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In Between the Sheets (Anglais) Poche – 1 septembre 1980

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Poche, 1 septembre 1980
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Revue de presse

"No one interested in the state and mood of contemporary Britain can afford not to read him" (John Fowles)

"McEwan proves himself to be an acute psychologist of the ordinary mind" (New York Times)

"This is a writer whose plainest combination of words is, like the draughtsman's proverbial dot, unmistakeably telling" (Financial Times)

"A writer in full control of his materials...In [his] short stories, the effect achieved by McEwan's quiet, precise and sensual touch is that of magic realism - a transfiguration of the ordinary that has a strong visceral impact" (New York Review of Books)

"His writing is exact, tender, funny, voluptuous, disturbing" (The Times) --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

Présentation de l'éditeur

Call them transcripts of dreams or deadly accurate maps of the tremor zones of the psyche, the seven stories in this collection engage and implicate us in the most fearful ways imaginable. A two-timing pornographer becomes an unwilling object in the fantasies of one of his victims. A jaded millionaire buys himself the perfect mistress and plunges into a hell of jealousy and despair. And in the course of a weekend with his teenage daughter, a guilt-ridden father discovers the depths of his own blundering innocence. --Ce texte fait référence à une édition épuisée ou non disponible de ce titre.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 16 commentaires
14 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Good premise, but a weak follow-through 18 décembre 2001
Par Craig - Publié sur
Format: Broché
In these sketches, McEwan examines sexual and relationship dysfunctions. Each story has a bizarre twist-- which the characters never seem to recognize as strange-- that is used to emphasize the futility of human emotion. The effect is similar to "magical realism," where an author uses supernatural elements but treats them as commonplace. Here are a few examples:
"Tales of a Kept Ape" is told in first-person, through the eyes of a frustrated lover who cannot understand why the woman he adores has alienated herself from his affections. Bizarre twist: The jilted lover is a pet ape the woman has been sleeping with.
In the title story, a middle aged divorced father worries that his fourteen year old daughter has fallen into a lesbian relationship with an older woman. Bizarre twist: The older woman is a three-foot dwarf.
In "Dead as They Come", we watch an obsessive, arrogant millionaire fall madly in love with a woman, only to destroy the relationship out of uncontrollable jealousy. Bizarre twist: The woman is a department store mannequin.
My complaint of these stories is that the bizarre "twists" are never explicitly dealt with by the characters. It's as if McEwan wants us to believe that loving an ape, or a dwarf, or a mannequin is no less strange (or less hopeless) than loving another human being. So, each tale becomes a plodding, why-can't-we-get-along diatribe that is neither interesting nor enlightening.
9 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Best forgotten - not even for big McEwan fans ! 7 décembre 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I'm a big, big fan of Ian McEwan's. I've read and loved virtually everything he's written, especially "Black Dogs" and "Atonement", so it's doubly disappointing for me to say that "In Between The Sheets", his second collection of short stories, is without doubt the worst and only substandard piece of work he has put out so far. Granted, what we have here is very early McEwan but that doesn't excuse the amateurish and shoddy quality of these mostly pointless vignettes. "First Love, Last Rites", his earliest work, wasn't McEwan at his prime but it was more than halfway decent and contained more than a trace of promise of his developing craft as a short story writer and novelist. "In Between The Sheets" just seems like scraping the bottom of the barrel.
I can't name anything in here that is remotely memorable. Indeed, it was so bad I hardly finished the book. "Pornography" is mundane and pedestrian. It's been done to death (and better) by others. "Reflections Of A Kept Ape" almost succeeds - could the ape be the retarded child of the woman ? are the ape's sexual fantasies just its hallucination ? I haven't a clue what "Two Fragments" is all about. "Dead As They Come" is ludicrous. By the time I got to "In Between The Sheets", I lost interest and couldn't wait for this slim volume to end.
The publishers should quietly delete this title from McEwan's catalogue as it diminishes his tall standing among the great contemporary writers of today.
9 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Introspective but brilliant short story collection. 26 décembre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Ian McEwan has always been the doyen of the macabre. In this, his second collection of stories, his language can be both resonant ('I do not care for posturing women but she "struck" me') and profane ('I love the scent asparagus lends the urine'). Whether describing the 'love' of a tailor's dummy or bondage games in a metropolitan setting, McEwan's prose is masterly and his insights unsettling. Excellent but not as great as his earlier volume, 'First Love, Last Rites.'
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Liked but not loved 30 décembre 2013
Par Christopher Sullivan - Publié sur
Format: Broché
This is a collection of seven short stories by Ian McEwan from 1978. The main theme that runs through the book is sex. The sexually activity is within the spectrum of kinky and depraved. However, it could also be looked upon as pornographic but without the titillation. What I mean by that is that most of the sex is suggested but not always described in great detail. But, it could be construed as pornographic simply due to whom and what is described as having the sex. There is sex between a man and a mannequin; between a woman and an ape and the wet dreams of a man that involve a pre-pubescent girl.
I tried so hard to not use the following adjectives to describe the book; `dark' and `disturbing' as I am sure they have been used many times to describe this set of short stories. However, it is almost impossible not to use the afore-mentioned adjectives as they perfectly describe two major aspects of the book.
I believe the book reflects Great Britain during 1977 and 1978. The country was beset with strikes, IRA bombings, political unrest, the `Winter of Discontent' was just around the corner, the gaining popularity of the Conservative party, (The Thatcher era was only a year away), and women's palpable fear of the Yorkshire Ripper. There is one story in the book of a dystopian future set in Great Britain. But attitudes to sex in the seventies were a bigger threat.
The seventies are seen by many historians as the decade that saw an explosion of promiscuity, abortion and pornography. The pill became widely used in the seventies and so it appeared as if everyone was having sex with anyone. Sex became recreational rather than perfunctory. But of course this sexual promiscuity had a dark (there is that word again) element; abortion, women scared to say no due to peer pressure or not wanting to appear repressed, increased illegitimacy and women losing their sense of autonomy. Many novels of the seventies depicted sexual violence such as `A Clockwork Orange' by Anthony Burgess.
In Ian McEwan's book of short stories the stories depict most of the male characters as unable to differentiate between lust and love. The male appendage for most of the male characters does most of the thinking leaving the brain in neutral like so many idling cars: the engine is running but the car is not moving.
In Between the Sheets is a perversely envisioned account of sex and in the male of the species. The stories articulate the era of the seventies and also resonate in the 21st century with the growth of the internet and continuing sexualisation of women and in particular young girls.

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Not terrible, but pales in comparison to First Love, Last Rites. 4 avril 2010
Par Dallas Fawson - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
A hit and miss early book from one of our greatest living writers, In Between the Sheets, at the very least, is interesting enough to keep you reading. "Pornography," the first story, isn't great, but it's pretty good, and the ending was creepy enough to leave me sick to my stomach.
The next story, Reflections of a Kept Ape, is short but interesting, at least to an extent. It's bizarre enough to make it worth reading.
Two Fragments: March 199-, is a story depicting a near future which is essentially primitive and boring, and that's how reading it is as well. This story, especially the second half, is easily forgettable.
I actually quite like the next story, Dead as They Come, despite the plot line, which sounds like it wouldn't go anywhere. I won't give it away, I'll just say it's an interesting twist on a love story, which leads to jealousy and eventually "murder."
In Between the Sheets was another bizarre, but quite good, story. It involves a divorced man staying with his daughter and her friend, a dwarf. They seem to be involved in some sort of lesbian relationship, and it turns into a strange but good story.
To be blunt, I hated the next story, To and Fro. It's a good thing it's by far the shortest: McEwan makes it deliberately confusing and it doesn't go anywhere. I respect him for trying to be unique, but he does it with more success on "Dead as They Come" and "Reflections of a Kept Ape."
The last story, Psychopolis, may well be the best in the collection: it starts with a mans odd semi-sexual experience with a female friend, and seems to go into a meditation on Christianity and short term friendships. Along with the title story, it takes a completely realistic tone, and is wonderful to read.
All things considered, First Love, Last Rites is a more powerful read, but this book is interesting enough to make it worth the read.
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