Black Dogs, Paperback Book
3 out of 5 (8 ratings)


In 1946, June and Bernard set off on their honeymoon.

Fired by their ideals and passion for one another, they had planned an idyllic holiday, but in France they witness an event that alters the course of their lives entirely.

Forty years on, their son-in-law is trying to uncover the cause of their estrangement and is led back to this moment on honeymoon and an experience of such darkness it was to wrench the couple apart.


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Showing 1 - 5 of 8 reviews.

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Review by

A missed opportunity. The setup here is very good - a singular experience convinces a young woman of the existence of the occult, and drives her and her communist husband apart. McEwan begins to discuss the implications of this and touches on some of the sadness of it: that this difference parted a newly married young couple who might have lived differently and more happily if they had shared one or other view. But it is no more than a beginning and a touch. Another hundred pages might have made for a sterling book, but here a big subject feels skimmed over.

Review by

Unfortunately, the least enjoyable McEwan I have read. The plot is uninteresting, the characters pompous & annoying & the ending fizzles out without going anywhere. The tension McEwan tries to set up between faith & rationality doesn’t convince, and the two main characters come across as ventriloquists dummies for poorly thought out arguments. 31/3/08/

Review by

Reads like a short story that I would imagine someone making into a full-length film. It's subtle, told in a very calm voice that is, I suppose, intended to mask the magnitude of the events. If that works for you, then the book is powerful. Sadly, I can imagine the intent on an intellectual level, but it didn't quite have full emotional impact on me.

Review by

I'll always be a fan of McEwan, so it goes without saying that I enjoyed this book as much as any other. I found the plot line with the actual black dogs to be an interesting idea, though this wasn't my favorite book I've ever read of his. That said, a solid novella.

Review by

One of the earlier and shorter of McEwan's works, although I think there are other ones that speak to me more than this one. Even The Innocent, completed before Black Dogs, I have found to be a bit more interesting. Nonetheless this book has typical McEwan's poignant prose, albeit it feels like the author's skills are slightly on the honing and developing side."A Crowd is a slow, stupid creature, far less intelligent than any one of its members." (65)

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