English novel about a man and woman enjoying a picnic when they see a hot-air balloon having trouble and he decides to help, only a tragedy ensues. While at the scene he locks eyes with another man and that other man becomes obsessed with him. Very well written, but it gives a sort of an psychoanalysis or explanation of a sort of mental condition.
After a freak ballooning accident, historian Joe finds his marriage, work, sanity and life threatened by another's obsessive love for him. The underlying currents of fear and menace make for a compelling read from one of Britain's finest authors.
An excellent read! I couldn't put it down. Ian McEwan has a pithy way of writing, and the plot was rivetting! Apparently it's been made into a movie.
Enduring Love was my fifth Ian McEwan novel and it definitely reaffirmed the author's status as one of my favourite fiction writers. McEwan invents an engaging plot, in which a man's life changes irrevocably after he witnesses a ballooning accident, but it is the psychological and philosophical questions McEwan raises that make the book so memorable: to what extent is God a product of our evolutionary history? Is belief in a higher power based in reality or rather in a desire to fend off feelings of loneliness? What defines "insanity?" Which is easier: trusting yourself or trusting a loved one? Which is more reliable?
The subjectivity of revelation and interpretation becomes one of the novel's main themes; one person's insight equals another's madness. McEwan weaves sanity and insanity so tightly together that, at times, the reader can't tell them apart. The book also turns on the pivot of coincidence, the bizarre quirks of fate that both plague and delight human life. The story constantly asks, "what if...?", which is precisely what makes it such a haunting read.
The most riveting, stunning, compelling tour de force of an opening scene in a book - absolutely bar none, and utterly more stunning than anything that could be rendered cinematically, because it is rendered in horrifying detail in the reader's mind. Amazing!
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