In the blink of an eye, life can drastically change through no doing of your own, and this is precisely what happens to Joe when he and a group of other people try to avert a hot air balloon accident. A study in OCD, this gripping story is based on a real-life case of De Clerambault's syndrome: a homo-erotic obsession with religious overtones. Jed begins to stalk Joe, and his obsession threatens every aspect of Joe's life. Written with a sense of deep foreboding, this is one of my favorite novels despite, or perhaps due to, its overwhelming creepiness. Fantastic! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Science writer Joe Rose is spending a day in the country with his long-time lover, Clarissa, when he witnesses a tragic accident--a balloon with a boy trapped in it is being tossed by the wind, and, in an attempt to save the child, a man is killed. As though that isn't disturbing enough, a man named Jed Parry, who has joined Rose in helping to bring the balloon to safety, believes that something has passed between him and Rose--something that sparks in Parry a deranged, obsessive kind of love.
Soon Parry is stalking Rose, who turns to science to try to understand the situation. Parry apparently suffers from a condition known to psychiatrists as de Clerambault Syndrome, in which the afflicted individual obsessively pursues the object of his desire until the frustrated love turns to hate and rage--transforming one of life's most valued experiences into pathological horror. As Rose grows more paranoid and terrified, as his treasured relationship with Clarissa breaks under the tension of his fear, Rose realizes that he needs to find something beyond the cold reasoning of science if this love is to be endured.
With the cool brilliance and deep compassion that defined his best novels (The Comfort of Strangers, The Innocent), Ian McEwan has once again spun a tale of life intruded upon by shocks of violence-and discovered profound truths about the nature of love and the power of forgiveness.
The spectacular new novel by the incomparable Ian McEwan -- a compulsively gripping journey into the labyrinths of love.
On a windy spring day, Clarissa and Joe Rose have just opened their picnic basket when a cry for help shatters their country idyll. A nearby balloon outing has gone terribly awry, and a small child is trapped in the gondola. Joe joins several other men in the rescue attempt, hanging onto the balloon's mooring lines in a struggle against the relentless wind to bring it safely to ground. But the balloon begins to lift off, and, as they ascend with it, each man must decide between his instinct to survive and the higher call to heroism.
One man is killed, and as a shaken Joe and Clarissa return home and tell the story of the accident that night, a call comes from Jed Parry, one of the rescuers, that sets off a living nightmare of suspicion and obsession -- and ultimately an assassination attempt.
With the brilliance and deep compassion that have brought so many readers to his work, Ian McEwan once again spins a tale of life intruded upon -- and discovers profound truths about the nature of love and the power of forgiveness. "Enduring Love" is surely the richest, most accomplished novel yet in a remarkable literary career.