Black Dogs

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This article is about the novel. For other uses, see Black dog (disambiguation).
Black Dogs
BlackDogs.jpg
First edition cover
Author Ian McEwan
Cover artist David Moores[1]
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Publisher Jonathan Cape
Publication date
1 July 1992
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 178 pages
ISBN ISBN 0-224-03572-X
OCLC 26400027
LC Class PR6063.C4 B5 1992b

Black Dogs is a 1992 novel by the British author Ian McEwan. It concerns the aftermath of the Nazi era in Europe, and how the fall of the Berlin Wall in the late 1980s affected those who once saw Communism as a way forward for society. The main characters travel to France, where they encounter disturbing residues of Nazism still at large in the French countryside.

The novel was well-regarded by critics. In Entertainment Weekly, writer Gary Giddens said of the book, "Black Dogs is at once characteristic McEwan and a departure...The first half of the novel is a dialogue of ideas, or betrayals, reminiscent of Aldous Huxley's anatomy of marriage, The Genius and the Goddess. June is disgusted with Bernard's belief that science can cure the world's 'wretchedness'; Bernard is embarrassed by June's 'unbounded credulousness,' her eagerness to buy into the bywords of mysticism." He concludes, "McEwan's narratives are small and focused, but resonate far into the night."[2] In The New York Times, critic Michiko Kakutani wrote, "The black dogs that give Ian McEwan's new novel its evocative title come from the name that Winston Churchill once bestowed on his depressions. As used by Mr. McEwan's heroine, however, they signify something larger and more menacing: evil, darkness, irrationality, "civilization's worst moods." They give Mr. McEwan a metaphor by which he can turn a fictional family memoir into an elliptical meditation on Europe's past and future.... The result is an absorbing yet vexing book that is less a conventional novel than a long prose-poemlike mediation on love and faith and history."[3]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Modern first editions - a set on Flickr
  2. ^ Gary Giddens, "Black Dogs," Entertainment Weekly, 16 October 1992.
  3. ^ Michiko Kakutani, "How a Family Story Describes Europe," New York Times, 3 November 1992