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Sweet tooth by Ian McEwan

Sweet tooth (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Ian McEwan

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2,2181502,917 (3.54)147
Title:Sweet tooth
Authors:Ian McEwan
Info:Toronto : Knopf Canada, 2012.
Collections:Your library

Work details

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan (2012)

Recently added byaldeena, nate48281, private library, jgtarwater, MMnBB, strangedata, bookmagic, Marcelle1961
  1. 00
    Too Bad to Die by Francine Mathews (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: A tense and enthralling historical thriller in which British Naval Intelligence officer Ian Fleming attempts to foil a Nazi plot to assassinate FDR, Churchill, and Stalin.
  2. 11
    The Unwitting by Ellen Feldman (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: The same general topic from a different angle.

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» See also 147 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
A rapid read with an interesting reflection of the political & social context of 1972 Britain. Enjoyable plot but it is difficult to care about the main characters. ( )
  Somerville66 | May 29, 2017 |
First of all, I had to read this book for school. This wasn't a book I picked based on the story because personally I never would have picked it.

In my experience, this book was very hard to get through, partly because of the pressure of reading a certain amount of pages each week.

The story wasn't my style at all, but if you are interested in these kinds of stories you should definitely give it a try. This is because it's quite an interesting perspective and makes you think about how much influence the secret service can have, even where you'd never expect it. ( )
  nieki2000 | Apr 4, 2017 |
Stilted, one-dimensional protagonist. This was not my favorite McEwan book. ( )
  maryhollis | Feb 20, 2017 |
Read in January 2013, will wait till after book club to write a review

According to the goodreads star system 1 star = did not like...so this book gets one star. Plodding and uninteresting. As a book club member I feel a responsibility to finish a book that's been chosen, otherwise this one would have been abandoned. Not recommended. ( )
  janb37 | Feb 13, 2017 |
It is interesting that, except for near the end, the short short-stories within the story were more intriguing than the book's narrative. ( )
  jack2410 | Feb 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 139 (next | show all)
A satisfying spy novel with a literary twist provides both surprises and sly references to McEwan's early work
Ian McEwan has never been a spy (or, if he has, that fact remains classified), but of today's novelists he may be the most uniquely suited to the profession. He has a scientific, technical mind drawn to structural ploys and complicated scene engineering. . . . Mr. McEwan likes manipulating readers as much as plots. . . . Ultimately, like his bloodless previous novel, Solar (2010), there is little point to Sweet Tooth beyond Mr. McEwan's low-level authorial deceptions. . . . The book is soon overwhelmed by its own narrative ruse, which revealed in the final pages, is clever but not meaningful.
added by sgump | editWall Street Journal, Sam Sacks (Nov 13, 2012)
In playing these mirror games, Mr. McEwan seems to want to make the reader think about the lines between life and art, and the similarities between spying and writing. He also seems to want to make us reconsider the assumptions we make when we read a work of fiction. As usual his prose is effortlessly seductive. And he does a nimble job too of conjuring London in the 1970s — with its economic woes, worries about I.R.A. bombings and uneasy assimilation of the countercultural changes of the ’60s. These aspects of “Sweet Tooth” keep the reader trucking on through the novel, but alas they’re insufficient compensation for the story’s self-conscious contrivance and foreseeable conclusion.
The combination of all these nose-tapping hints suggests to the alert reader that there’s something clever-clever coming along at the end, which makes it feel even more like a gimmick. I won’t spoil things if you’re going to read the book, but just remember that one of the central characters is a novelist. OK?
But Sweet Tooth – which has been misleadingly hyped as a thriller – is a different kind of work altogether. It’s McEwan’s version of metafiction, his exploration of what it could mean to write a postmodern-realist novel for a wide (mainstream and literary) readership. It’s also rather biographical. . . . . but this novel could be seen as his way of reaching beyond the easy labels without abandoning the style his readers love. He’s intelligent, has popular and literary appeal, manages credibly and interestingly to include politics in his writing, and has a gift for making an enormous range of readers feel as though he is writing about them, about their own particular life of the mind. He observes the tiny tragedies of growing up and growing old with humour and insight.

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Balmelli, MauriziaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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If only I had met, on this search, a single clearly evil person.
Timothy Garton Ash, The File
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My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with plume) and almost forty years ago I was sent on a secret mission for the British Security Service.  I didn't return safely.  Within eighteen months of joining I was sacked, having disgraced myself and ruined my lover, though he certainly had a hand in his own undoing.
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Recruited into MI5 against a backdrop of the Cold War in 1972, Cambridge student Serena Frome, a compulsive reader, is assigned to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer whose politics align with those of the government, a situation that is compromised when she falls in love with him.… (more)

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