I’ve long enjoyed Ian McEwan‘s works since reading The Innocent many years, and have a number of signed first editions as a result, but I hadn’t read The Comfort of Strangers until I returned from my recent trip. Now to be fair, nowhere within the tale does he confirm that the setting is Venice, but with a such a unique location there can be no mistake. Or rather no mistake in identifying his intended setting, but when he writes:
To reach the hotel, it was necessary to walk across one of the great tourist attractions of the world, an immense wedge-shaped expanse of paving, enclosed on three sides by dignified arcaded buildings and dominated at its open end by a redbrick clock tower,
Clock tower? Clock tower? Yes there is a clock tower at that end of the Piazza, with an astronomical clock that has starred in a Bond film, but it is neither redbrick nor dominant. I take it you meant the campanile Mr Mc. A BELL tower.
Still it was only his second novel.
- Venice: Campanile di San Marco: bell tower (marthapfeil.com)