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Julian Meynell's Books

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McEwan's Cement Garden

The Cement Garden - Ian McEwan

McEwan's first novel is very much a McEwan novel even if it is working within the genre of Transgressive fiction.  It concerns a dysfunctional and repressed family with four children.  I don't want to give too much away, but it is about dysfunctional coping strategies around grief and isolation.

The book feels very disquieting and disturbing, although it is completely nonjudgmental.  It has a Lord of the Flies type feel to it, even though the events and point of the novel are completely different.  I think it is about the catastrophic effects if escapism from grief and reality.  But who knows.  Its quite god.  Probably the worst McEwan novel I have read, but not by much.  McEwan is a solid reliable writer and possibly the best writer alive, so its well worth reading.