It's amazing to me how the same author can write books I thoroughly enjoy and books I loathe.
Ian McEwan's "On Chesil Beach" falls into the latter category. I barely made it through. It "tells the story of virgins, Florence and Edward, and their first disastrous attempt at having sex on their wedding night. The initial experience and their differing responses to the failure have lifelong consequences for both."
Unbelievably, it was selected for the 2007 Booker Prize shortlist. More unbelievably, they even made a movie out of it.
Apparently this was a case of "it's not you, it's me." It was so dumb. It was't a romance, kind of the opposite. It wasn't a mystery. I don't know what it was except that it wasn't for me.
I gave it a 5 of 10 on the Haugenometer. Stupid Amazonians gave it a 4 of 5.
To make myself feel better about my opinion I read a few of the many 1-star reviews on Amazon. One said: "The worst book I ever read."
Another concluded: "I was as disappointed with the story as Edward was with his wedding night and as put off by Florence and her foolish, stilted behavior as she was with Edward. I would not recommend this book at all. Even a cereal box would be more appealing as reading material!"
The only endearing part of the entire fiasco was finding this tidbit on Wikipedia while researching for this lame post: In a BBC Radio 4 interview, McEwan admitted to taking a few pebbles from Chesil Beach and keeping them on his desk while he wrote the novel. Protests by conservationists and a threat by Weymouth and Portland borough council to fine him £2,000 led the author to return the pebbles. "I was not aware of having committed a crime," he said. "Chesil Beach is beautiful and I'm delighted to return the shingle to it."
Good, he should've been fined for writing this book. Pebbles be damned.