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5 1
Format
Paperback
Size
13/20
Weight
150 gr.
Pages
128
Published
10 January 2011

The Comfort of Strangers

Many of the trademarks we have come to expect in McEwan novels are already here in this early novel published in the U. S. in 1981, the ironic title, the complexity, the psychological tension, the ambiguities, the questions left unanswered. If you had already seen the movie it would be difficult not to see Rupert Everett and Natasha Richardson getting lost in those maze-like alleys in Venice. (Nowhere in this slim novel, however, does McEwan name the city where the sinister action takes place.) McEwan does an excellent job of setting the tone for what ultimately occurs early in the novel. As early as page 17: "Colin and Mary had never left the hotel so late, and Mary was to attribute much of what followed to this fact." There are lots of references to the sexual tension between men and women in addition to many homoerotic allusions throughout the book that prepare you, at least in part, for the shattering climax of this horrific little novel.

McEwan always gives the reader a story that appeals both to the intellect and the emotions. As usual, he doesn't disappoint us. One of the joys of living in these times is awaiting a new McEwan novel.

About the Author
Ian  McEwan

McEwan was born in Aldershot in England and spent much of his childhood in the East Asia, Germany and North Africa where his father, an officer in the army, was posted. He was educated at the University of Sussex and the University of East Anglia, where he was the first graduate of Malcolm Bradbury's pioneering creative writing course.

McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. Among the many litarary prizes are the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories "First Love, Last Rites"; Whitbread Novel Award (1987) and Prix Fémina Etranger (1993) for "The Child in Time"; and Germany's Shakespeare Prize in 1999. He has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction three times, winning the award for "Amsterdam" in 1998. His novel "Atonement" received the WH Smith Literary Award (2002), National Book Critics' Circle Fiction Award (2003), Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction (2003), and the Santiago Prize for the "European Novel" (2004). He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

The 1997 novel “Enduring Love”, investigating the unsettling relationship between a science journalist and an obsessive stalker, made McEwan a pioneer setting the golden standard for the so-called neuronovel. “Atonement” (2001), turned quickly into an Oscar-winning movie, made him a global celebrity. Both commercially and critically acclaimed, Ian McEwan just won the Jerusalem Prize for the Freedom of the Individual in Society, a prize that validates him once again as a contemporary humanist, whose work still challenges the limits of our senses and sensibilities in this forever changing world.

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