Sunday, January 17, 1999

The Cement Garden

by Ian McEwan

When the parents of four children die, they bury their mother in cement in the cellar and fend for themselves, drifting apart yet having only each other.  McEwan’s first book is not as grand in scope, nor is it as finely realized in its characters as Black Dogs.  Still, it’s quite disturbing, a suburban Lord Of the Flies.  With its bland incest and its unfeeling, unwashed narrator, I suspect that McEwan intended this book more to shock than to analyze truly the problem of how easily amorality can set in with only a little prompting. 

three stars

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