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Ellen Allen Writes

Avid reader. Wild swimmer. Indie Author of The Sham. Collector of writing titbits (http://www.ellenallen.co) and all things bookish...

The Comfort of Strangers; no stranger, but still no comfort

The Comfort Of Strangers - Ian McEwan

I first read this Ian McEwan book (The Comfort of Strangers) a few years ago and I loved it so much that I wanted to re-read it. Now that I have, I’ve learnt a valuable lesson; you can’t re-read a suspense novel and get the same awful sense of foreboding that I remember having the first time around.


I could, however, still appreciate the writing and how he manages to vividly capture familiar sensations: the carefree way you feel on holiday and how that changes your decisions, particularly when you meet new people; and the way couples communicate with each other after years in relationships. It really is a masterclass in writing a suspense novel and it was this book that set me off on an Ian McEwan extravaganza – Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Solar, Enduring Love – and made me appreciate what a great author he is. It’s an unsettling book but I just wish I could have felt as scared the second time around…