Genre: eventless. Stars from Goodreads: 3.56. Stars from me: 3.
On Chesil Beach is a beautifully written eventless novella where graphic sex scenes are an essential part of the story. The writing style reminds me of those old classics created at times when authors didn’t care if they could interest the reader. They just immersed themselves in the process and those who were literate enough would read the result anyway. It’s a high quality writing but you have to exercise self-control to drag yourself through it because nothing at all is happening.
On Chesil Beach looks like a well prepared stage where action is about to take place. Then, suddenly, you hit the final page. All story could fit in 177 words.
The book was selected for 2007 Booker Prize shortlist which caused a few scandals because it’s not even a novel by size.
Another curious story happened when Ian McEwan mentioned that he kept two pebbles from Chesil beach while writing the book. It caused one more scandal. McEwan was threatened with a fine and had to apologise and return the pebbles back to the beach.
There’s now a movie adaptation of the story released in May 2018. Judging by the trailer, the characters look nothing like the ones described in the book. Unless the storyline was changed too I can’t even imagine what there was to film at all.
You will still like On Chesil Beach if you enjoy looking deeply into characters and dissecting their emotions, and if you don’t mind the complete absence of action.