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The Child In Time af Ian McEwan
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The Child In Time (original 1987; udgave 2010)

af Ian McEwan (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2,287434,955 (3.61)138
Et forældrepar får deres velordnede tilværelse knust, da deres lille datter bliver kidnappet. Ægteskabet går i opløsning, og faderen isolerer sig i en drømmeverden, hvor han taber virkeligheden af syne.
Medlem:Clockpelter
Titel:The Child In Time
Forfattere:Ian McEwan (Forfatter)
Info:Vintage Digital (2010), Edition: New Ed, 258 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Kindle

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The Child in Time af Ian McEwan (1987)

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» Se også 138 omtaler

Engelsk (37)  Hollandsk (2)  Polsk (1)  Norsk (1)  Spansk (1)  Italiensk (1)  Alle sprog (43)
Viser 1-5 af 43 (næste | vis alle)
"Only when you are grown up, perhaps only when you have children yourself, do you fully understand that your parents had a full and intricate existence before you were born."

'The Child in Time,' is set in 1980's London and society and this book seems pretty bleak. A fight between a Soviet and an American athlete at the recent Olympics has nearly escalated into nuclear war; although she is never named it is pretty obvious that Margaret Thatcher is Britain's Prime Minister and her Government has undertaken all sorts of cutbacks, home-owners have lost touch with their neighbours living separate lives whilst licensed beggars roam the streets of London.

The book opens with a harrowing event. Stephen Lewis, a well-known writer of children's books, one morning, decides to let his wife have a lie in and takes his 3-year-old daughter, Kate, with him to the supermarket, while waiting in the check-out line, she suddenly disappears - apparently kidnapped by a stranger. Despite extensive searches, posters and flyers she isn't found. Whilst Stephen roams the streets in search for Kate, his wife, Julie, stays at home, retreating further and further into her private grief. Lost in their own despair the couple start to drift apart; and as the weeks turn into months, their marriage falls apart. Julie moves to an isolated cottage in the countryside whilst Stephen spends his days watching television and daydreaming.

Through a series of flashbacks, including in to his own childhood, the reader cannot but help feeling a great deal of compassion for Stephen and his shifting emotions but in truth he isn't a particularly likeable character. Royalty payments from his books means that Stephen doesn't have to go out to work and virtually the only time that he leaves his flat is to attend Westminster committee meetings on the Official on Child Care where he spends his time daydreaming and barely participating. When one day after mistaking a little girl in a school-yard for Kate, Stephen realises that his life is spinning out of control, and he takes steps to create a new routine for himself.

Alongside Stephen's own struggles his friend Charles Darke is also slowing slipping into madness, unable to reconcile his childish nature and his adult responsibilities. This serves to mirror Stephen's own precarious mental state. Just as Kate's disappearance provides a terrible illustration of the loss of innocence so Charles's mental decline is a heavy-handed metaphor for Stephen's own inability to retrieve his youth. Stephen tries to help Charles's wife, Thelma, but is equally ineffectual there as well.

The absurd Committee meetings and Stephen's encounters with the Prime Minister add a little light relief to what is a largely depressing storyline. Throughout the book there are a series of set piece elements mainly centred around loss, some of which worked whereas some were less effective IMHO. I have read several of McEwan's books in the past and been generally disappointed with them but this one despite its rather depressing subject matter I found compulsive reading and hard to put down. ( )
  PilgrimJess | Oct 17, 2020 |
Stephen Lewis, un joven y renombrado autor de libros infantiles, vive en Londres con su mujer Julie y su hija Kate, de tres años, y participa con un escepticismo a la vez resignado y divertido en las reuniones de una comisión gubernamental sobre la educación de los niños. Los Lewis parecen componer la típica familia feliz, pero un día Stephen va al supermercado con la niña, la cual desaparece de improviso: éste es el dramático punto de partida de esta extraordinaria novela.

Stephen, un nombre de resonancias joycianas, se convierte en el protagonista de una pequeña Odisea contemporánea, basada ésta en una ausencia y una tentativa de retorno. El vacío doloroso que deja la desaparición de Kate no abre solamente la crisis entre Stephen y Julie, que reaccionan de modo distinto a este trauma, sino que pone también en marcha una reflexión que, partiendo del significado de ser padres y de ser hijos, obliga al adulto a repensar sus certezas nunca verificadas, sus hábitos mentales, sus comportamientos. En estas páginas, ambientadas en un futuro próximo, con la guerra nuclear al fondo, se lleva también a cabo una acerada sátira política de la sociedad inglesa, encorsetada por un thatcherismo asfixiante. Si el Tiempo representa uno de los temas centrales del libro («el tiempo futuro está contenido en el tiempo pasado», como dice un verso de Eliot recordado por Stephen), McEwan permanece bien anclado en la plasticidad del mundo físico.

Su mirada, experta en atrapar cualquier mínimo detalle significativo y el peso que tienen los objetos de la vida cotidiana, inspira una escritura nerviosa y exacta, que cumple las ambiciones de la novela y alcanza, como en las páginas finales, la intensidad de la poesía.

«Un logro extraordinario.» (Sheila MacLeod, Guardian)

«Ha engendrado de nuevo un hijo de su tiempo.» (New Statesman)

«Ian McEwan vuelve a destaparse de nuevo de forma espectacular.» (Alex Zysman)
  museosanalberto | May 29, 2020 |
This book simply did not appeal to me; I found it boring and neither the prose nor the plot captured my interest. Overall I'd describe the work as a pastiche of reflections on the intersection of childhood and adulthood, and on the themes of loss and redemption. One "Child in Time" is the daughter of the protagonist (Stephen) who is abducted during an ordinary visit to a supermarket, never to reappear -- a tragic event that devastates Stephen's marriage to Julie. Another such child is Stephen himself, whose reflections meander backward in time. At one point he physically travels to a country pub that he vaguely remembers, and where he hallucinates seeing his mother through the window. (As it turns out, he had been there before, inside his pregnant mum, which raises several unaddressed questions. A stickler for realism could wonder how he could "see" his mother's face through the window at a time when his actual vision would have been restricted to mom's endometrium and his own amniotic sac). The title also relates explicitly to Stephen's best friend Charles Darke, who as an adult, regresses into a child-like state (from which he does not survive). And in a pun that surely was intended, a new child arrives in Stephen's life just "in time" to save his marriage.

As promising as any of this brief summary may seem, I found the work to be muddled, dull, and tedious. It contains long passages in which very little happens, and while the book is not long (272 pages), I kept counting the pages remaining. This is a case where the movie is much better than the book -- the events surrounding Charles' rejection of adulthood are given the greater prominence that they deserve, and the dull and seemingly pointless sections dealing with Stephen's committee work are minimized. While reading the book, I suspected that aspects were semi-autobiographical, a possibility confirmed by reviewers who think it important to note that the book's writing coincided with the birth of his first child. This observation leads to the question of what other aspects were autobiographical. Abduction is not the only potentially difficult way one can "lose" a (potential) "child" -- and Stephen's discovery that his mother decided not to terminate her own pregnancy of him (at that very pub where he later hallucinated seeing her) makes the alternative explicit. Furthermore, the heartfelt way McEwan describes how Julie's pregnancy and birth brought her and Stephen together again has a distinct ring of truth -- especially in light of the very public nature of McEwan's marital and post- marital discord in years after this work's publication.

Christopher Hitchens characterized this book as a masterpiece. I cheerfully acknowledge that I have probably overlooked subtleties and nuances that have brought the book praise from the literati as well as a Whitbread Novel Award. However, I liked this work the least of the 11 books I've read by this author. I find Ian McEwan's fiction to be extremely uneven. This book is one of his least accessible and, I suspect, least popular, as indicated by the many critical reviews at Amazon. ( )
1 stem danielx | Nov 16, 2019 |
Ben scritto, ma in qualche tratto si perde ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
Although this book starts with the protagonist's daughter going missing one day whilst they're out shopping, this novel wasn't completely about the aftermath of that, or at least it wasn't the aftermath I was expecting in any case.

I didn't entirely get this McEwan novel. Although the loss of their daughter has a huge impact on the parents' marriage, the whole fallout from her disappearance seemed quite quickly dealt with in the prose. Both parents seemed to nearly straightaway give up looking for her and accepted that she was gone forever which I thought was a bizarre and unbelievable reaction in the circumstances.

Instead, the book centred much more on the father's position on a government committee tasked with writing a new recommendation on raising children, which I found desperately dull and tedious. There was a segue into a peculiar little sub-plot centred around his friend who had been on the committee before him, but although that at first seemed like a beacon of light and something vaguely interesting in the plot, it somehow seemed pointless and purposeless.

I hate to say it given how much I love McEwan, but this novel just didn't work for me. I feel like he disappeared up his own backside in academic / political rhetoric, and I don't get what he was trying to achieve with the novel. There seemed to be different plot themes going on which somehow never pieced together.

2.5 stars - harsh, but for me McEwan can do so much better. ( )
  AlisonY | Nov 23, 2018 |
Viser 1-5 af 43 (næste | vis alle)
A Child in Time is rather a silly novel. It can take a while to notice this because its brilliance and extraordinary intensity have a hypnotic effect. Like Ernst and Magritte, McEwen has the Surrealist knack of making the world gleam with a light that never was on land or sea. He can also be extremely funny.
tilføjet af jburlinson | RedigerNew York Review of Books, Gabriele Annan (pay site) (Feb 4, 1988)
 

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Et forældrepar får deres velordnede tilværelse knust, da deres lille datter bliver kidnappet. Ægteskabet går i opløsning, og faderen isolerer sig i en drømmeverden, hvor han taber virkeligheden af syne.

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