Nutshell

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What to expect

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home – a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse – but not with John. 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.

Critics Review

  • At once playful and deadly serious, delightful and frustrating it is one of McEwan’s hardest to categorise works, and all the more interesting for it.

    The Times
  • An astonishing act of literary ventriloquism unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master… Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a shocking tale of murder and treachery from one of the world’s master storytellers.

    Daily Telegraph
  • A creative gamble that pays off brilliantly…Witty and gently tragic, this short, bewitching novel is an ode to humanity’s beauty, selfishness and inextinguishable longing.

    Mail on Sunday
  • While the literary device of an unborn baby narrating a novel from the womb is hardly original… Ian McEwan employs it with aplomb… Here everything is tightly controlled and the tension ratchets up as our all-knowing unborn watches helplessly from his watery sack while the dastardly plan progresses through a series of nail-biting moments… The ending is beautifully contrived… The book is elegantly written with plenty of pungent, topical observations upon the world.

    Daily Mail
  • Ian McEwan’s embryonic spin on Hamlet is a virtuoso feat of wordplay … Virtuoso entertainment.

    Observer

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