The Savidge Reads Hall of Fame… Ian McEwan

So today seemed the ideal time to start a new series of posts on the blog in the form of, the rather grandly titled, Savidge Reads Hall of Fame. Over the next few weeks, months and years as I continue on my reading life I will be doing special posts on my favourite authors. I have also created a special page on the blog especially which will contain all the titles by the author and links to the books I have read and reviewed of theirs along the way. This will encourage me to read all the books by my favourite authors and may lead you to some new authors if you like most of the ones that I like, if that makes sense. There are some rules though, but you can find more of those on the Hall of Fame page.

Anyway without further ado my first author in the Savidge Reads Hall of Fame is Ian McEwan…

The first book I read by them was… The very first novel I read by Ian McEwan was his very first novel ‘The Cement Garden’, though I didn’t realise it at the time, it was random fate.

The reason that I initially read them was… If I am being honest, which I think is best; there was no huge plan for me to pick up an Ian McEwan book. I was just meandering through my mother’s shelves when I was in my mid-teens and I picked ‘The Cement Garden’ simply because it was short. I wasn’t expecting it to be the dark and frankly rather shocking story of incest and murder that it was, yet that was actually what gripped me.

The reason that they have become one of my favourite authors, and I would recommend them, is… He never writes the same novel twice. Even if the subject, like in ‘Solar’, might not be the sort of thing that I am interested in he always makes me interested. His narrators always have quirks and you can never quite work them out, yet you like them even if occasionally you know you shouldn’t. I also like the fact there is inevitably a dark streak at the heart of them.

My favourite of their novels so far has been… I think it has to be ‘Atonement’ as it is a masterpiece. That said I think as a novella ‘On Chesil Beach’ is utterly brilliant. It was the first novella I read that showed me they could be as powerful, if not more so, than any novel. Read it!!!

If there was one of their works I had a novel with it would have to be… I actually have two. I started ‘Saturday’ and didn’t quite get on with it, so gave it up but will return to it – I think it was all the brain surgery stuff. I also found ‘First Love, Last Rights’ a compelling read but utterly disturbing and uncomfortable to read, almost too much so.

The last one of their novels that I read was… His latest novel ‘Sweet Tooth’ which is probably his most autobiographical and a must for McEwan fans.

The next I am planning on reading is… I think I need to read ‘Enduring Love’ next out of all of his books because I have heard it has one of the most brilliant opening sequences ever. This excites me.

What I would love them to do next is… I would actually really like him to write another collection of short stories. Having read him writing some short stories as a character in ‘Sweet Tooth’, and enjoying those stories within the story so much, I think it would be really interesting to have another collection of ‘Ian Macabre’ stories, though maybe he has mellowed.

*******************************************************************************

So that is my first one done. There may be another in just a few weeks, we will see as I want to do it on whim. So who else do you think might end up in my Hall of Fame? Who would be in yours? What do you think of this new series of posts? Do let me know.

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28 Comments

Filed under Ian McEwan, Savidge Reads Hall of Fame

28 responses to “The Savidge Reads Hall of Fame… Ian McEwan

  1. Yesterday when I read your post on Sweet Tooth, I spent some time clicking through all your reviews on McEwan and thinking it would be nice if you had a list of all that you’ve read and which you would recommend. Kinna freaky to find this post today! :)

  2. Enduring Love is one of my all time favourite reads but I’ve actually never read any of his other books – this post has prompted me to change that as soon as possible!

    • Do give them a read Marie because I do think that he is a fantastic author. Not that I think everyone should love the same authors as me I should add, I am happy if people don’t like him – if they feel they have just cause hahaha.

  3. Oh, he is one of my favourite authors! And like you said, his books are so different, and he can make any subject matter intersting (although I have to add that I didn’t really like Solar). He writes beautifully, creates wonderful characters, and I really love the more darker sides of his stories. The last book I read of his was The Child in Time, and even though the subject matter was not my thing at all, it was one of the best books I read this summer. The first book I read by McEwan was Atonement, because I wanted to read it before the movie came out, and I’m so glad I did, because it made me intersted in his work. My favourites must be Atonement, The Cement Garden and The Innocent, but also Enduring Love and the Comfort of Strangers :) I can’t wait to read his new book!

    And, I love the idea of a hall of fame!

    • I think every author we love has a book or two that they don’t like. In hindsight I wasn’t as in love with Solar as I though, though one scene made me laugh and laugh, and I couldn’t finish Saturday so I think I have realised I don’t like the sciencey stuff of his as much.

  4. gaskella

    I love McEwan too – but I must be one of the only people left on the planet who hasn’t read Atonement – I saw the film though, so know what happens. The first of his I read was The Child in Time which was certainly unsettling. I hope you enjoy Enduring Love – the opening is indeed amazing.

  5. I love this format. I have pages for my favorite authors, but they are a bit spartan and about due for some redecorating. Thanks for the inspiration.

  6. I love this idea and look forward to your Atwood edition!

    I want to be the type of person that has favorite contemporary authors, but I’m really bad at diving into other works by the same people when I’ve read something I’ve liked. I mean to, but then I get distracted by the next shiny thing.

    That said, I’ve actually read two books by McEwan, Atonement, which I admittedly read because the movie was coming out, and On Chesil Beach (based on a recommendation by Ann of BOTN). OCB is short, but really stays with you.

  7. Yes like the format. I must not have been in the right mood when I read On Chesil Beach b/c it just did not connect. It just seemed neverending. Will have to try it again, maybe. I find it interesting re: Atonement as it is a very interesting story but so similar to The Chamomile Lawn I had some funny thoughts in my mind. Same young girl type character.. Same disaster happens in summer, not talked about. I just thought they were too similar. Not that either would plagiarize but gee they were similar. Anyone else compare them? He is an excellent writer, I guess I just need to be in the right mood. cheers Pam

  8. Ian McEwan is one of my favourite writers too! And I’m planning to read all his work! :) (I’ve only read Enduring Love, Amsterdam and Atonement so far) Read Enduring Love soon! It’s a good one!

  9. Confession: I once tried to read Saturday and hated it so much I vowed never to read another book by him. (It’s rare enough that I’ll give up on a book but to give up on the author altogether – that’s a lot of hate from just a couple of chapters.) Having since learned that that is his worst work, by far, I am considering breaking that vow. Thing is, though, if you read one bad book by an unknown author, you wouldn’t go back to them again – why is he allowed to get away with it? Because his other books are amazing, I guess. Well, we’ll see about that.

    • Hahahaha you don’t have to let him get away with it. Ha.

      He is excellent, I couldn’t finish Saturday either though and I am a fan so that was an unfortunate false start for you maybe? If you want to give him another chance then I would say either read On Chesil Beach or Atonement.

  10. Great idea!
    I find my relationship with McEwan’s novels very varying – I loved Atonement, but thought Saturday pretty poor, and Enduring Love definitely has an incredible opening, but it goes downhill after that. My favourite of the five I’ve read is actually Black Dogs.

    I didn’t really understand this question – “If there was one of their works I had a novel with it would have to be…” – is there a typo there, or am I being stupid?

  11. This is a great idea! The Cement Garden was my first McEwan also, and I think the next was Enduring Love – I can’t wait to hear what you think of it when you read it. What I love most about him is how uncomfortable his books can be, which somehow makes them seem more real. Nobody else writes like he does.

  12. lizzysiddal

    Oh my love affair with McEwan cooled with Saturday and I didn’t like On Chesil Beach that much either although his earlier stuff amazes me. I wrote about it some time ago.

    http://lizzysiddal.wordpress.com/2007/09/09/booker-2007-mcewan-and-me/

    Perhaps it’s time for a rapprochement? I’m put a reserve on Sweet Tooth at the library.

    • Sweet Tooth isn’t his best Lizzy, but it is almost a return to form, and I liked the autobiographical elements in a way.

      I don’t think many people, apart from Cherie Blair, love Saturday that much to be honest.

  13. Interesting, Saturday had the complete opposite resonance that everyone else had ….. I loved the book.

  14. Pingback: Legends of Page212: Part One | Page212

  15. He’s definitely in my Hall of Fame. SD

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