Ian McEwan: Enduring Love

(954 words)

Enduring Love (1997) starts with one of the most famous scenes in contemporary fiction. Joe Rose, the narrator, and his partner, Clarissa Mellon, are picnicking on the grass under an oak tree. From their idyll, as Joe is about to uncork a bottle of wine, they suddenly see a hot air balloon, at the base of which is a basket. In the basket there is a solitary boy, and the only thing holding the balloon from taking off is a man clinging to a mooring rope. Joe races across the field to help, as do four other men: Joseph Lacey and Toby Greene, farm labourers, John Logan, an Oxford family doctor, and Jed Parry, a man who is comfortably off but unemployed. The man holding the mooring rope is the balloon's pilot, James Gadd, and the boy i…

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Childs, Peter. "Enduring Love". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5359, accessed 30 June 2015.]