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
Not a whodunnit, as you know who's going to do it from the start. The premise sounds silly and annoying, with the story told by the unborn child of the plotting-murderess. But, my goodness, he can write, and what a contrast to the last two I've read (Grisham and Horowitz, great storytellers but...) every word and sentence counts and is a literary masterpiece. But still edge of the seat stuff. On the highly recommended list. Ending leaves you hanging, but to be expected due to the expecting, I guess.
A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin.
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.
A very acute story. The narration wrung out every word. There are some vile but compelling moments. However, from such a master story teller & wordsmith I would have liked a fuller ending. Only slightly disappointed. Don't let that stop you from listening.
Ian McEwan's novels strike a delightful balance between "highbrow", almost academic literature (replete with intertextual references and a passion for poetry) and pop mystery plot lines which make them utterly compelling. Who ever would have thought that an unborn baby could have so much personality?
I think this would make a good film, perhaps "murder most foul" hahaha
Not my usual sort of thing and McEwan's style is not my favourite but I really enjoyed this reimagining of the play, particularly the frequent send-ups of London life.
I began by listening to all the classics having rejected them at school. Now I always have an audio book on the go. They are brilliant.
Clever ( some will say too clever but that's mostly jealousy talking), thought provoking, witty and creepy.
Nutshell is McEwan to its long-nailed fingertips.
A spectacular, inventive piece of work written with such poetic prose. A witty and imaginative reworking of Shakespeare's Hamlet.. Unmissable.
Some well thought-out philosophies scattered throughout this murder plot story. Engaging book, & as always an intelligent script from this well known writer who is a polished expert in his art. Really liked the delivery of the narrator too.
"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.
"Best Ian's book"
One of best book i ever read. It shall be awarded by a Nobel prize
""a lucky beach""
Bless me! Here is Rory Kinnear reading Ian McEwan
I have only enjoyed language as much as I have this, with my first reading of Virginia Wolf.
We read or listen for all sorts of reasons. I am 'catching up' on all those decades when I had to get up for work in the morning. Taste does change and still some books can only be read in hard copy to be slowly enjoyed like Nabakov and. I had begun to think like Virginia Wolf. And Ian McEwan.
My choice of genre ranges far and wide and at times takes huge leaps of hope in choosing an audiobook.
Here we have Ian McEwan being read on audio by Rory Kinnear
I will have to find a hard copy though to learn if Ian M wanted a 'bow' to mean a pretty knot or a masculine curtsy. Such (maybe small) things pull up my blissful enjoyment of both story and words being read with so easy a voice.
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