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The Cement Garden

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The Cement Garden Cover

 

Staff Pick

Long before Atonement, Ian McEwan was one sick, dirty little boy. And for that I am grateful. The Cement Garden is his most deeply macabre novel. Within the lives of four orphaned children, McEwan casts spells so dark and twisted, there is no room for plot. The unfathomable decisions that shape their sheltered universe make for character studies so unnerving you won't be able to look away.
Recommended by Christopher, Powells.com

This excellent novel explores the lengths to which children may go to preserve their family when both parents die.  McEwan has a way of making any situation absolutely hum with tension. Here he is amazing, as always.  Shocking, disturbing, and haunting.
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

In this tour de force of psychological unease — now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack — McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting — or denying.

Review:

"A shocking book, morbid, full of repellant imagery — and irresistibly readable....The effect achieved by McEwan's quiet, precise and sensuous touch is that of magic realism — a transfiguration of the ordinary that has far stronger retinal and visceral impact than the flabby surrealism of so many experimental novels." New York Review of Books

Review:

"Darkly impressive." The Times (London)

Review:

"A sparkling and adventurous writer." Dennis Potter

Review:

"Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies." Washington Post Book World

Review:

"Marvellously creates the atmosphere of youngsters given that instant adulthood they all crave, where the ordinary takes on a mysterious glow and the extraordinary seems rather commonplace. It is difficult to fault the writing or the construction of this eerie fable." Sunday Times (London)

Review:

"A superb achievement: his prose has instant, lucid beauty and his narrative voice has a perfect poise and certainty. His account of deprivation and survival is marvellously sure, and the imaginative alignment of his story is exactly right." Tom Paulin

Synopsis:

After concealing the death of their mother, a group of children experience a bizarre but temporary liberation from the programmed course into adulthood.

Synopsis:

In this tour de force of psychological unease--now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack--McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting--or denying. "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."--Washington Post Book World.

About the Author

Ian McEwan is the bestselling author of more than ten books, including the novels The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets. He has also written screenplays, plays, television scripts, a children's book, and the libretto for an oratorio. He lives in London.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

thegreenangel, January 31, 2011 (view all comments by thegreenangel)
In tracing McEwan's literary style back to its roots, I chose to read this earlier work of his immediately after reading his latest novel, Solar. In the years in between, McEwan has only added depth and breadth and more eloquence to his stories and prose, but his ascerbic writing style was in full presence even 30 years ago. He's the master of holding his reader to the bitter end, not releasing him until McEwan's bloody well good and ready, making sure that before he does, every last breath, every vital drop of blood, has been licked up and then and only then, does he drop you limp and shivering and unworthy back to yourself. Cement Garden is the same. The subject matter is shocking and not for the faint of heart: don't gift this to your weakhearted grandma, for instance, nor give it to your putative in-law in a welcome basket. Upon the interesting deaths of their parents, four siblings attempt to maintain residence in their family home, trying to keep up all appearances to all who might be peering. This is the sexual tale not told in Lord of The Flies, if it had been set in the modern, Western world, inside a family home with no parents. Imagine what sorts of things could happen with 2 opposite sexed teenagers and 2 elementary school-ages younger ones! I'm just glad I didn't read this at the time when it was written as it would have seriously f**ked me up, and for those who did read it then, who knows if it wasn't the impetous for the whole Inner Child/ Healing From Incest psycho-movement that followed it into the next two decades? A GREAT READ. (the only reason it's not 5 starred is due to the subject matter)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780679750185
Author:
McEwan, Ian
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Literature
Subject:
England
Subject:
Orphans
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Orphans -- England -- Fiction.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage International
Series Volume:
no. 8, 12, 16
Publication Date:
January 13, 1994
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
8.00x5.30x.44 in. .38 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

The Cement Garden Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.00 In Stock
Product details 160 pages Anchor Books/Doubleday - English 9780679750185 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Long before Atonement, Ian McEwan was one sick, dirty little boy. And for that I am grateful. The Cement Garden is his most deeply macabre novel. Within the lives of four orphaned children, McEwan casts spells so dark and twisted, there is no room for plot. The unfathomable decisions that shape their sheltered universe make for character studies so unnerving you won't be able to look away.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This excellent novel explores the lengths to which children may go to preserve their family when both parents die.  McEwan has a way of making any situation absolutely hum with tension. Here he is amazing, as always.  Shocking, disturbing, and haunting.

"Review" by , "A shocking book, morbid, full of repellant imagery — and irresistibly readable....The effect achieved by McEwan's quiet, precise and sensuous touch is that of magic realism — a transfiguration of the ordinary that has far stronger retinal and visceral impact than the flabby surrealism of so many experimental novels."
"Review" by , "Darkly impressive."
"Review" by , "A sparkling and adventurous writer."
"Review" by , "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."
"Review" by , "Marvellously creates the atmosphere of youngsters given that instant adulthood they all crave, where the ordinary takes on a mysterious glow and the extraordinary seems rather commonplace. It is difficult to fault the writing or the construction of this eerie fable."
"Review" by , "A superb achievement: his prose has instant, lucid beauty and his narrative voice has a perfect poise and certainty. His account of deprivation and survival is marvellously sure, and the imaginative alignment of his story is exactly right."
"Synopsis" by , After concealing the death of their mother, a group of children experience a bizarre but temporary liberation from the programmed course into adulthood.
"Synopsis" by , In this tour de force of psychological unease--now a major motion picture starring Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sinead Cusack--McEwan excavates the ruins of childhood and uncovers things that most adults have spent a lifetime forgetting--or denying. "Possesses the suspense and chilling impact of Lord of the Flies."--Washington Post Book World.
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