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
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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.

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