On Chesil Beach
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group 2007
Status:
Available from OverDrive
Description
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with the author! A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence's response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence's anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite. Ian McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence of Edward and Florence at a time when marriage was presumed to be the outward sign of maturity and independence. On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from McEwan–a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.
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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
06/05/2007
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781415938812
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LibraryOwnedAvailable
21
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Grouped Work ID:
78353443-c669-ba0f-0703-65220231049a
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Needs Update?:
No
Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 18:36:19
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 18:36:19
Last Metadata Check:
Sep 15, 2019 17:49:08
Last Metadata Change:
Jul 01, 2019 19:24:16
Last Availability Check:
Sep 15, 2019 17:49:11
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Sep 11, 2019 12:39:11
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Sep 18, 2019 01:46:09

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edition
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title
On Chesil Beach
fullDescription
BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with the author!
A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time
It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence's response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence's anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.
Ian McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence of Edward and Florence at a time when marriage was presumed to be the outward sign of maturity and independence. On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from McEwan–a story of lives transformed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.
reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: The Washington Post Book World
      • content: "Breathtaking...On Chesil Beach takes on subjects of universal interest and creates a small but complete universe around them. McEwan's prose is as masterly as ever, here striking a remarkably subtle balance between detachment and sympathy, dry wit and deep compassion. It reaffirms my conviction that no one writing in English surpasses or even matches McEwan's accomplishment."
      • premium: False
      • source: The San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: "Remarkable, engaging, and gripping...On Chesil Beach is not only a wonderful read but also perhaps the rarest of things: a perfect novel. Certainly it affords the reader every kind of satisfaction, from graphic and dramatic scenes to subtle pentimento effects, from quotidian matters to high drama and intense emotion...McEwan is reminiscent of that greatest of novelists in matters sexual: D.H. Lawrence...[But] in On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan has outdone D.H. Lawrence, given the daunting challenge he has set himself in writing a novel on a fraught and loaded topic like this. What higher praise can there be?"
      • premium: False
      • source: The Miami Herald
      • content: "Momentous...On Chesil Beach builds a potent suspense swiftly, and McEwan details the couple's sexual encounter with unnerving precision. Such meticulousness underscores how a few moments can define a future, how difficult it is to lay ourselves bare, how human to flee from better destinies. Fortunately, though life is never easy, as the narrator reminds us, gorging ourselves on McEwan's impeccable prose is."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Boston Globe
      • content: "Wrenching, funny, smart, and hugely gratifying in unexpected ways, On Chesil Beach packs a pretty good wallop of its own...On Chesil Beach is as merciful to its characters as it is merciless in its heartbreak. Their bruised pasts and querulous hopes unfold beautifully through the novel, almost destined to collide and then fade into the sorrow of real life."
      • premium: False
      • source: The New York Post
      • content: "How McEwan writes such extraordinary suspense into the ordinary is a marvel...On Chesil Beach leaves one's appetite for the woes and stuff of life unsated. It's mostly a story of how we mistake those we love most, and how we are imprisoned in our inability to name what we urgently must speak."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
      • content: "On Chesil Beach is completely absorbing...This short book is intense and powerful...It is no exaggeration to say that the book is a masterpiece--in miniature, maybe, but a masterpiece nonetheless."
      • premium: False
      • source: Boston Globe
      • content: "In structure and design, this small and exquisite novel is markedly different from McEwan's magisterial Atonement, but it still possesses the author's moody worldview, wherein beauty and human intimacy are frailties too often crushed by chance. A newly married couple in mid-20th-century England, bringing their worries and their pasts to their wedding night, try only to connect: The result is a cello suite of sadness, encompassing an entire swatch of English culture and the legacy of roads not taken."
      • premium: False
      • source: The Roanoake Times
      • content: "McEwan [is] one of our best contemporary fiction writers...In On Chesil Beach, he continues his fine tradition as sage and master storyteller."
      • premium: False
      • source: Entertainment Weekly
      • content: "Exquisite... Sexual squeamishness has never been written about more adroitly or sympathetically...a small masterpiece. 'A.'"
      • premium: False
      • source: Santa Cruz Sentinel
      • content: "A book that shouldn't be shocking on this side of the '60s, On Chesil Beach shocks us nonetheless by showing how very little our institutions understand the messiness of the human heart. McEwan is at his best here, extending a single moment to include all moments...The rush of the last chapter skidding into the present will surely give you vertigo as the past and the present collide in a remarkable conclusion. On Chesil Beach is both delicate and brawny--vintage McEwan."
      • premium: False
      • source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
      • content: "elegant [and] unflinching...McEwan has worked his prose to an almost Edwardian cadence...
        This is McEwan's fourth short novel, and it is the most deceptively subversive...oddly beautiful."
      • premium: False
      • source: Booklist
      • content: "Achingly beautiful.... An ingenious exploration of addled psychology."
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: For me, writing has to be followed by reading aloud, Ian McEwan says in an interview included with this audiobook. His comment explains why his narration of this novella equals what the finest actors might accomplish. The story, however, is not McEwan at his best. Why this author, so adept at portraying the violence surrounding contemporary life, should draw us back to a nostalgic look at a doomed marriage in the early '60s, in which both the bride and groom were virgins, is a mystery in itself. But even here, there's a violent undercurrent. And even when he's not in top form, McEwan's writing draws in the listener. Shattered and dysfunctional as their lives may be, these are characters we care about. R.R. (c) AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from March 5, 2007
        Not quite novel or novella, McEwan's masterful 13th work of fiction most resembles a five-part classical drama rendered in prose. It opens on the anxious Dorset Coast wedding suite dinner of Edward Mayhew and the former Florence Ponting, married in the summer of 1963 at 23 and 22 respectively; the looming dramatic crisis is the marriage's impending consummation, or lack of it. Edward is a rough-hewn but sweet student of history, son of an Oxfordshire primary school headmaster and a mother who was brain damaged in an accident when Edward was five. Florence, daughter of a businessman and (a rarity then) a female Oxford philosophy professor, is intense but warm and has founded a string quartet. Their fears about sex and their inability to discuss them form the story's center. At the book's midpoint, McEwan (Atonement
        , etc.) goes into forensic detail about their naïve and disastrous efforts on the marriage bed, and the final chapter presents the couple's explosive postcoital confrontation on Chesil Beach. Staying very close to this marital trauma and the circumstances surrounding it (particularly class), McEwan's flawless omniscient narration has a curious (and not unpleasantly condescending) fable-like quality, as if an older self were simultaneously disavowing and affirming a younger. The story itself isn't arresting, but the narrator's journey through it is.

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BONUS FEATURE: Exclusive interview with the author!
A novel of remarkable depth and poignancy from one of the most acclaimed writers of our time
It is July 1962. Florence is a talented musician who dreams of a career on the concert stage and of the perfect life she will create with Edward, an earnest young history student at University College of London, who unexpectedly wooed and won her heart. Newly married that morning, both virgins, Edward and Florence arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their worries about the wedding night to come. Edward, eager for rapture, frets over Florence's response to his advances and nurses a private fear of failure, while Florence's anxieties run deeper: she is overcome by sheer disgust at the idea of physical contact, but dreads disappointing her husband when they finally lie down together in the honeymoon suite.
Ian McEwan has caught with understanding and compassion the innocence...
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awards
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • value: Listen Up Award
      • source: The Booker Prize Foundation
      • value: Man Booker Prize for Fiction Nominee
      • source: Notable Books Council
      • value: Notable Books for Adults
publisher
Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group