On Chesil Beach

  • by Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by Ian McEwan
  • 4 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Winner of the British Book Awards, Author of the Year and Book of the Year, 2008.Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2007.Shortlisted for the Audiobook Download of the Year, 2007. It is June 1962. In a hotel on the Dorset coast, overlooking Chesil Beach, Edward and Florence, just married that morning, are sitting down to dinner in their room. Neither is entirely able to suppress anxieties about the wedding night to come.
On Chesil Beach is another masterwork from Ian McEwan - a story about how the entire course of a life can be changed by a gesture not made or a word not spoken.
This download is unabridged and is read by the author. This is the first time Ian has read his own audio and it is a brilliant, authoritative, read. The download also features an in depth interview with Ian McEwan about On Chesil Beach. He is interviewed by John Mullan, Professor of English at UCL.


What the Critics Say

"Focusing with hyper-acute attentiveness on just two hours or so ( Saturday, with its one-day time-span looks shabby in comparison), the book tightens even further McEwan�s consummate powers of close up... Clean of sprawl and clutter - not a word, incident or image seems slackly placed - the book never hardens into the schematic... Edward and Florence are intensely likeable, believable people into whose personalities and predicaments a wealth of imaginative sympathy has welled." ( The Sunday Times)"McEwan's masterful 13th work of fiction most resembles a five-part classical drama rendered in prose....[His] flawless omniscient narration has a curious (and not unpleasantly condescending) fable-like quality, as if an older self were simultaneously disavowing and affirming a younger." ( Publishers Weekly)"Ian McEwan chose to release his own unabridged audiobook reading of his new novel On Chesil Beach to coincide with the publication and to match the price of the book itself, even giving the audiobook the added value of an illuminating half-hour interview with John Mullan, the English literature professor. Does this herald a new trend in publishing, or does it reflect the peculiar suitability of this particular novel to the audio medium? A bit of both is the answer. New books are frequently published at the same time as audiobook versions, but not all novelists write books that suit the medium. In the interview after the novel, McEwan explains that he likes reading them aloud in draft to live audiences, using their reactions to hone his final version. He also likes the 'enclosed, uninterrupted experience' of reading a novella from beginning to end... Listening non-stop to McEwan reading intensifies the book's impact." ( The Times)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I don't think anyone else but Ian McEwen could have pulled off this poignant little story of a honeymoon night. As always with Ian, right from the beginning you have a feeling almost of dread about what is about to happen. You would really rather not know, but the author casts such a spell with his words that you are unable to break free. Unflinching, honest and touching, this is exquisitely well written, and also beautifully read by the author. His voice is soothing and reassuring, even as he makes you squirm with discomfort! The book is set in that long ago period just before the sixties started swinging and that era is perfectly recreated. This audiobook is short enough to devour in one sitting, and I would urge you to do just that.
Read full review

- Joan

Interesting observation on the human condition

Short but effective exposition of relationships, expectations and communications (or lack thereof) in post-war Britain, prior to the sexual revolution of the sixties. Seen through the eyes of two caricatures who had me alternately squirming and chuckling as I recognised aspects of their uncomfortable behaviour.
Read full review

- chris

Book Details

  • Release Date: 23-03-2007
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks