28 responses

  1. I find McEwan really hit or miss. I loved Atonement and found Solar quite entertaining (although all I remember is a misunderstanding involving crisps), but couldn’t get through Saturday or Amsterdam. I might read this at some point but I think maybe your review is more entertaining than the book!

    • I agree. Loved the books I listed but thought Amsterdam, Saturday, Sweet Tooth and Enduring Love all so-so. My memory of Solar was similar to yours – one very scene (but I though it involved the main character needing to do a wee?!).
      If you haven’t read any of his more recent stuff I’d rate Children Act for the moral dilemma and Nutshell for the creative writing.

      • I’ve just come here having read the book – I usually don’t read blogs until I’ve written my own, but I only finished it today and my reading group is doing it tonight so I thought I’d do a quick whip around.

        I have to say that for me dissecting a novel nearly always makes me love it more. I guess I’m just weird!

        Anyhow, I haven’t read The children act, but have read at least 7: I’d put Atonement first, then On Chesil Beach, then Enduring love, and then Nutshell. (I’ve also read Saturday, Amsterdam and Solar.)

      • Hmmm, he says “inches” from his nose not touching his body. It made sense to me. And anyhow, I would never read something so fantastical as this literally anyhow. I’m sure anyone reading such a narrator would find the scenario describe completely comprehensible within the construct of the novel.

  2. Funnily enough dissecting a novel usually makes me love it more, and can result in my liking a book I didn’t initially like.

    And yes I like McEwan a lot, though I think On Chesil Beach is the last that I’ve read. I’d put Atonement first, then On Chesil Beach, and then Enduring love. I think that book has one of the best opening chapters I’ve read. I’ve read at least three others but these are my top three.

  3. I have no problem suspending disbelief when I read fiction and am usually very tolerant of things others hate. I mean an in utero narrator is completely improbable so if I accept that I can accept that that narrator knows stuff!

    • I’m the same although was wrong-footed at the beginning of this book because I thought it was somewhat serious – it quickly becomes clear that McEwan is having a big laugh.

  4. I’ve only read a handful of McEwan and I generally love them until the last quarter where he goes over the top: the man can’t do a sensible ending to save himself. (My favourite McEwan is the newspaper satire Amsterdam.) Funnily enough I heard him do a reading of Nutshell pre-publication at a Vintage showcase for bloggers and booksellers and he had everyone roaring with laughter. I think he really enjoyed himself reading (and writing) this book, so when I eventually get around to reading it I will know not to take things too seriously.

  5. This sounds weird, but good. I like the Hamlet angle. But I think this’d be one of those read once and never again kind of books – definitely a library borrow. Unlike Atonement, which I could read forever.

  6. I think my love affair with McEwan has come to an end. The last two I read by him I didn’t rate at all – Saturday and the Children Act. He. Isn’t have had great fun writing Nutshell but the premise sounds awful to me.

  7. Pingback: Top Ten Tuesday: The last 10 books added to my Goodreads TBR | Bits & Books

  8. Pingback: My Best Books for 2016 | booksaremyfavouriteandbest

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