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Publisher Description

The calm, organized life of science writer Joe Rose is shattered when he sees a man die in a freak hot-air balloon accident. A stranger named Jed Parry joins Rose in helping to bring the balloon to safety, but unknown to Rose, something passes between Parry and himself on that day—something that gives birth to an obsession in Parry so powerful that it will test the limits of Rose's beloved rationalism, threaten the love of his wife, Clarissa, and drive him to the brink of murder and madness. From the Booker Prize-winning author of Atonement, here is a brilliant and compassionate novel of love, faith, and suspense, and of how life can change in an instant.

January 20
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Penguin Random House LLC

Customer Reviews

fequent diner nola ,

Very clever. This is reality?

Another taut psychological thriller from McEwan. I almost gave up a times, but I stuck with it, based on having thought well of many if his previous books. Though I cannot say the ending was satisfying in any sense, it was well worth the effort, and I'm glad I trusted the author and stuck with it.

SaltWaterSting ,


One of the best books I’ve read. Years later, I still recommend this ingenious page turner. This was a hard book to write well, but it was written by a master.

Allegreta ,

Enduring Love

The best thing about this story is the reality that our hero Joe could be imagining the "other" and the other's love. We know for sure that he exists and then we don't And then ultimately, we do.

The illness described could be attributed to any moonstruck person who wants desperately to believe that his love for another is noticed, acknowledged and returned tenfold. How many of us has mistaken a word, a gesture, a glance to be something other than what it is? In Jerry Seinfeld's world the phrase "tell George I said hi" is much more meaningful than "give George my regards" and everyone in the scenario knows it.

McEwan's description of the bereft woman whose husband died in an attempt to save the child in the balloon who didn't need saving anyway and her life and lot touched the core of my being -- I felt true warmth and true contempt for her; she was a mixture of all things, all emotions.

I do not write long reviews. Too many reviews of books and especially films, give away the plot and reveal too much about the characters. I realize it is not enough to simpy say this is a gre book -- a great study -- just go and read it and yo won't b sorry, but

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