Synopses & Reviews
Set in late 1980s Europe at the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Black Dogs is the intimate story of the crumbling of a marriage, as witnessed by an outsider. Jeremy is the son-in-law of Bernard and June Tremaine, whose union and estrangement began almost simultaneously. Seeking to comprehend how their deep love could be defeated by ideological differences Bernard and June cannot reconcile, Jeremy undertakes writing June's memoirs, only to be led back again and again to one terrifying encouner forty years earlier--a moment that, for June, was as devastating and irreversible in its consequences as the changes sweeping Europe in Jeremy's own time. In a finely crafted, compelling examination of evil and grace, Ian McEwan weaves the sinister reality of civiliation's darkest moods--its black dogs--with the tensions that both create love and destroy it.
"[A] slim, provocative novel....McEwan's meticulous prose, his shaping of his material to create suspense, and his adept use of specific settings...produce a haunting fable about the fragility of civilization..." Publishers Weekly
"A superb novel." Mark Abley, The Montreal Gazette
"This is a brilliant book." The New Yorker
"McEwan is a master...one of Europe's preeminent writers." The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
"A study of the fragile nobility of the human spirit in the face of the irrational, the terrible, and the miraculous." The Washington Post Book World
"[S]plendid....A novel of ideas with the hard edge of a thriller; highly recommended." Library Journal
In 1946, a young couple set off on their honeymoon. Fired by their ideals and passion for one another, they plan an idyllic holiday, only to encounter an experience of darkness so terrifying it alters their lives forever. In this highly praised national bestseller, Ian McEwan has written his most humane and compelling novel to date.
One of today's most celebrated novelists returns with a novel about family and political loyalties at the end of the Cold War. Writing a memoir of his parents-in-law, Jeremy relates the strange events that brought June and Bernard Tremaine together and set them apart.
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 childrens book, and the libretto for an oratorio. He lives in London.
Reading Group Guide
Ian McEwan's novel Black Dogs showcases the author's range and skill as he delivers unlikely, and welcome, combinations of suspense, ethics, philosophy, and political and religious ideology. In lesser hands, such a mix might be lethal. In McEwan's, it's intoxicating.