Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
Ian McEwan’s The Cement Garden is, quite clearly not for everyone. There are several severely disturbing incidents throughout the book that might make some readers wonder why they bought it, and where is the nearest bookstore to return it? There are other groups both of a religious/fascist nature (the two are not always mutually exclusive) that might have it pencilled in on their “things to burn” list.
In the hands of a lesser writer, much of this book would seem vulgar. However, in McEwan’s capable hands the book is instead disturbingly beautiful. The book is very short, and to say almost anything about it is to give almost everything away, so you will find no excerpts or plot points in this review. Suffice to say that The Cement Garden is a brilliant, gripping read that feels like it’s over before it began.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
What a weird book. It grossed me out more than once. Just… really weird.