Book Review



The premise of this story is brilliant: The narrator is a baby in utero who overhears his mother and her lover plotting a murder.  The approach is fresh, and the prose is pure McEwan-beautiful.  There were times, murder and all, when I laughed aloud.  Not only is McEwan an amazing writer, but I was truly on the edge of my seat at the end of the book.

I listened to Nutshell as an audiobook, and it was done well.  It’s a short novel – a novella, really – so the pace rarely flagged.

I had one major problem, hence only four stars.  Pontificating.  By McEwan.  About the state of the world.  Country by country.  For pages on end.  Bottom line, this book needed editing.  I know how painful it is to cut what you’ve already written, and how much an editor fears suggesting telling as celebrated a writer as McEwan that certain parts of his book are over the top.  But it would have made an excellent book into one that was positively superb.

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