As a multiple award-winning novelist and screenwriter, Ian McEwan is truly one of England’s national treasures. Starting his career in 1975 with a collection of short stories, McEwan has gone on to write over a dozen novels, many of which have been later adapted into film. Read on to discover the books you should read by this critically acclaimed writer.
It seems only natural to start this list with Atonement, the book to be last adapted to the big screen. This romance novel, based in England around the time of World War II, is a heart-wrenching display of young love tragically and unfairly ripped apart, and the guilt faced by the person who caused the disruption of this partnership. Although quite different from McEwan’s earlier works, which garnered him the nickname “Ian Macabre”, this lamentable narrative will leave you turning page after page in melancholy.
The Child in Time (1987)
For a book that won the Booker Prize in 1998, Amsterdam was met, unusually, with mixed reviews. With all but the conclusion set in places outside of the city after which this novel was named, this story follows the tribulations of a composer named Clive Linley, and his friend, a newspaper editor named Vernon Halliday. McEwan lives up to his reputation in this work; a nasty tale of the friendship between two men with a euthanasia pact, and the neat lead up to their prospective simultaneous demise.
The Children Act (2014)
Beautifully written, The Children Act concerns itself with a High Court judge in London named Fiona Maye. This fiercely respected woman is deeply immersed in her work in the family court. So deeply immersed that her professional success begins to affect her personal life. After an argument caused by her husband Jack’s discontentment with their marriage, the couple break up and Fiona submerges herself deeper in her work, in particular a case involving a 17-year-old boy harboring the beliefs of a Jehova’s Witness, and the lifesaving blood transfusion that conflicts with those beliefs. With constant conflict between her crumbling marriage, and the pressure of her case, this story will leave readers enthralled until the very end.
Enduring Love (1997)
This story begins with the protagonist Joe Rose, a science journalist, recounting a tragic event involving a hot air balloon and the death of a well-intentioned doctor who plummets to earth while trying to save the balloon’s pilot and his grandson. On this same devastating day is when Rose meets Jed Parry, a young religious man who becomes convinced he is in love with Joe. Parry turns out to suffer from de Clérambault’s syndrome, a condition that makes one convinced that a stranger is in love with them. This syndrome manifests itself in Parry as an obsession for Rose, who he goes on to stalk. As can be expected by McEwan’s work, this is a menacing piece and a brilliant example of his beautiful but impacting prose.
By Matthew Clark
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.