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On Chesil Beach

Narrated by: Ian McEwan
Length: 4 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (50 ratings)

Non-member price: $28.11

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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year and Book of the Year, 2008.
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2007.
Shortlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007.

It is June 1962. In a hotel on the Dorset coast, overlooking Chesil Beach, Edward and Florence, just married that morning, are sitting down to dinner in their room. Neither is entirely able to suppress anxieties about the wedding night to come.

On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from Ian McEwan - a story about how the entire course of a life can be changed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.

This download is unabridged and is read by the author. This is the first time Ian has read his own audio and it is a brilliant, authoritative, read. The download also features an in depth interview with Ian McEwan about On Chesil Beach. He is interviewed by John Mullan, Professor of English at UCL.

©2007 Ian McEwan (P)593 by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Licensed by kind permission of Naxos Rights International Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Focusing with hyper-acute attentiveness on just two hours or so ( Saturday, with its one-day time-span looks shabby in comparison), the book tightens even further McEwan�s consummate powers of close up... Clean of sprawl and clutter - not a word, incident or image seems slackly placed - the book never hardens into the schematic... Edward and Florence are intensely likeable, believable people into whose personalities and predicaments a wealth of imaginative sympathy has welled." ( The Sunday Times)
"McEwan's masterful 13th work of fiction most resembles a five-part classical drama rendered in prose....[His] flawless omniscient narration has a curious (and not unpleasantly condescending) fable-like quality, as if an older self were simultaneously disavowing and affirming a younger." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Ian McEwan chose to release his own unabridged audiobook reading of his new novel On Chesil Beach to coincide with the publication and to match the price of the book itself, even giving the audiobook the added value of an illuminating half-hour interview with John Mullan, the English literature professor. Does this herald a new trend in publishing, or does it reflect the peculiar suitability of this particular novel to the audio medium? A bit of both is the answer. New books are frequently published at the same time as audiobook versions, but not all novelists write books that suit the medium. In the interview after the novel, McEwan explains that he likes reading them aloud in draft to live audiences, using their reactions to hone his final version. He also likes the 'enclosed, uninterrupted experience' of reading a novella from beginning to end... Listening non-stop to McEwan reading intensifies the book's impact." ( The Times)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I think he's my favorite author

Captivating and precise. As with all the other McEwan novels I've read. I especially enjoyed the interview at the end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Deb
  • 16-10-2016

interesting look at relationships

interesting. The relationship between the two main characters is something all couples could relate to. The family dynamic and the sorrow of what could have been.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A poignant tale of young love and self inflection.

An amazing peice of literature that leaves a lasting impression of the pains and mire of regret and first love amidst a changing time based landscape of self indulgence and sexual awakening.

Ian is a stellar writer and delivers this tale in perfect grandeur at an economical cadence to suite the frenetic pace of the narrative.

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Beautifully crafted

the narration by the author brings this story to life. The passion of this couple's love is torn apart on their wedding night. Subtle nuances references past abuse in a beautifully crafted story.

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A Long Time Building a Story That Went Nowhere

I didn't enjoy this book. The author spent most of the short book trying to build a story around a failed honeymoon night and relationship and ended the story in a couple of pages. Reading this book was like eating a bowl of delicious ice cream, without the ice cream.

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  • sue
  • Sanctuary Point, Australia
  • 22-01-2015

Well worth reading

A book read by the author is always a treat. This book improved once it was finished. The language is beautiful but the situation is excruciatingly awkward . So the journey is painful. But when you have finished and reflect on it you realise how well Ian McEwan captures the circumstance and the time.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful