Saturday, April 30, 2011

Day 20 - An author of a book you just don’t get

Ian McEwan

This one is easy, without a doubt it is Ian McEwan. In fairness I've only read one and bit of his books (The Cement Garden and Atonement) but I really dislike him as an author and I've never been able to understand why people adore him so. When I began Atonement I was bored, plain and simple. I found his language to be overly flowery and contained all sorts of unnecessary adjectives and I just could not get into the story, so I gave up. With The Cement Garden I had to read it for university and I just found it bland, not scandalous or disgusting, as so many people assume must be why I didn't like it. I actually liked the direction the story took and the focus on the slow decline of the siblings but I thought they were all extremely boring characters and that once again the writing was terrible and didn't fit with the story. I tried to like it (considering I had to read it through 2-3 times for my assignment) but I just couldn't, it was so...blah. I actually found it really frustrating at uni when students would go on and on and on about how much they love McEwan yet would steadfastly refuse to give Stephen King, Bryce Courtenay or Harry Potter any credit what-so-ever. Different people different tastes I suppose, yet I was able to vocalise why I loved those three authors/books and no one was able to tell me why McEwan is such a fantastic writer, at least not without suggesting that I simply don't "get" literature and I simply don't recognise "real" or "quality" writing. Snobs. However if someone who does like McEwan can explain what it is about him that they like, or perhaps why I would like his other work (and not like the two I read) without resorting to my classmates snobbery then I will hire out the McEwan novel of their choosing and read it with an open mind and perhaps find them right which I will happily document on this here blog!


  1. I think this is the first time I've commented on your Day X, Write About Y, series, but I've been enjoying reading them very much. I tried to read Atonement and another novel whose name eludes me but which either won or was shortlisted for Booker. I couldn't read either of them.

  2. Thank god it isn't just me! I'm glad someone is reading them (and enjoying them at that!) it's a good way to get me into the routine of blogging every day



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