Ian McEwan: Black Dogs

(1008 words)

Black Dogs (1992), McEwan's fifth novel, shares an interest in the Berlin Wall with his previous novel The Innocent (1990). A very complex book, involving numerous grand themes, it is at heart a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

The novel purports to be a memoir or “divagation” by its narrator, Jeremy, who is an orphan drawn to and fascinated by the families, and particularly the parents, of other people. A preface provides the reader with Jeremy's background. In several ways, the principal couple in the novel are the parents of Jeremy's wife Jenny -- June and Bernard Tremaine, who met as communist sympathisers but whose experiences and temperaments have taken them in diametrically opposed directions. June i…

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Childs, Peter. "Black Dogs". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6334, accessed 25 September 2016.]