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Book Review: Nutshell – Ian McEwan ****

Book review Nutshell Ian McEwan

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.

In this retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, a nine-month-old foetus discovers that his mother is cheating on his father. Even more, his mother and the man she’s with are talking about some rather disturbing plans.

Now wait a minute, I can see you thinking and I’m going to stop you right there. This… this is BRILLIANT. I know that the idea of a story told from the point of view of an unborn child may sound weird but just trust me on this one, it’s absolutely amazing.

This baby is one of the best POV’s I’ve read in a long time. He’s so sarcastic and I LOVED it. He reminded me a lot of Stewie from Family Guy.
At times he’s hilarious, other times he’s more philosophical. There’s really not a lot he can do about what’s happening outside, but he’s always listening and sharing his opinion.

The story itself is rather straightforward but there still are some twists and turns. I have never read Hamlet, I only know a little bit about it so I can’t really compare the book to the source. I don’t know if the stories are really that similar. I only know that I really enjoyed this one.

The writing is beautiful. There were whole sentences, paragraphs that I read again and again because they were so perfect.

And example:

“It’s already clear to me how much of life is forgotten even as it happens. Most of it. The unregarded present spooling away from us, the soft tumble of unremarkable thoughts, the long-neglected miracle of existence.”

Not bad huh?

Go ahead.

Read it.

 

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