The Comfort of Strangers


  • The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan
  • The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan


    As their holiday unfolds, Colin and Maria are locked into their own intimacy. Then they meet a man with a disturbing story to tell and become drawn into a fantasy of violence and obsession.

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  • The Comfort of Strangers by Ian McEwan


London: Jonathan Cape, 1981.

New York: Simon and Schuster, 1981.

London: Pan, 1981.

London: Picador, 1982.

New York: Washington Square Press, 1982.

El placer del viajero (Spanish). Barcelona: Editorial Anagrama, 1982.

Der Trost von Fremden (German). Zürich: Diogenes, 1983.

New York: Penguin Books, 1989.

Paramount, 1991 (Film with Christopher Walken & Natasha Richardson).

Ukojenie (Polish). London: Puls Publications, 1992.

New York: Vintage International, 1994.

Cizinci ve meste (Czech). Praha: Mladá fronta, 1996.

London: Vintage, 1997.

(Audio). Hampton, NH: Chivers North America, 2001.

(Large Print). Bath, England/Waterville, ME: Chivers Press/Thorndike Press, 2002.

Selected Reviews and Criticism

Ricks, Christopher, 'Playing With Terror', London Review of Books, 4:1, 21 January - 3 February 1982: 13-14.

Nichol, D. W. 'Strange Games', Books in Canada, January 1982: 10-12.

Leonard, John, 'Books of the Times', The New York Times, 15 June 1981: C14.

Brickner, Richard P., 'Traveling in Peril: The Comfort of Strangers', New York Times Book Review, 5 July 1981: 7.

Fremont-Smith, Eliot, 'Dearth in Venice', Village Voice, 15 July 1981: 32.

Wolcott, James, 'That Favorite Subject, Himself', Esquire, July 1981: 19, 21.

'Dearth in Venice', Punch, 7 October 1981: 615.

Sinclair, Andrew, 'Fiction', The Times (London), 8 October 1981: 17e.

Campbell, James, 'Dreams of Pain', New Statesman, 9 October 1981: 22-23.

Sage, Lorna, 'Dreams of Being Hurt', Times Literary Supplement, 9 October 1981: 1145.

Glendinning, Victoria, 'A Classic Adventure Story', The Times (London), 11 October 1981: 43.

Jones, Lewis, 'More Filth', Spectator, 24 October 1981: 23-24.

Richman, Robert. 'The Comfort of Strangers', New York Arts Journal, 23, 1981: 21-22.

Dunn, Douglas, 'In the Vale of Tears', Encounter, January 1982: 49-53.

Banks, J. R., 'A Gondola Named Desire', Critical Quarterly, 24:2, Summer 1982: 27-31.

Martin, Richard. 'The Comfort of Strangers', American Book Review, November 1982: 23.

Muchnick, Laurie. 'You Must Dismember This', Village Voice, 35:35, 28 August 1990: 102.

Freibergs, Viktors. 'Rituali Pilsetas', Gramata, 2, February 1991: 77-79.

Malcolm, David, 'Narrational Strategy, Intertextuality and Their Functions in Ian McEwan's Early Fiction', Approaches to Fiction, edited by Leszek S. Kolek (Folium, Lublin, 1996): 161-177.

Lippe, George B. von der, 'Death in Venice in Literature and Film: Six 20th-Century Versions', Mosaic: A Journal for the Interdisciplinary Study of Literature, 32:1, March 1999: 35-54.

Seaboyer, Judith, 'Sadism Demands a Story: Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers', Modern Fiction Studies, 45:4, Winter 1999: 957-986.

Richter, Virginia, 'Tourists Lost in Venice: Daphne Du Maurier's Don't Look Now and Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers', Venetian Views, Venetian Blinds: English Fantasies of Venice, edited and introduced by Manfred Pfister and Barbara Schaff (Amsterdam, Rodopi, 1999): 181-194.

Forceville, Charles. 'The metaphor COLIN IS A CHILD in Ian McEwan's, Harold Pinter's, and Paul Schrader's The Comfort of Strangers', Metaphor and Symbol, 14:3, 1999: 179-198.

Forceville, Charles. 'The Conspiracy in The Comfort of Strangers: Narration in the Novel and the Film', Language and Literature, 11:2, 2002: 119-135.

Nally, David. 'Incorrigible Venice and the war against cliché', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 22.1, 2004: 295-312.

Payandeh, Hossein. 'Normal Abnormalities: Sado-Masochistic Violence in Ian McEwan's The Comfort of Strangers', The Journal of Arts and Sciences (Cankaya University, Ankara, Turkey), Issue 6, December 2006 [Available in .pdf from the publisher's website].

Civelekoglu, Funda. 'Gothic Literature from a Cultural Ecological Perspective: Ian McEwan’s The Comfort of Strangers', Nostalgia or Perversion? Gothic Rewriting from the Eighteenth Century until the Present Day. Ed. Isabella van Elferen. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. 86-94. (ISBN 1-84718-247-X; ISBN 13: 9781847182470).