Nutshell is a classic story of murder and deceit, told by a narrator with a perspective and voice unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master.
To be bound in a nutshell, see the world in two inches of ivory, in a grain of sand. Why not, when all of literature, all of art, of human endeavour, is just a speck in the universe of possible things?
©2016 Ian McEwan (P)2016 Random House Audiobooks
Ian McEwan back at his very best. Couldn't put it down. Very quirky and no idea which way it was going to go. Also got the ending right which hasn't always been the case. Also enjoyed the performance all round. Have already recommended this book, even though just finished.
The story's narrator is an unborn baby... I initially wondered how this would work - but it's engaging and generally excellent. There are brilliant flashes of humour, even though it's against a backdrop of a quietly unfolding thriller. Ian McEwen is at his finest.
If I could give this book 6/5 stars, I would. One of the best books I've ever read (or rather, heard). I have had to stop myself from going back for a 4th listen. One of those books you grieve for when it's finished. There is so much in it--every sentence is so elegant, rich, beautifully crafted and full of meaning. And the narrator (Rory Kinnear) is marvellous.
I particularly loved the narrator voice - a wise yet innocent and unknowing, unborn baby in the womb, hearing all and interpreting for us what he heard and surmised, A clever device that really worked for me.
I listened to the audiobook version of this book. The narrator was the only reason I 'read' the whole book. A cast of unlikeable and un-relatable characters. The fetus has the persona of a pretentious middle-aged professor who's intellect is unbelievable considering the likelihood of fetal alcohol syndrome. As a midwife I couldn't help but squirm at the birth scene (a caul cannot be shrugged off) - women's first labours generally take hours not minutes. Interesting concept though... I guess.
Rory is a fantastic narrator and saved the story
I hope not
The but is basically the rest of the story wasn't that fascinating. Two people plotting and eventually murdering another BIG DEAL. Not McEwan's finest
"Hilarious, thrilling story"
What a blast! A terrifically funny and thrilling murder story, told by an unforgettable narrator. One of the most entertaining books I've read in quite some time: this is Ian McEwan at his mischievous, exuberant best.
"i wanted more"
beautifully crafted, creative, insightful - i wanted more . I will listen to it again.
"One of his best."
One of his best. My favourite living author. Lived up to all expectations. Utterly compelling. Brilliant writing as always.
Absolutely fabulous, fantastic story well told by Rory Kinnear. It is amazingly gripping throughout the whole tale.
"Hamlet From The Womb"
Only Ian McEwan . . . Hamlet from within the womb. It’s just so incongruent that it’s likely it simply won’t work for some readers. However if you can make the not insignificant mental leap of believing in an unborn baby with more sophistication than most of us ever manage (certainly me!) then the sheer quality of the writing carries the day. McEwan is an intelligent and observant writer who includes a lot of commentary about the human condition. His prose is extremely eloquent and the Shakespeare allusions don’t end with Hamlet. Hints of Macbeth raise their ghostly heads too.
The narration by Rory Kinnear is extremely well suited to the book and he delivers both the criminality and the not inconsiderable humour with aplomb. The story itself is actually a relatively simple one that's as old as the hills themselves. It's the unique point of view that sets it apart.
All this taken together makes this admittedly brief novel a satisfyingly original take on an old subject. If you value originality and quality writing then it’s well worth a go, just be prepared for the leap of faith that’s required from the very start.
This is so good. I really enjoyed it. The reading was fantastic and really caught the irony and pathos
"In a Nutshell"
Excellent, rolled along lyrically. I was drawn to the descriptions and the plot whuch unfolded while.told by a narrator with an unusual perspective. The narration swept along also. Highly recommended have not enjoyed a novel like it in ages.
Enjoyable but slightly claustrophobic. An interesting concept brought to life with compelling purpose, I'm just not sure I'm satisfied
"A great book"
I seldom read a book more than once but for the language, the insights into modern life, the 'voices' of the characters and the pace, I would definitely read it again
too many to enumerate
Rory Kenner is a brilliant actor and his telling of this story is perfect. It is not obtrusive (some readers put themselves into the narrative) but clear and well paced.
NO. I wanted to know what happened but didn't want to rush to the denouement, I wanted to savour it and therefore I stopped periodically to think about what I had listened to.
If you like McEwan you will love this!
"Exceptional Narrator, Fascinating Story"
Hooked from the beginning! This is an uncomfirtable tale with no likeable characters, but its compelling. Rory Kinnear is a genius narrator and every word spoken brought McEwan's lyrical words to a most uneasy life!
"One of his best"
I have read all his published work but this is my first audio book by him. One of McEwan's best novels and beautifully narrated too.
I couldn't stop listening to this. I have always enjoyed McEwan's style and this was another masterpiece. Totally unique, totally compelling. I will probably listen to it again and again.
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