On Chesil Beach – on British literature

I recently started “On Chesil Beach” by Ian McEwan, and I found I enjoy reading about the british (and in specific english) way of life, especially of the recent past: for example I loved One Day by David Nicholls, part of which talk about the 80’s and 90’s in England. In fact the part I like most of “On Chesil Beach” is the description of how the main characters (more Edward than Florence) interact with the parents, rather than people their same age: how they confront each other, how they react, how their thoughts are so different. I guess I’ve always been fascinated with whatever concerns british culture and way of living, I can think of a bunch of books that take place there that I’ve loved, regardless from what historical period they were written and set in: for example I love the more contemporary things, like “High Fidelity” and “Juliet, Naked” by Nick Hornby, or the pre WWI books, like “Maurice” by E.M. Forster… or the more “classic” novels, as anything by Jane Austen or a few works by the Bronte sisters.

It might be a snobbish thing to think, but my literature standards are so “high” that most times I cannot enjoy anything light or kind of teenage-y (maybe because I’m not a teenage anymore?): I’ve tried reading a few things by John Green but I just cannot let myself enjoy it… I even started Vampire Academy, since the movie trailer looked so good, but I just cannot get through it… maybe because I used to like those books 5 or 4 years ago and I just out-grew them…

But anyways, returning to “On Chesil Beach”, it could be that I’m enjoying it a bit more because I’m listening to incredibly upbeat and happy songs, that don’t interfere whatsoever on what I’m reading, but just make me immerse in the story I’m reading. Today is such a beautiful and sunny day that I’d prefer being outside and reading instead of in my bedroom in bed, but, hey, you can’t have everything, right?




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