Clearly, I failed to retain with enough fixity of mind the sheer gut-twisting malice of Atonement, because I just went back for more. I picked up On Chesil Beach at the library two days before Christmas, finished it in a single evening, and was forcibly reminded of why I've refused to read any McEwan for the last half decade. The books are beautiful, sleek-muscled, shining, but they'll claw you throat to knees without blinking. It's like going to bed with a lover and waking up with a rabid rottweiler.
On the other hand, p. 164:
"It is not easy to pursue such hard truths in bare feet and underpants."