Read Online First Love, Last Rites: 40th Anniversary Edition [Lingua inglese] –

The fortieth anniversary edition of Ian McEwan s first book, now with an introduction from the authorForty years on from first publication, these stories display McEwan s dazzling early talent Taut, brooding and densely atmospheric, they are stories of sex and loneliness, adolescence and incest, love and murder, and they linger in the mind long after they are finished This special edition includes a piece by the author on how he came to write First Love, Last Rites and rare archive material including manuscript pages, early publicity material and the cover of the first edition A bit off the wall for a first novel but..that s Ian McEwan for you It s fortunate this wasn t the first book I read by McEwan, otherwise I doubt that I would have gone on to discover his later work While his later works draw me on effortlessly, there were several points in this collection where I was tempted to give up altogether Like many of s reviewers, I didn t like the macabre and disturbing subject matter of these stories, but that wasn t the main problem These stories, for me, were unsatisfactory, because they described incidents or ideas in detail, but failed to follow up on the consequences of the events described It was like reading a series of first chapters, and then never finding out what happened afterwards While I love McEwan s mature work, with its meticulous buildup of detail, several of his novels have been spoilt for me by a weak or disappointing ending In these stories he dealt with the issue by not giving them any ending at all It was as if he was titillating the reader s curiosity by offering a series of opening chapters without the rest of the novel or maybe, as a young writer, he was just experimenting or practising his craft. These short stories make up Ian McEwan s first published work Back in 1975 he was experimenting, as he has said, and trying to find his voice They are not particularly appealing or enlightening, apart from demonstrating how a great writer starts off Nearly all of them concern rather unpleasant or peculiar characters a theme he picks up in his novels But most of these stories are simple, mainly reflecting one viewpoint and telling one simple story in the order that it happens I would only recommend them for fans of Ian McEwan or writing students. It s unsettling, eerie, poetic, and very absorbing The stories paint a picture that is very vivid and the characters are fully formed in such simple descriptions A very enjoyable collection of short stories.