Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth

3.39 (39,190 ratings by Goodreads)
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In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan's first female protagonist since `Atonement` is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction. Cambridge student Serena Frome's beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England's legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named `Sweet Tooth.` Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one. Once again, Ian McEwan's mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 168 x 234 x 30mm | 658g
  • Nan A. Talese
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0385536828
  • 9780385536820
  • 125,639

Review quote

Praise for `Sweet Tooth` `McEwan's most stylish and personal book to date ... The year's most intensely enjoyable novel.` --`The Daily Beast ``Ian McEwan's delicious new novel provides all the pleasures one has come to expect of him: pervasive intelligence, broad and deep knowledge, elegant prose, subtle wit and, by no means least, a singularly agreeable element of surprise.` --`Washington Post ` `As usual McEwan's prose is effortlessly seductive.` --`The New York Times ``An engaging book that's as much suspenseful drama as it is romantic love story.` --NPR `Tricky and captivating ... This is a book you can think about for a long time, a book that lingers and disturbs, in a good way.` --Katie Roiphe, `Slate ``With his new novel, Ian McEwan looks set to have his biggest success since 2001's `Atonement,` and deservedly so. Both books feature eloquent and convincing female narrator/protagonists and have the same sly concerns: the uses and misuses of the imagination ... A story set in a bitter climate, but one told with such poise and craft that the novel is, one has to say, ultimately a sweet read.` --`Star Tribune` `A superb novel ... told with Ian McEwan's signature crystal-clear prose. Bravo!` `--The Buffalo News ` `A subtly and sweetly subversive novel [that is a] masterful manipulation of the relationship(s) between fiction and truth ... Britain's foremost living novelist has written a book as drily funny as it is thoughtful.` --`Kirkus Reviews,` starred review `This is a great big beautiful Russian doll of a novel, and its construction - deft, tight, exhilaratingly immaculate - is a huge part of its pleasure ... `Sweet Tooth` is a comic novel and a novel of ideas, but, unlike so many of those, it also exerts a keen emotional pull.` --Julie Myerson, `The Observer ` `Thoroughly clever ... a sublime novel about novels, about writing them and reading them and the spying tshow more

About Ian McEwan

IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of fourteen books, including the novels `Solar`; `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 shortlisted 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.` He lives in England. www.ianmcewan.comshow more

Rating details

39,190 ratings
3.39 out of 5 stars
5 13% (5,139)
4 35% (13,552)
3 35% (13,775)
2 13% (5,100)
1 4% (1,624)

Our customer reviews

Sweet Tooth is the 14th book by British author, Ian McEwan. Serena Frome's story is narrated in detail essentially from the time she first gets involved with the man who will usher her into a position in MI5, in the early 70's Britain. Serena is a compulsive reader of fiction and her first "secret mission" is to cultivate promising young author, Tom Haley. Their mutual attraction ensures they step beyond the boundaries set by her superiors, and before long, things start to unravel. While a working knowledge of British politics of the seventies plays would enhance the enjoyment of this novel, it is not requisite. McEwan presents the reader with a delicious irony when Serena tells us she distrusts any kind of fictional trick, something of which McEwan is a master. Once again, he fools the reader but, whereas I felt cheated by it in Atonement, this time I revelled in it. The end has the reader wondering: just whose words are we actually reading? The answer is very simple: those of a brilliant novelist.show more
by Marianne Vincent
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