find out. If no one at the meeting takes it home, I'll leave it on the shelf to await a new reader.
To the finder of this book:
Welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of BookCrossing! Here you'll find a unique and worldwide community of book lovers sharing their books. This book is now yours! Read it, enjoy it. Keep it or pass it on to someone you know or even release it back into the wild as I did. If you make a journal entry (either anonymously or as a BookCrossing member) all previous readers of this book will be notified by e-mail and can follow this book on its travels. BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your email address) and whole lot of fun!
I hope you enjoy this book and the BookCrossing experience.
Yes there was still one bookcrosser left who had not read this book so tonight it came home with me. Coincidentally I released Saturday at tonight's meetup as well. It's beginning to look like my bookshelf is never going to be without an Ian McEwan book on it. Thanks for bringing it back Pooker and for all the other people who have passed it along before it got to me.
Journal Entry 68
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Tuesday, March 08, 2011
I had completely forgotten how many people's hands this book had already been through until I came here to post my review. What can I say that is new about this book? Not much.
I love McEwan's writing and I am impressed by how well he can get inside people's minds. Florence's and Edward's reactions seemed so right even though I wanted them to get over "the incident".
I agree with mrsgaskell that the book is better for not having explicitly mentioned the abuse by Florence's father. I was dreading turning the page after they started talking on the beach because I thought "Now, she's going to remember about her father."
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with this book. Maybe I'll offer it to my sister who is closer in age to Florence and Edward than I am.
Journal Entry 69
Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada on Friday, March 25, 2011
I passed this book on to my sister a few days ago. Hope she journals after she reads it.