One-Minute Book Reviews

March 10, 2008

Has Ian McEwan Suffered Enough? Or Should He Still Get a 2008 Delete Key Award for This Writing From ‘On Chesil Beach’?

Filed under: Delete Key Awards — 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom @ 8:35 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

First On Chesil Beach got longlisted for a Bad Sex in Fiction Award from the Literary Review Then it lost the Man Booker Prize to Anne Enright’s The Gathering. And last month Atonement came up empty at the Oscars.

Has Ian McEwan suffered enough? Or should he still get a Delete Key Award on Friday? The following passages qualified him for the shorlist, announced on Feb. 29

“Like most young men of his time, or any time, without an easy manner, or means to sexual expression, he indulged constantly in what one enlightened authority was now calling ‘self-pleasuring’ … How extraordinary it was, that a self-made spoonful, leaping clear of his body, should instantly free his mind to confront afresh Nelson’s decisiveness at Aboukir Bay.”

“Because the instrument was a cello rather than her violin, the interrogator was not herself but a detached observer, mildly incredulous, but insistent too, for after a brief silence and lingering, unconvincing reply from the other instruments, the cello put the question again, in different terms, on a different chord, and then again, and again, and each time received a doubtful answer.”

If you’d like to try to influence the outcome of the Delete Key Awards, you have until 9 p.m. Wednesday to leave a comment. Mercy or no mercy?

© 2008 Janice Harayda. All rights reserved.


  1. Mercy for McEwan.
    No mercy for the Tolle book which is my vote for Delete Key Award, worst piece of tripe I’ve never (bothered to) read and no, I’m not getting on the Oprah hysteria-train web “group” that will read it and breathe together.
    Breathing fine without it and not even going to try and figure out what on earth (or in the galaxy) Tolle is trying for.

    Comment by oh — March 10, 2008 @ 10:34 pm | Reply

  2. Ian McEwan should be blowing kisses to you from England, because he’s had some pretty strong criticism from visitors to this site. And I appreciate your comment, because this one is a tough call. Thanks.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 10, 2008 @ 10:43 pm | Reply

  3. Mercy for McEwen – definitely a nominee, but not a ‘winner’. His writing makes my head hurt less than Tolle’s.

    Comment by ggelliott — March 11, 2008 @ 8:55 am | Reply

  4. I’m definitely considering the “it makes my head hurt” factor in these awards, so I appreciate the comment. Thanks.

    Comment by 1minutebookreviewswordpresscom — March 11, 2008 @ 12:23 pm | Reply

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