The Comfort of Strangers

The Comfort of Strangers



The Pequod Review:

The plot of The Comfort of Strangers is a bit ridiculous, as a couple vacationing in Venice make the implausibly unwise decision to befriend a razor-clad local bar owner, which is only the beginning of their troubles. But Ian McEwan is a such an elegant writer that it nearly doesn’t matter. Here for example he describes the couple:

They knew each other as much as they knew themselves, and their intimacy, rather like too many suitcases, was a matter of perpetual concern; together they moved slowly, clumsily, effecting lugubrious compromises, attending to delicate shifts of mood, repairing breaches. As individuals they didn't easily take offense; but together they managed to offend each other in surprising, unexpected ways; then the offender — it had happened twice since their arrival — became irritated by the cloying susceptibilities of the other, and they would continue to explore the twisting alleyways and sudden squares in silence, and with each step the city would recede as they locked tighter into each other's presence.