FOR: Just another one for the calendar category of BethFishReads’ What’s In a Name 5 Challenge? [I’m still searching for the fits-in-a-pocket category, just sayin’.]
BECAUSE: I have some kind of crush on Ian McEwan. Because I like books that are set entirely within a 24 hours period. Because I heard somewhere that McEwan wrote this as his take on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and I loved that book. But do know — I did not like Mrs. Dalloway upon my first reading. I adored it on my second reading. It sold me on the value of re-reading. I used to never re-read books. I give a ton of credit to a few of you bloggers who love to re-read and have expressed your dismay that I never did. So… Thank you. I hope you know who you are. (ok, I’ll send you a poke/link/tweet to make sure!)
CREDIT DUE: to FizzyJill. FizzyJill was not so enamored by this book and apparentlly not by all that is IMcE. I do not judge her nor fault her but only thank her for buying this book, reading it, posting on it, and then sending it on to me because I begged her to. She even included $5 and change* to thank me for taking it off her hands! Crazy chick. *SMILES*
POSSIBLY WORTHY OF A REREAD? Yes.
FIRST SENTENCE: “Some hours before dawn Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, wakes to find himself already in motion, pushing back the covers from a sitting position, and then rising to his feet.”
WHAT’s it ABOUT: Henry wakes early on a day that is officially a day off but is full of stuff that has to be done because his daughter and father-in-law are flying into town.
We are privileged to be IN HIS HEAD with almost every thought. How much he loves his wife, reminiscing of how they met, why he chose neurology, how much he enjoys his work. We learn how conflicted he is about politics; what to think about the world and terrorism and poverty vs. wealth. He visits his mother who is far gone in terms of old age senility. We participate in a squash game and feel the competitiveness and loathing of what aging does to our bodies in term of keeping up to what we want to do, what we used to do. He thinks about his kids and reflects on his childhood. Are we smarter in ‘middle-age’? Do we settle for life as we know it, lose our ambition or ability to dream, or do we end up living lives within the constructs of the possible futures of our children? Weighed against what our parents were able to accomplish? Are our entire lives a question? Is the answer eternally elusive because the parameters keep changing.
I should mention that he has a minor crash in his Mercedes and thus meets some loathsome characters. He cooks dinner but it gets interrupted. I would have loved his fish stew and crusty bread and red wine.
Feel free to read Softdrink’s review and wonder if I’m saying anything different. Except I LOVED IT. I knew I would love it and I relish the questioning quizzing of how I would know I would love it and yet not be disappointed by over-expecting? Life is just odd. Play along.
I’m still in love with IMcE.
RATING: Four slices of pie.
WHY NOT FIVE? I rolled my eyes just a few times with the predictableness of the story. It’s not what happens; it’s how McEwan describes what happens.
RECOMMENDED TO: Those who love London and recognize streets and landmarks. I’ve never been but it was heavy on the London setting. Those who love being in a character’s head. Those who love books set in a single day. Those who have a crush on Ian McEwan.
* Softdrink didn’t really send me any money. But she offered! But then realized I am truly a bit insane with my IMcE crush so paying me to take this book off of her hands was entirely unnecessary.