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.
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
"i wanted more"
beautifully crafted, creative, insightful - i wanted more . I will listen to it again.
"A quirky but literary whodunit."
Odd, unexpected, interesting.
The way assumptions had to shift throughout - I never knew whose voice to trust.
This is interesting as I like Rory Kinnear but my initial reaction to the foetus protagonist was one of absolute distaste - such an annoying unlikable voice! Very fortunately I stayed with it and it just grew funnier and more enjoyable. The grandiose tone of the conceited little baby who can quote Shakespeare and somehow provide wonderfully vivid descriptions of events taking place outside the womb.
Life before birth.
You have to suspend disbelief - a foetus picking up language and knowledge via podcasts, really? Better to have not attempted to explain that and accepted the magical realism. That said, you do of course go along with the narrative voice and it's an entertaining tale of complicated relationships and a rather enjoyable and gripping whodunit (Columbo style - you know who you just don't know how it's found out) that keeps you hooked until the end.
A brilliant novel, brilliantly read. Absorbing from the first sentence to the last, this book really is as clever as it thinks it is. Unique, hilarious, thrilling, complex, sexy, multi layered. I listened on a long drive, all in one sitting and when I finished, rewound and started again. Rory Kinnear was perfect, capturing the vulnerable but slightly pompous tone of the foetus narrator.
"Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is"
Not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, even as farce.
All the characters were unlikeable
Including the foetus.
Not sure who this would appeal to!
Thankfully it was fairly short.
such a clever idea. finished it in 2 sessions, just wish ian mcewans books were longer its over too soon.
beautifully read. a classic McEwan - the master of seeing the world from a new perspective. tense and elegant, dreadful and sublime.
"Smart and current, short and bittersweet."
A murder plot with a unique narrator, this is a very clever device that's executed surprisingly well. It's also, through a precocious pre-born's Radio4 habit, a reflection on some of the big themes in last years news and society. Worth a listen.
"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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