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  • Published: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705565
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $26.00

On Chesil Beach

Ian McEwan's celebrated novel, now an unmissable film starring Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Brooklyn)

It is July 1962. Edward and Florence, young innocents married that morning, arrive at a hotel on the Dorset coast. At dinner in their rooms they struggle to suppress their private fears of the wedding night to come and, unbeknownst to them both, the events of the evening will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

  • Pub date: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784705565
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 176
  • RRP: $26.00

About the Author

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; and Nutshell, which was a Number One bestseller. Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

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Praise for On Chesil Beach


Independent on Sunday

“On Chesil Beach is more than an event. It is a masterpiece”

Times Literary Supplement

“Superb... The protagonists have everything to lose, and their faltering journey towards a point of no return is conjured into life my McEwan with irresistible subtlety, tact and force”

Financial Times

“Exquisitely crafted”

Evening Standard

“Written with a fierce pursuit of the truth and an utterly modern self-awareness, what a confidant tour de force this turns out to be”

Sunday Express

“This is McEwan's mature style, one we have come to recognise from Atonement and Saturday. It is a polished, civilised style, and very distant from the shock tactics of his early work... McEwan brings Florence and Edward touchingly alive for us; and their seriousness, their idealism, and their desire for love draw us towards them”

Natasha Walter, Guardian

“A master feat of concentration in both senses of the word”

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

“One of our greatest living writers. Many Easter weekends and train journeys will be enlivened by a compelling novella”

Christopher Dolan, Herald

“To commend an author for being reminiscent of Edith Wharton is a compliment that this reviewer reserves for a select few. Yet with On Chesil Beach, Ian McEwan has earnt it”

Lionel Shriver, Telegraph

“It is a masterpiece. The very idea that informs it, fascinating and unfamiliar, is masterly”

Karl Miller, TLS

“A didactic, ironic novella of great accomplishment and calculated ambition. Structurally and linguistically, it is a triumph...intriguingly compassionate”

Tom Chatfield, Prospect

“It is a measure of McEwan's artistry that he is able here both to linger in the recording of sensuous particularities and at the same time to deliver the satisfactions of plot we are accustomed to deriving from his fiction”

Time Out, Book of the Week

“McEwan shares with his fellow English novelist Jim Crace not only an interest in history but in finding a style in prose that is slow-moving, yet compelling, at times stilted and dry, and then suddenly sharp and precise”

Colm Toibin, London Review of Books

“The protagonists of On Chesil Beach have everything to lose, and their faltering journey towards a point of no return is conjured into life by McEwan with irresistible subtlety, tact and force”


“The book is steeped in lost hopes and disappointments, with each sentence as powerful as a Larkin poem. I didn't know a British novelist could still be this good”


“McEwan is word-perfect at handling the awkward comedy of this relationship and, as ever, turning it into something far more disturbing”


“Two characters so vibrant they step straight off the page”

Yvonne Cassidy, The Tablet

“McEwan's brilliance as a novelist lies in his ability to isolate discrete moments in life and invest them with incredible significance”

Tim Adams, Observer

“McEwan's style is lean and clear...every sentence feels carefully crafted, the words all perfectly in place”

John Harding, Daily Mail

“A tightly focused human drama... McEwan gives the reader access to both characters' thoughts with his usual skill, and the comedy of embarrassment, or of the kind of erotic misunderstanding that Milan Kundera used to specialise in, quickly disappears as the marital bed begins to seem more and more ominous... The bedroom scene itself is carried off brilliantly”

Christopher Taylor, Sunday Telegraph

“A fine book, homing in with devastating precision on a kind of Englishness which McEwan understands better than any other living writer, the Englishness of deceit, evasion, repression and regret. In On Chesil Beach McEwan has combined the intensity of his narrowly focused early work with his more expansive later flowered to devastating effect”

Justin Cartwright, Independent on Sunday

“McEwan is the kind of author who can say more in a sentence than most can say in a chapter...This is a thoughtful book which provokes thought. But more immediately than that, this is a book which, while managing to be very funny, gives us a wonderful and moving portrait of a specific time, and two of its hostages, and of how to make a mess of love”

Keith Ridgeway, Irish Times

“McEwan conveys the near-numinous significance of a single moment with quiet, almost unbearable grace”


“A heavenly read”

Marie Claire

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