The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2) by Ian McEwan

The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)

Ian McEwan is known to skirt the edge with his writing; the fringes of society, to test the limits of what we can handle perhaps in our worlds as we bring his writing home with us and allow a whole new being to enter. So it is with The Cement Garden, the story of dying family who live in a dying part of the city. The father of four children decides, in an effort to make his garden easier to control, to pave it over. In the process, he has a heart...

Details The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)

TitleThe Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)
Release DateFeb 8th, 2011
GenreFiction, Contemporary, European Literature, British Literature, Novels

Reviews The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)

  • Fabian
    Will ever these tales of incest cease? Well, my true guess is no, for they sure do captivate (lookin' atchu V.C. Andrews [R.I.P., girl]!). Another case in point: this early novel from major Nobel contender (I'm certain of this, right?) Ian McEwan. "The Cement Garden" is considered by critics to be "Lord of the Flies"-like in its plot structure and because it contains young protagonists. But I must venture to say that it mostly resembles an early ...
  • Lisa
    Recipe for a lightweight Cement Cake à la McEwanTake Lord of the Flies, and mix it carefully with Flowers in the Attic. Once you see that the ingredients have formed a foamy, light and creamy texture, with the young characters wiped out in generic sweet-sour blandness, you put the cake in the oven, and wait for sixty minutes, just enough time to read through the novel.Once the plot has been baked, you make sure to add incredibility and incest as...
  • Wen
    This was McEwan’s very first novel, which earned him the fame and the nickname Ian Macabre. It was narrated by a 15-year-old boy on his life with his three young siblings in a secluded big house shortly after the death of both parents. They grew up in an isolated and dysfunctional family. The lack of adult supervision and sexual experiences, and the yearning for kinship while desiring individual space, led them to explorations and experiments t...
  • Tatiana
    Will it reflect badly on me if I say this book isn't sordid enough to be entertaining or truly affecting? Considering how unsettling and uncomfortable it already is?Four siblings, ranging from 6 to 17, who have too close for comfort of a relationship (if the word "incest" flashed in you mind, you are correct - it is not a spoiler, the "action" starts on page 2), witness both their parents die within the weeks of each other. When their mother dies...
  • Jared Duran
    Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden is, quite clearly not for everyone. There are several severely disturbing incidents throughout the book that might make some readers wonder why they bought it, and where is the nearest bookstore to return it? There are other groups both of a religious/fascist nature (the two are not always mutually exclusive) that might have it pencilled in on their "things to burn" list. In the hands of a lesser writer, much of thi...
  • Michelle
    This book is fucked-up, sick, and creepy...I loved it. I love McEwan's style. He doesn't clutter his writing with unnecessary words, yet he says so much. His writing is sharp and clean. He is so good at invoking a specific mood at the very beginning of a novel, and then continuing to give the reader that same feeling throughout. Then, just when you're sufficiently creeped out or unnerved or whatever it is you've been feeling, it gets even more in...
  • Betsy Robinson
    Told in straight-forward sentences, this first novel reads like a very good writer’s memoir. I love the deep truth of some pretty extreme behavior by a family of orphaned siblings, which portends the even more sophisticated truths of oblique human behavior in later books. There is none of the lyricism or solid chapters of inner dialogue that characterize McEwan’s style today. I’m glad I didn’t start with this book, because now that I am a...
  • Michael
    3.5*, rounded up. This is quite dark and odd, which I like, but it felt a little incomplete. It's a very short book, yet even so the narrative lacked some necessary urgency. Still, it's a compelling read, and McEwan is a wonderful stylist, though in this book he's more restrained and straightforward than in Atonement.
  • Hugh
    Another one from the Mookse Madness list, and I don't think I would have read it otherwise. Unfortunately I was familiar with the plot from the film version, and this removed the key elements of shock and suspense that the plot relies on, which is not McEwan's fault. What remains seemed rather slight and rather obviously an early work. An easy read (apart from the subject matter) so I can't really begrudge the small amount of time I spent on it, ...
  • Cecily
    McEwan's first novel, published when he was only 30. (It was preceded by an even more shocking collection of short stories, "First Love, Last Rights", profoundly disturbing, but very well written book. Had I realised the true nature of it, I doubt I would have read it, and somehow the fact it is told in such an unjudgemental way almost makes it worse."I did not kill my father, but I sometimes think I he...
  • Stela
    Concrete Civilisations Ian McEwan’s Cement Garden left me with the same disquieting feelings I had after reading William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. In fact, I became aware of their resemblance right from the beginning, not in the sense of an imitation, of course, far from it, but in the choice of the theme and the way to develop it. Both books argue about the famous nature versus nurture, showing how thin the shell of civilization is, how e...
  • Ilenia Zodiaco
    Morboso il tema, come sempre elegante, senza per questo smettere di turbare, la ricostruzione di McEwan. Una famiglia su cui la presenza della morte grava così tanto da trasformare i legami tra i suoi componenti in qualcosa di ambiguo, surreale e feroce. Finale un po' troppo sensazionalistico ma il valore di questa narrazione sta nella descrizione lucidissima dei corpi, delle loro trasformazioni, di come la cultura si intrecci con gli istinti e ...
  • L A i N E Y
    Well..! That was.. Hmm, weird? Yes, weird.And I'm not talking about that 'taboo' subject, that was actually not a focus in the book. Right? We just got glimpses but never full-on (view spoiler)[until the very last scene and even then it wasn't like graphic (hide spoiler)]The only thing I will say about this is it destroyed my appetite! I actually felt bile in my mouth. Not the taboo part but the (view spoiler)[burial and those cellar scenes. (hid...
  • Jessica
    I saw the movie version of The Cement Garden in the theater when I was fifteen, and completely freaked out. For years afterwards it stayed high on my list of all-time favorites. I haven't seen it again since then, though, so I have no idea what I'd think now, but at the time I just thought it was the greatest thing ever. Incest! Allegory. Incest! Foreigners! Incest! Cement. Incest! Adolescence. Tragedy! Incest! What more do you want from a film a...
  • David
    I'm not surprised that Goodreads recommends J.M. Coetzee to readers who enjoyed this, because my experience of J.M. Coetzee was similar to my experience with this book, which was "Yes, a very good writer but ewwwwwwww!"I have not read Ian McEwan before, and if all his books are like this, I'm unlikely to try him again. I don't mind a disturbing book with unlikable characters who do disgusting things, but you have to give some reason to want to ke...
  • Teresa
    Faltam-me 20 páginas para terminar este livro, mas vou arrumá-lo e já não lhe toco mais. Por esta frase:"Sob vários aspectos um livro chocante, mórbido, cheio de imagens repugnantes mas... irresistivelmente interessante." (New York Review of Books),e pelas 134 páginas que já li, prevejo(-me) um "triste" fim. E não estou para isso...(view spoiler)[O narrador é um adolescente (sempre com a mão dentro das cuecas) que vive com os pais, um ...
  • Astraea
    از شخصیت دِرِک متنفر بودممیدونم که این آرزویی غیرممکن هست ولی خدا هیچ خونه و هیچ کودک خردسالی رو بدون پدر و مادر نکنه....
  • Jadranka
    Morbidno, šokantno, uznemirujuće...McEwan odlično piše, a izvetropirena ljudska priroda nikad nije bila mračnije i mučnije prikazana. "Betonski vrt" definitivno nije za svakoga.
  • Guille
    “Dejad que los niños se acerquen a mí los que son como ellos es el reino del Señor.” Perdónalo, Señor, porque no sabía lo que decía.
  • Zaphirenia
    Αυτο το βιβλίο φαίνεται να αποτελεί τον ορισμο της βαρεμάρας. Όχι τόσο για τον αναγνώστη όσο για τον ίδιο το συγγραφέα. Δεν έχω ξαναδιαβασει μακΓιουαν, αλλα μου φανηκε κάπως ανευρο, σαν ο ιδιος ο συγγραφέας να βαρεθηκε το βιβλίο του, να μην εδωσε ό,...
  • K.D. Absolutely
    I don’t read the works of a particular author in chronological order. If I want to sample an author, I go straight to his/her most famous work. If I like it, I read 2-3 more of his popular ones and if I still like them, that’s the only time I go to his or her earlier works then probably do the reading chronologically. Of course, I am talking here of authors that have more than 5 works to their name and did not get international fame in their ...
  • Gumble's Yard
    The author’s debut novel – in fact more of a novella, I read this book due it being included in the 2019 Mookse Madness tournament.The plot of the book is discussed elsewhere and best summarised by Wikipedia brief observations .....I found it difficult to relate the book to McEwen’s later writing which can, in my view, range from the brilliant (Atonement) to the far too frequently annoying (less any...
  • Tink Magoo is bad at reviews
    When I read the description for this book I expected to get a twisted, disturbing tale of incest. What I actually got was a very well written (mildly uncomfortable) story about four siblings who are lost and without an adult to set boundaries.And really, instead of shocking me I was fascinated. It's short, sharp and packs a punch. I am however, highly annoyed with the ending. THAT WAS NOT OKAY. I like things to be wrapped up, I like to KNOW what ...
  • Lawyer
    I was led to Ian McEwan's "The Cement Garden" by Carmen Callil's and Colm Toibin's excellent book, "The Modern Library." Having formed the opinion that I was woefully "unread" after picking up that volume, I decided to take these two authors' advice and dive into those books selected as the most influential books written in English since 1950."The Cement Garden," written by McEwan in 1978, is a chilling little book about children living on their ...
  • Cathy
    Ugh, Ian's got me hooked on his expressive writing style. The kind that draws you into the book as if you were sitting next to the characters in their living room. Then, with your defenses down, he sucker punches you with the unspeakable!
  • Will
    This was his first novel; it arrived with rave reviews, though to me it seems rather restrained and a little too short. It certainly has an air of unease about it, but I wouldn’t say actual menace; it is more sad and claustrophobic, and (for McEwan) only a little macabre. Jack, his two sisters and much younger brother are orphaned when his father has an accident while concreting over the garden and shortly after the funeral his mother falls ill...
  • Evan
    I came to this book via the excellent 1993 movie version that starred Charlotte Gainsbourg, the gamine, androgynous French actress whose odd beauty -- inherited from her eccentric composer father, Serge, and her svelte model mother Jane Birkin -- I admit an attraction to. As usual she dropped trou in the movie, so I was not disappointed.Gainsbourg was about 21 when she made the film, but was portraying a 16 or 17-year-old adolescent or thereabout...
  • KamRun
    راوی داستان باغ سیمانی فرزند دوم (جک) یک خانواده 6 نفری است. تمام داستان در خانه، حیاط و کوچه ی منتهی به خانه می گذرد. اندکی بعد از مرگ پدر، مادر خانواده نیز می میرد و فرزندان از ترس از هم پاشیدن خانواده و جدا شدن از یکدیگر، مادر را در صندوقی در زیرزمین ...
  • Guillermo
    Sin palabras. Me gusto muchísimo. También tengo que decir que por momentos me ha parecido sumamente perturbador. Todo el relato transcurre en primera persona eso me gusta mucho. Es un relato que incomoda ya que toca temas tabues como la muerte y el incesto. Todo esto relatado por un adolescente que no tiene limites de mayores ni de sus pares. Impresionante.
  • J K
    Read this in about two hours, total. It was a bit mixed but I've marked it high for reasons I'll try to explain. The main character is a self-centered brute, but they're all pretty screwed up and emotionally damaged. The big taboos it deals with stick out eagerly begging to be broken. Feels like this was written by someone trying very hard to shock, and it does this with varying effect. It's still a very odd story, don't get me wrong, but it's al...