The Cement Garden

The Cement Garden

3.56 (17,601 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 1 business day
When will my order arrive?


In the relentless summer heat, four abruptly orphaned children retreat into a shadowy, isolated world, and find their own strange and unsettling ways of fending for more

Product details

  • Paperback | 160 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 12mm | 120g
  • Vintage Publishing
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0099755114
  • 9780099755111
  • 28,723

Review Text

First published in 1978, this novel holds all the McEwan hallmarks: dark depravity, loss, childhood in an adult world and watertight characters with convincing emotions and motives. The story covers a few months in the life of Jack, one of four children in a dysfunctional family. The first signs of a this family's dark secrets are the sexual games the teenage siblings play with each other. The death of their father and not long afterwards their mother, bring them to darker deeds which echo the depravity of William Golding's Lord of the Flies. Jack lives through these months in an agony of loneliness and confusion, not knowing how to communicate with his sisters or ask for help as manhood approaches. McEwan's brilliance lies in describing the slide towards depravity and shocking situations in such a way as to make them seem not only convincing, but inevitable. An accomplished tale of how adolescents can fail to grasp reality and respond appropriately. (Kirkus UK)show more

About Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is the author of two collections of stories and twelve previous novels, including Enduring Love, Amsterdam, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1998, Atonement and, most recently, more

Review quote

"An unforgettable tale" -- John Boyne Guardian "Hypnotic" -- John Updike New Yorker "An extremely assured, technically adept and compelling piece of work" Observer "Marvellously creates the atmosphere of youngsters given that instant adulthood they all crave, where the ordinary takes on a mysterious glow" Sunday Times "A shocking book...irresistibly readable" New York Review of Booksshow more

Rating details

17,601 ratings
3.56 out of 5 stars
5 19% (3,269)
4 37% (6,471)
3 31% (5,462)
2 10% (1,800)
1 3% (599)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X