Comments: 20
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Well, this sounds like a truly god-awful book. Though the pedant in me has to add: I've heard nurses talk about God with their patients on many occasions, but I'm pretty certain it was only after the patient themselves opened that door. I think a big part of their job is profiling their patients so they can respond and interact with them in the most appropriate and positive way for each one.

And, in the US - and in AU (I had to ask MT about AU) - federal judges only get protection if they ask.

But shoving my inner pedant back in its box, the rest of it sounds like complete BS; especially the bit about anorexia, and the need to identify the nurses by ethnicity, which is utterly irrelevant. Jack ... Jack sounds like a pig.

BrokenTune 3 years ago
I hear your inner pedant. I guess I was more annoyed at there not being any explanations for the way that the boy could have turned up at the digs, or even found the location of where the judges stayed without any suspicion.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Yep - totally implausible, I'd imagine. I'd hope. Ugh.
Lillelara 3 years ago
This book sounds horrible. Seriously, next!

I have only read one book by McEwan, I think it was "Enduring Love", and I never felt the need to pick up another one of his books. And I think I never will.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
This was the last time I tried one of his books. I DNF'd Enduring Love not long after the opening scene (with the balloon). I DNF'd Atonement. I did read one other (set in Berlin?) but that was so long ago, I think I was still at high school.

I only picked up this one because I wanted to know the book before watching the film. (The film has some changes in it that makes the story slightly better ... but not much. Excellent acting, tho.)
Lillelara 3 years ago
I think I will give the movie a pass, too. Even though I like the actors in this movie, the plot doesn´t appeal to me at all.
God, what a train wreck.

Echo MbD's comments on judges (for both Germany and the U.S. -- security only in demonstrably exigent circumstances), but that still doesn't mean he'd have been able to track her down. And the anorexia thing seriously set my teeth on edge. It was a close call for one of my sisters at one point in her tween years, and there was absolutely NOTHING "like a religion" or attention-seeking or "loving the pain" about it.

Thanks for sparing me this one. And Emma Thompson or not, unless someone tells me they eliminated all the crappy parts (dialogue, plot details, etc.) from the screenplay, I think I'll be foregoing the movie as well.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Yeah, the anorexia comment made me gasp. I've had a couple of close friends who have gone through that and that comment just proved the stupidity in this book once and for all.

The film has a few changes but still suffers from a lot of nonsense.

What puzzles me is ... how does McEwan have such a great reputation? I just don't get it.
Murder by Death 3 years ago
Would this be a good time to admit I thought Ian McEwan and Ewan McGregor were the same guy for the longest time? I'd conflated their names in my head and just thought the actor was a bit of a renaissance man. Until I realised Ian's been writing almost longer than Ewan's been alive. Oops.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
@MbD: LoL. That's quite funny. And now of course, I'm having to picture Ian McEwan in Ewan McGregor's film roles...starting with Trainspotting. It alters the film somewhat.
Also, Obi-Wan may have moved to the Dark Side.
Lol. Ian McEwan in "Trainspotting" and "Star Wars" would be ... epic for all the wrong reasons.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
So, TA, I meant to ask: it sounded like you hadn't been thrilled with McEwan in the past either. Have you read any of his before? If so, which?
"Atonement", eons ago. From which I came away with the impression that

* there was something off in the way he wrote the women characters
* he has a "class" thing going on and seems to be on the wrong side of it,
* and he writes (comparatively) long paragraphs that achieve sounding artsy and "accomplished" better than actually creating atmosphere.

I'd bought it together with "Amsterdam" ... which I haven't gotten myself to go anywhere near as a result, in easily 15 years.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Ah, those sound like great reasons to shelve Amsterdam.

I DNF'd Atonement, but all of the issues you list sound familiar, and they do appear in The Children Act, too, especially the class thing.

I thought the way he wrote Fiona actually worked, but only up to half-way made no sense that she should change the locks and then blame herself for the breakdown of her relationship with Jack or allow him to convince her that it was her fault. The ending made no sense in this regard either.

Based on my (admittedly very limited) exposure, he strikes me as the kind of male writer who wants to portray women in a modern, enlightened way ... but falls prey to stereotype somewhere along the way nevertheless and as a result makes women do things that make a sane reader (of whichever sex) go: "Huh? Why would she do this to begin with?"

(Thus ignoring the very basic premise enunciated by Dorothy L. Sayers when asked (by a man) how, after having grown up in a remote country parson's household with next to no exposure to men, and to men's conversations, she could write male characters so convincingly: "Well, I just assume they're human beings, too.") (Go, Dorothy.)
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Go Dorothy! Indeed!

Btw, do you fancy the Egg stories or Unpopular Opinions as something to look forward to once your work project gives you some breathing space again?
Oh, definitely! I just lined up a buddy read of Clea Koff's "The Bone Woman" for that moment, but I think I'll definitely be in need of some light relief (or Sayers's trenchant wit, or both) at that point as well.
BrokenTune 3 years ago
Excellent! I have both books on the shelf so just let me know when the time comes that you want some Sayers! :D
Sounds good!
Awogfli - Bookcroc 3 years ago
Puh klingt gar nicht gut, steht aber auf meiner Wunschliste. Ich hab aber auch schon sehr begeisterte Rezis von dem Buch gelesen. Mich langweilt Mc Evan auch manchmal sehr, wenn er ums Verrecken nicht zum Punkt der Geschichte kommen will und manchmal bin ich aber begeistert. Insofern verstehe ich Dich in meinem ersten Punkt sehr gut :-)