Reviews

Nutshell, by Ian McEwan

dohertys17's review

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dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

Spoiler
Likes:
- Really unique perspective/narrator.
- I was drawn into the last couple of chapters (after the chief inspector comes over)

Dislikes:
- Overall didn't really feel invested in the plot of this story.
- Truly hated Trudy and Claude. I wanted them to go down with the ship
- The language surrounding the whole anatomy/sex/pregnancy thing sorta grossed me out.
- The fetus is wayyyy too smart! And knowledgeable about things (i.e. appearances, etc) that make no sense at all.
- Did not really care for the writing style. Too intelligent/pertinacious feeling

hannahrose_reads's review

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adventurous tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

cupcakes_and_coffee's review against another edition

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4.0

A story told from the perspective of a fetus. So weird and incredibly original. I had my doubts that I would be able to accept the story enough to read it without distraction. Yet I was engaged from start to finish. Blame it on the writing! McEwan proves that a good storyteller can bring you into his imagination in ways even you didn't know possible. The fetus talks like a very educated, middle aged man. It's so odd, but the writing and vocabulary are unparalleled. I liked the shortness of the story. Longer would have made it feel overworked. I sometimes feel like an author tries too hard and misses the mark. McEwan gives us just a taste and trusts the reader to be able to handle it.

hadders88's review against another edition

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dark reflective slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

kezreading's review against another edition

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4.0

A ideia do livro já é bastante atrativa, principalmente por ser um Memórias Póstumas de Brás Cubas ao avesso; o livro é narrado por alguém que ainda não nasceu, um bebê ainda na barriga da mãe. Apesar de ser uma ideia original, são claras as semelhanças com a tragédia de Shakespeare Hamlet.

A narração e escrita é simples e bem feita, porem poderia ser bem menor. Na metade do livro o ritmo diminui e parece ser só incrementos desnecessários para alongar a história. Concordo com quem diz que as motivações dos personagens não são muito convincentes, mas não foi algo que me incomodou tanto pela clara inspiração na peça Hamlet.

Por fim, o livro é divertido e a ideia bem trabalhada. Recomendo.

dofleinita's review

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3.0

Poor Ian. This felt like a profound window into his relationship with women, his political despair for the future and discomfort with the changing world, and his clinging to outdated ideas and trying to project them into the mind of the future. The pretense was so good, the witness so interesting- this could have been a great book.

jenniecanzoneri's review

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3.0

Ian McEwan never really reminds me of any other author, which I appreciate. It always makes me eager to pick up a new book, even if I don't always love them. I know they'll feel fresh. And boy did this feel fresh. Maybe too clever? Like the gimmick was the entire point? And I wanted the ending to feel twisty and not quite what it felt like.

Anyway, it's short, it was clever, not much else.

infinitebynature's review

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4.0

Okay I have things to say...

1. Absolutely repulsive imagery
2. I'm impressed as heck
3. Is this Poetry? Philosophy?
4. It would take years to unpack this book;, you could write a thesis on it for sure if you're looking for post-grad level literature to chew on or something to stump your advanced lit students with this is the book for you
5. Needed to Google many definitions
6. Disgusting on a visceral level, revolting
7. I'm so impressed
8. What genre is this thing? Horror? Thriller? Surrealism?

Those are my initial thoughts, pretty sure this book is going to haunt me for a while.

jonjeffryes's review

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2.0

Kind of a "Looks Who's Talking" version of Hamlet. For a slight book it felt very long.

razalar's review

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1.0

This is clearly a love-hate book, based on the existing reviews. I hated it. Silly, inconsistent, and downright bizarre. This is a book that had it not been by a big name would have had publishers laughing the author out of the door. Honestly, it just felt like totally self-indulgent bollocks from start to finish. I’m not usually at all perturbed by sexual content (although often it’s a bit cringeworthy) but I found the sex scenes completely repulsive. Not sure why I felt compelled to hate-read it to the end - perhaps I was under the impression it would get better. Here’s to better books in 2018.