Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award
Synopses & Reviews
Ian McEwan's Somerset Maugham Award-winning collection First Love, Last Rites brought him instant recognition as one of the most influential voices writing in England today. Taut, brooding, and densely atmospheric, these stories show us the ways in which murder can arise out of boredom, perversity can result from adolescent curiosity, and sheer evil might be the solution to unbearable loneliness. These tales are as horrifying as anything written by Clive Barker or Stephen King, but they are crafted with a lyricism and intensity that compel us to confront our secret kinship with the horrifying.
"It is likely that McEwan will be compared to other practitioners of the short story form, Roald Dahl in particular. There is about this collection of eight writings the same juxtaposing of simple quirks and complex pathologies, and the same blurry distinctions between the normal and abnormal behavior of seemingly sane individuals that Dahl mastered in 'Kiss Kiss' and 'Someone Like You' a decade or so ago. At the same time, the comparison is perhaps unfair. McEwan is no mere emulator of the style of others as 'Solid Geometry,' perhaps the quintessential example of the genre, and contained herein, readily demonstrates." Reviewed by Daniel Weiss, Virginia Quarterly Review (Copyright 2006 Virginia Quarterly Review)
"McEwan [has] a powerful talent that is both weird and wonderful." Boston Sunday Globe
"Ian McEwan's fictional world combin[es] the bleak, dreamlike quality of de Chirico's city-scapes with the strange eroticism of canvases by Balthus. Menace lies crouched between the lines of his neat, angular prose, and weird, grisly things occur in his books with nearly casual aplomb." The New York Times
"McEwan is a splendid magician of fear." Village Voice Literary Supplement
The first collection of Ian McEwan's short stories winner of the Somerset Maugham Award.
Taut, brooding and densely atmospheric, these stories show us the ways in which murder can arise out of boredom, perversity can result from adolescent curiosity, and sheer evil might be the solution to unbearable loneliness.
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.
Table of Contents
Last Day of Summer
Cocker at the Theatre
Conversation with a Cupboard Man
First Love, Last Rites