Pages: 76 / 203; 37%
The Reason for the Reaping: Ian McEwan knows how to write stuff and win awards (Atonement is in my top five), and this one is lightning quick. Hello, 16 size font.
As I Lay Summarizing: Let’s talk about sex, baby…. Edward and Florence just got married, and the convention of consummation looms over them. Aca-awkward. And that’s not even talking about the extremely crippling social roles of man and wife. Aca-awkward to the (socially constructed) max.
The Line That Killed Me: “Almost strangers, they stood, strangely together, on a new pinnacle of existence, gleeful that their new status promised to promote them out of their endless youth–Edward and Florence, free at last!” (7). Death by freedom of…marriage. K.
Best Character: Florence
Why [As] You Like It: There aren’t many words, but McEwan surely packs a punch. Pulling in anecdotes of each character’s past and the zeitgeist of England, we get a full picture of how oppressive societal pressure is, and how close it is to pulling them under, for better or worse. Doing the nasty right after your marriage is certainly a social ritual, and McEwan knows how to, oddly enough, make it sing.
Why I’m Gone, Girl: McEwan’s language is a little crude at points. He uses words like “titillating” and “moist” in an overtly sexual way. And having the couple eat cherries. Quittttttttttt. I get it, Ian. I can also hear you laughing over your pen/keyboard. Excuse me while I try not to vomit.
Last Line, Last Chance: “…the London end, thirty miles away, had been in-….”
Will I turn the page, or toss it into Mount Doom?
Sure. It’s interesting enough. Also, it’s basically almost over, so why not?