3.7 (23,129 ratings by Goodreads)
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A New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book One of the Best Books of the Year: San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Trudy has been unfaithful to her husband, John. What's more, she has kicked him out of their marital home, a valuable old London town house, and in his place is his own brother, the profoundly banal Claude. The illicit couple have hatched a scheme to rid themselves of her inconvenient husband forever. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb. As Trudy's unborn son listens, bound within her body, to his mother and his uncle's murderous plans, he gives us a truly new perspective on our world, seen from the confines of his. McEwan's brilliant recasting of Shakespeare lends new weight to the age-old question of Hamlet's hesitation, and is a tour de force of more

Product details

  • Paperback | 197 pages
  • 130 x 203 x 15mm | 181g
  • Anchor Books
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0525431942
  • 9780525431947

Review quote

"Smart, funny and utterly captivating." --The New York Times "More brilliant than it has any right to be. . . . Suspenseful, dazzlingly clever and gravely profound." --The Washington Post "Fantastically entertaining and frequently hilarious." --San Francisco Chronicle "Nutshell is a joy: unexpected, self-aware, and pleasantly dense with plays on Shakespeare." --NPR "Compact, captivating . . . The writing is lean and muscular, often relentlessly gorgeous." --The New York Times Book Review "Gorgeous. . . . Offer[s] the reader a voice both distinctive and engaging. . . . Rife with wordplay, social commentary, hilarity, and suspense. . . . Hats off to Ian McEwan." --The Boston Globe "A comic tale. . . . It is a masterpiece." --The Times (London) "McEwan is a literary pointillist--in control of each keystroke, creating small, precise masterpieces that delight with their linguistic prowess. . . . [A] daring thriller." --O, The Oprah Magazine "Brilliant. . . . This novel is a thing of joy." --The Economist "Brims with literary allusions, social commentary and murderous intrigue . . . Gorgeous. . . studded with Joycean reflections on fathers, the wisdom of pop songs and reviews of placenta-filtered fine wine." --Associated Press "Nutshell is an orb, a Venetian glass paperweight of a book. . . . It is a consciously late, deliberately elegiac masterpiece, a calling together of everything McEwan has learned and knows about his art." --The Guardian (London) "An enthralling read." --Marie Claire "Nutshell belongs to that dark tributary of McEwan novels which includes The Cement Garden, The Innocent and Booker-winner Amsterdam--black comedies aswirl with macabre thoughts and foul deeds. It sees McEwan at his most playful. . . . [Readers should] applaud it for its beauty, precision and inventiveness." --Minneapolis Star Tribune "A book pulsing with hilarious and brainy brio. . . . He simultaneously spoofs crime fiction and finds a novel mouthpiece for a mordantly entertaining and exhilaratingly intelligent commentary on the modern world." --The Sunday Times (London) "[A] tour de force. . . . A slim, clever thriller with the grand good fortune of being written by the inimitable McEwan." --Buffalo News "Not only does he pull it off, he does so triumphantly, in the cleverest book I've read this year. It's smart, dark and at times very funny." --The Daily Mail "A highly original, imaginative thriller that is as entertaining as it is suspenseful." --Buzzfeed "Nutshell may be a short book, but it is not hard to crack. And what lies within--the suspense of a murder plot, the matching game that's played when a classic story is retold, and the unique perspective of an unborn narrator--is quite pleasurable to both pick through and savor." --AV Club "This dark, clever tale is among the best of McEwan's newer novels." --The Sunday Telegraph (London) "Fiercely intelligent. . . . At once playful and deadly serious. . . . One of McEwan's hardest to categorize works, and all the more interesting for it." --The Times (London) "Hilarious and compelling." --The Spectator "A creative gamble that pays off brilliantly. . . . Witty and gently tragic, this short yet utterly bewitching novel is an ode to humanity's beauty, selfishness and inextinguishable longing." --Mail on Sundayshow more

About Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is the bestselling author of sixteen books, including the novels The Children Act; Sweet Tooth; Solar, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; On Chesil Beach; Saturday;Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both short-listed for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets. www.ianmcewan.comshow more

Rating details

23,129 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 23% (5,416)
4 38% (8,875)
3 27% (6,212)
2 8% (1,951)
1 3% (675)
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