A Novel

Large Print - 2016
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"Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home--a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse--but John's not here. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month--old resident of Trudy's womb. Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world's master storytellers."
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2016]
Edition: First large print edition
ISBN: 9781524734091
Characteristics: 203 pages (large print) ; 24 cm
large print
Call Number: LT MCEWAN, I


From Library Staff

KungFuAndrew Dec 07, 2016

I'm a fan of books that seem unique (at least to me), so McEwan's Nutshell, with its unconventional narrator's view, was a winner for me. Occasionally explicit and perhaps controversial to some, the book is a decent crime novel with a interesting ending twist.

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ontherideau Mar 18, 2019

Unusual and unpredictable

DBRL_MattS Jan 08, 2019

In typically masterful prose, Ian McEwan tells the story of Hamlet if Hamlet were an unborn child still in Gertrude's (or in this case, Trudy's) womb. A fetus is an unusual narrator to be sure and in a less skilled author's hands may have required me to suspend too much disbelief, but McEwan writes so well that said fetus offering such rich insights into human nature and so vividly describing people and things he has never seen seems entirely plausible. Recommended for fans of McEwan's work and anyone who enjoys a good story told well.

Nov 11, 2018

Superb book. Extremely clever and magnificently written. Initially when I heard the premise of the book I was put off. But I am so glad I read it. You have to rest your overly rational self aside when you start reading this book and concentrate on what is written, its style and substance.

Oct 26, 2018

Intriguing way to convey a story, but my interest fizzled out after a dozen pages.

May 05, 2018

Great style; funny, sarcastic, mysterious, entertaining.

Nov 13, 2017

While the perspective of the fetus was extremely interesting and well executed, this book is a snore fest. I can't recount how many pages of this 200-page novel are made up of the characters having sex and feeling worried. The story could have easily been compressed to less than 100 pages.

JCLMandaW Sep 09, 2017

I've tried to get into McEwan on multiple occasions, but I have yet to find one of his books that really speaks to me. While I did appreciate the humor and thought this was a unique perspective for a retelling of 'Hamlet', I did not find it all that compelling. An average read at best.

Jun 05, 2017

Brilliant take on "Hamlet." Not a bad page.

cuppa_tea May 28, 2017

A magnificent and compelling little read. Narrated by a fetus, so quite an unusual viewpoint.

May 25, 2017

What can I say? Ian McEwan's writing is, as always, wonderful. There are some great passages here.
The protagonist is captive (being a fetus), so there is no action and yet, there's suspense. One wonders if the mother and uncle will follow through with their plans. One even hopes that the fetus can somehow influence the events that may possibly come to be. That's an amazing feat for an author to bring about, I think: suspense without action.
I got pulled into this story of treachery, guilt. loyalty. As the story progressed, I wanted to know more than what the fetus was hearing. We don't get to know the characters well, mainly because we only hear/see what the fetus does and that's a limited scope. That unknown aspect, though, adds to the suspense and interest. What will happen? How will these two go forward? What are they capable of?
The fetus, although a wonderful perspective to hear the story from, is one intelligent kid. He's going to be a handful. His knowledge and awareness is just a smidgen overdone, perhaps. He's just too intelligent for the podcasts and talk radio programs he's gleaned his knowledge from.
However that aside, this is a remarkable piece of writing. A really unique look at a Hamlet-like situation.

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