Ian McEwan / Sep 20, 2019

Nutshell NATIONAL BESTSELLER INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER From literary superstar Ian McEwan Ian McEwan comes Nutshell a gloriously entertaining wonderfully imagined novel a mesmerizing thriller to delight all

  • Title: Nutshell
  • Author: Ian McEwan
  • ISBN: 9780345812407
  • Page: 278
  • Format: Hardcover
  • NATIONAL BESTSELLER 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER From literary superstar Ian McEwan Ian McEwan comes Nutshell, a gloriously entertaining, wonderfully imagined novel a mesmerizing thriller to delight all readers Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams William Shakespeare s HamletTrudy has betraNATIONAL BESTSELLER 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER From literary superstar Ian McEwan Ian McEwan comes Nutshell, a gloriously entertaining, wonderfully imagined novel a mesmerizing thriller to delight all readers Oh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space were it not that I have bad dreams William Shakespeare s HamletTrudy has betrayed her husband, John, who trusts and adores her She s living in the marital home a dilapidated, and priceless London townhouse but John s not there In his stead is the profoundly banal Claude and together they re hatching a murderous plan But there is an unexpected witness to their plot, who cares deeply about the outcome the inquisitive nine month old inhabitant of Trudy s womb.Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is riveting an unforgettably original, wickedly entertaining, novel of murder and deceipt from one of the world s master storytellers.

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      Published :2018-011-09T19:20:31+00:00

    About "Ian McEwan"

      • Ian McEwan

        Ian McEwan was born on 21 June 1948 in Aldershot, England He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970 He received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.McEwan s works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last Rites the Whitbread Novel Award 1987 and the Prix F mina Etranger 1993 for The Child in Time and Germany s Shakespeare Prize in 1999 He has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction numerous times, winning the award for Amsterdam in 1998 His novel Atonement received the WH Smith Literary Award 2002 , National Book Critics Circle Fiction Award 2003 , Los Angeles Times Prize for Fiction 2003 , and the Santiago Prize for the European Novel 2004 He was awarded a CBE in 2000 In 2006, he won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel Saturday and his novel On Chesil Beach was named Galaxy Book of the Year at the 2008 British Book Awards where McEwan was also named Reader s Digest Author of the Year.McEwan lives in London His most recently published work is Nutshell 2016.


    1. The start of this book feels like McEwan in elder statesman mode, sitting down at his laptop, rolling up his sleeves and saying, ‘Right, out the way, fuckwads, let me show you how it's done.’ It's so conspicuously brilliant, so controlled and aware and unusual, that although the rest of the book can't quite sustain the ferocity of the first fifty pages, still this rarely felt like it was going to be be getting less than full marks from me.Nutshell is a sly contemporary version of Hamlet, whe [...]

    2. WOWIsn't that what everyone says to themselves when they read this? It's so original, that I'm almost surprised it has not been written until now. There is beautiful prose --- and then there is BEAUTIFUL PROSE!!!! I'm a little flabbergasted. I've been an Ian McEwan fan from way backbut this little slim book blows my mind. I think it's pure genius. Genuinely - I could not have loved this 'creation' more. I will definitely read it again. I don't study Shakespeare- (my daughter did her entire child [...]

    3. OMG OMG OMG! This book really did knock my socks off. In fact, it goes on my all-time favorites list. Who could resist this bizarro opening line?So here I am, upside down in a woman. Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting and wondering who I’m in, what I’m in for.Okay, so there are some very good writers who can give you very good characters and very good metaphors and a very good plot with very good prose.And then there's Ian McEwan. A genius. This guy, he's in a league of his own. His wo [...]

    4. A book that is narrated by an eight month old fetus. He describes what he see and hears, from his father and his love of poetry to the nefarious plans of his mother and his uncle, his father's own brother. So why did I have such a disconnect with this book? The writing is wonderful, amazing in places. Was it that I had a hard time envisioning a fetus using this level of thought and speech? Not sure, though I did find myself occasionally shaking my head at the thought especially since I am not a [...]

    5. Update 2: I found another interview with the author in a podcast. I had no idea McEwan is so funny. People at work were probably wondering why I was giggling while listening to this. Recommended!(it starts at minute 26 after the interview with Margaret Atwood). penguin/articles/inUpdate: I found an interview of the author regarding the novel, how he got the idea to write it and where it stands in relation to his other works. facebook/vintagebooks*McEwan writes one of his best novels as an origin [...]

    6. Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend.A nine-month-old baby boy resides in the womb of Trudy. Unaware that her baby is listening and is witness to all she does, Trudy concocts a sinister scheme with a mysterious cohort, a deceitful plan of betrayal and, possibly, murder. Nutshell brings one of the most unique perspectives to storytelling. The limitations of writing an entire narrative from the viewpoint of a baby in the womb is not without its c [...]

    7. Hamlet in UteroOh God, I could be bounded in a nutshell and count myself king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.I could check online, I suppose, but I suspect there is a story here. Is it a coincidence that, within months of the launch of the Hogarth Shakespeare series, in which famous authors (so far Jeanette Winterson, Howard Jacobson, Anne Tyler, and Margaret Atwood) are asked to retell Shakespeare plays in their own words, Ian McEwan (surely the equal of any of them) sho [...]

    8. A modern retelling of Hamlet, narrated by the infant prince from inside his mother's womb. It is every bit as insufferable as that sounds.Ian McEwan is one of those writers who, having been crowned an author of literature, thinks he can write any piece of cracked-out nonsense and know it will be treated as a serious work. Is he taking the piss? Who knows. What I do know is: this book is a joke. I've liked other works of McEwan's, although even my favorite, Sweet Tooth, contained elements that we [...]

    9. The narrator is a middle-aged brain trapped inside an unborn baby, itself trapped inside a novel, the events of which the narrator can’t see happening because he's in the dark, much like the reader, but nonetheless, he, the narrator, can recount the events once he’s heard that they’ve happened, and his account is very entertaining even if critical of the crazy plot and unbelievable characters, but unlike the reader, who can abandon the book anytime she wishes, the narrator can’t seem to [...]

    10. We know the plot (although not the outcome) from the blurbs and the first chapter. A pregnant woman is having an affair with her husband’s brother. He’s a dreamy type – a poet by trade, if we can consider that a trade, but he has inherited his family house in London worth millions. They plot how and when to kill him. He still loves her but they are separated; he’s living in a dingy apartment. What gives the book its unique perspective is who is telling the story: the fetus of the pregnan [...]

    11. A unique read but a tad too gimmicky for me. Nut Shell by Ian McEwan is a story told from the perspective of a foetus. It's a tale of murder and deceit and is clever is its concept and prose.Trudy has betrayed her husband John. She lives in the marital home which is a priceless London townhouse. She and her lover have a plan and its from the point of view of her 9 month old foetus that we lean what exactly is at foot.I loved the opening line of the Novel "So Here I Am, upside down in a woman. Ar [...]

    12. I have rather stormy relationship with Ian McEwan. I quite enjoyed some of his novels while other works, to put it mildly, were a big letdown. The more I read him the more I felt irritated withlook at me and admit I’m so fucking brilliant, Ian . He has a knack of picking only topical issues but sometimes I thought he was too clever to his own good; if he hadn’t been so focused on willingness to impress a reader, if he was not so impersonal and allowed the reader to enter his thoughts, if he [...]

    13. Brilliant, twisted, witty and sardonic - the story itself seems a more George Saunders concept than Ian McEwan, but it's pure Ian McEwan in execution. The writing!! What language is this he uses to communicate with the reader? I know these words, but how he combines them is so pure, so organic, so perfect and true - I always feel as though I am experiencing the written word for the first time when I read him. Truly, I wish I could shake all the words out of his books and roll in them in pure hed [...]

    14. It’s become a bookseller’s cliché to say that it’s an event when Ian McEwan has a new book out. Of course, it’s nonetheless true, and this, his latest novel, was promptly added to my to-read list the minute I heard of it and ordered the minute it came out. That creates pressure, and expectations.These four days later, I’m not so sure. CertainlyNutshell proves McEwan’s skill, if anyone was still in doubt, but within what, I’m just not sure. Shakespearean craziness? Unlikely narrato [...]

    15. In my mind’s eye is a vision of McEwan himself opening the door to detectives investigating a murder, and noticing everything about what they do, how they look, how their voices sound. He might begin to play on their curiosity a bit, making leading statements that drift off into nothingness…and then suddenly revive his tale with a stronger, quicker tone when they query his lead. Oh, you author of fictions, who plays so with our heads.Oh course a real murder is not nearly so amusing as its fi [...]

    16. Hamlet in utero: daring idea resonates with Bardly brillianceWe all know the basic concept of Hamlet, even if it's been years since we read it in university, or watched Kenneth Branagh's soliloquies (or Mel Gibson, ergh). He's the guy who's fretting constantly, whose fatal flaw is inaction. He can wax poetic like none other, but that's about all he does, bless him.Well, Ian McEwan had the fantastical idea to resurrect dear Hamlet, in the form of a 3rd trimester foetus. Said foetus (who articulat [...]

    17. [Originally appeared here (with edits): timesofindiadiatimes/li] Pessimism is too easy, even delicious, the badge and plume of intellectuals everywhere. It absolves the thinking classes of solutions. This wonderfully sapient insight springs somewhere in the middle of this book and almost gives away the rationale behind McEwan’s choice of protagonist - a fetus.Yes, this 200-odd pages of scheming a murder is seen through the eyes of a fetus from the womb of his mother, a party to the hatching ga [...]

    18. 3.5★Not a fan of this one. I like weird and wonderful if it is somehow believable. It needs to be plausible if we accept certain premises, like when we read a story narrated by someone who’s died. Once we accept the narrator as the actual teller of the story, then we can ‘believe’ the rest of it.In this case, the narrator is the soon-to-be-born baby still in Trudy’s womb, eavesdropping on her life with her husband's brother, Claude, and their scheming to be free of her husband, John. T [...]

    19. Nutshell: A Novel I think it would be inappropriate to use the word I am thinking of to describe this novel, because you know, polite company and all. Let's just say that Ian McEwan apparently set out to mess with our minds when he wrote this. This was the most wicked, mind-bending, highly original, maddening brilliant story! So I guess I am saying I love it. Will come back with some thoughts :)

    20. Alas poor phœtus! I knew him, McEwan: a fellowof infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hathborne me in his sac a thousand times; and now, howabhorred in my imagination it is!Seriously, Hamlet + 3rd Trimester + Conspiracy + Poetry = funky magic. According to Christopher Booker*, "there are only seven basic plots in the whole world -- plots that are recycled again and again in novels, movies, plays and operas." Ian McEwan sucks the Hamlet story right up into the Queen of Denmark's uterus. No [...]

    21. “Nutshell,” Ian McEwan’s preposterously weird little novel, is more brilliant than it has any right to be. The plot sounds like something sprung from a drunken round of literary Mad Libs: a crime of passion based on Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” narrated by a fetus.That it should come to this!If you can get beyond that icky premise, you’ll discover a novel that sounds like a lark but offers a story that’s surprisingly suspenseful, dazzlingly clever and gravely profound. To the extent t [...]

    22. A wildly snobbish neonatal persona, Fetus Cairncross, introduces himself to the world in no uncertain terms:"So here I am, upside down in a woman. Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting and wondering who I’m in, what I’m in for. My eyes close nostalgically when I remember how I once drifted in my translucent body bag, floated dreamily in the bubble of my thoughts through my private ocean in slow-motion somersaults, colliding gently against the transparent bounds of my confinement, the conf [...]

    23. In the time it took me to write this review, Ian McEwan has written at least one more novel. I mean, seriously. Dude is prolific. Also brilliant. Deliciously dark and witty and, dammit. Even with his novels that I can't say I like, I never cease to marvel at what he can do with same words we all have at our disposal. A master of restraint and brevity, McEwan's short works are perhaps his most astonishing literary achievements, and his latest, Nutshell, is a twisted wee delight.The tale is narrat [...]

    24. NASCERE O NON NASCERE, QUESTO È IL PROBLEMA Shakespeare nel XXI secolo, l’Amleto adattato al terzo millennio.Bay LeungChiaro che qualche aggiustamento è richiesto. E quindi, in questo caso, Amleto, oltre a non essere principe, è figlio di un poeta editore di poesie , non di un re. E soprattutto, questo novello Amleto deve ancora nascere. È proprio lui che parla e racconta in prima persona, e lo fa da dentro la pancia della mamma, avvolto nella placenta. Una mamma non particolarmente amorev [...]

    25. #2016-aty-reading-challenge-week-49: a book with a great opening line. "So here I am, upside down in a woman. Arms patiently crossed, waiting, waiting, waiting, and wondering who I'm in, what I'm in for." Actually, the entire first paragraph is tremendous--the plot told through the point of view of a fetus. And this is no ordinary fetus. This one has been listening to podcasts through his mother's earbuds and already knows a great deal about world events, politics, environmental concerns, etc. A [...]

    26. My seventh McEwan novel and one of his strongest. Within the first few pages, I was captivated and utterly convinced by the voice of this contemporary, in utero Hamlet. Provided you suspend disbelief a bit to accept he can see/hear/surmise everything that happens – the most tedious passages are those where McEwan tries to give more precise justification for his narrator’s observations – the plot really works. Not even born and already a snob with an advanced vocabulary and a taste for fine [...]

    27. In Nutshell, a sort of modern take on 'Hamlet', a son becomes aware that his mother Trudy and her lover Claude are planning to murder his father John - who happens to be Claude's brother. The twist in Ian McEwan's novel is that the son, and narrator of the book, is a late term fetus. utero. The not-yet-born baby, who's preternaturally knowledgable and articulate, explains that he got his smarts from overheard conservations and the many podcasts his mother listens to. (The descriptions of the pod [...]

    28. “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.” ― Ian McEwan, Nutshell: A NovelAhhh! I want to squeal in sheer delight at this book! I've never read a book this genius before, and especially not one from a writer who is deeply self-aware but also wonderfully modest at the same time. The line I quoted is just one of a seemingly endless n [...]

    29. The 400th birthday of William Shakespeare has prompted the literary world to pay homage. Recently, several Hogarth Shakespeare series have been released: Jeanette Winterson’s retelling of The Winter’s Tale, Howard Jacobson’s rendering of The Merchant of Venice, Anne Tyler’s take on The Taming of the Shrew and soon, Margaret Atwood’s re-imagining of The Tempest.Is it a coincidence, then, that Ian McEwan decided on his own to take on one of the greatest challenges in literature: the tale [...]

    30. 4 starsI was pleasantly surprised by this one. I've consistently appreciated (if not loved) Ian McEwan's chilly prose over the years, but the conceit of reimagining Shakespeare's Hamlet as a snarky, oenophilic fetus sounded just too derivatively droll, farcical and one-note. Turned out being one of my favorite McEwan offerings to date. A near-perfect blend of wry humor and bathos. I didn't want it to end.

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