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Foreign Affairs: The Comfort of Strangers by Ian Mc Ewan

Wondering what to read on a lazy summer day?

… we’re all just perfect strangers

As long as we ignore

That we all begin as strangers

Just before we find

We really aren’t strangers anymore

(I Never Talk to Strangers, Tom Waits)

In The Comfort of Strangers (1981) Ian McEwan manages to shock readers again. In his second nouvelle, Colin and Mary, an English couple spending their holidays in an unnamed foreign city, meet an older, extravagant couple who will lead them to a sordid chain of events, and an unpredictable denouement.

To add another level to our reading of the novel, we will also discuss its film transposition into the psychological thriller by the same name (1990) directed by Paul Schrader, and starring Christopher Walken, Rupert Everett, Natasha Richardson, and Helen Mirren. The script was adapted by Harold Pinter and the music composed by Angelo Badalamenti.

Read the novel and watch the film beforehand and join us on two consecutive sessions in March (12th and 26th) for the 2022 launching of APRIR’s reading group.

You can get the nouvelle in local bookshops or get the eBook.
When you finish reading the text, watch the film on YouTube.
Contact us at for any queries.

How much does attending both reading group sessions cost?

APRIR members: $1350

Non-members: $1900

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