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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 102 star ratings
6 reviews
)

Overall rating

3.9 out of 5
102
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 9 person found this review helpful

    9 people found this review helpful

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    Fetus as narrator was not credible

    I have read other stuff of Ian McEwan’s- many years ago ‘The Cement Garden”- bleak, sexy and scary but very enjoyable. And I thought ‘Atonement’ was a very good read and it made a good movie, with the disturbingly delectable Keira Knightley. 'Nutshell’ was rather a disappointment to me. It’s very clever, but I just couldn’t adjust to the impossibly implausible portrayal of the foetus as an articulate adult, and I found that tiresome.Maybe I’m losing my sense of fun- I acknowledge that it’s an interesting slant, but it did get on my nerves. (Speaking of foetus - I’m surprised that a wordsmith of McEwan’s calibre would choose to stick with the incorrect ‘English’ spelling- the diphthong was incorrectly introduced in the middle ages and the American spelling is only correct by accident. Please forgive that morsel of gratuitous pedantry.) Not only did the fetus-as-adult annoy me, but I found all the characters strangely wooden- even the sex seemed (for McEwan) mechanical. By the way, what’s a clitoral snood? Besides, I had to look up ‘aporia’, but doubt whether I will remember what it means for long enough to drop it into a conversation. McEwan must be something of a Joycean- I noted early on, the unborn narrator reflecting “James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ sends her (his mother, that is) to sleep, even as it thrills me” and subsequently, out of the blue, there are two unacknowledged quotes from Ulysses which I think he inserted just for me. Some of it’s rather show-offy, like all the detailed references to vineyards etc, but depicting the fetus enjoying getting inebriated along with his mother was an inspired spin. The feral alcohol syndrome experts would not approve. One bit that I really enjoyed and must read again, if I can find it, (that's a problem I don't have with paper books) was John (the husband’s) speech in the kitchen reminiscing about the time when he and Trudy first loved each other, including a holiday that they had in Dubrovnik. I get the feeling McEwan enjoyed writing this. I’ll only give it 6/10, but there are some very memorable bits.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Excellent read.

    Unserious but loveable read of new life and murder.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Unusual and suspenseful

    The prose is almost poetic throughout the book. I've not read any other Ian McEwan books so I don't know whether this is his style or whether it's because poets and poetry are a major theme in this book.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

    1 people found this review helpful

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    Unique

    A unique view of a common domestic crime. The witness felt a little too wordly wise at times,but this may well be my failure to fully comprehend the backstory,so enthralled was I with the present. As usual, sensuous,enveloping writing from Mr McEwen. Right to the denouement, I was unsure how I wanted,or needed it to end!
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Lovely story, interesting perspective.

    Really enjoyed this book. Told from the perspective of an unborn child who, unable to escape the womb, is forced to witness it's mother's infidelity, the plot and eventual murder of it's own father.
102

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