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Sweet Tooth: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, November 13, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Serena, as complex a character as any of Henry James` women characters, is forced by her mother to study math at Cambridge while her real love is literature, specifically fiction. "My mother told me she would never forgive me and she would never forgive herself if I went off to read English and became no more than a slightly better housewife than she was." She also is quite adept at getting into relationships that have no future although she soldiers on in her story that is set right in the middle of British politics in the early 1970's. (Serena votes for Wilson for prime minister.Read more ›
On the surface, the plot seems to belie this strategy. Set in the 1970s, its first-person narrator is a young woman who, after graduating from Cambridge with a degree in mathematics, is recruited by MI5. Although women are usually handed MI5's lowliest tasks, Serena is given a break: she is assigned to an operation called Sweet Tooth, which provides covert funds to authors who have an established anti-communist bias. As such, Serena recruits Tom Haley, a budding young writer with whom she soon begins an affair.Read more ›
He doesn't truly grasp the context, yet soon after, he pens a story, donating her definition of probability to his key character. "At one level, it was obvious enough how these separate parts were tipped in and deployed. The mystery was in how they were blended into something cohesive and plausible, how the ingredients were cooked into something so delicious," Serena reflects.
Sweet Tooth is a reader's book and a writer's book. At its heart is invention; the logic that defines the outer world is sublimated into the author's vision of that world. It works beautifully and is, in my opinion, perhaps the most satisfying book that Ian McEwan has ever written. With masterpieces to his credit like Enduring Love, Saturday, Atonement, Amsterdam and others, that says a whole lot.
The plot incorporates elements of a classic spy story. Serena Frome is a beautiful and brilliant Cambridge student who is recruited to join the British M15 in the early 1970s during a jittery time in the country's history. Her special mission is to infiltrate the literary circle of an up-and-coming writer and essayist, Tom Healy in a psych-ops mission. To say much more would be to spoil the pleasure of discovery.
Suffice to say this: along the way, Mr. McEwan treats us to stories within stories. All of these dazzling stories carry within them the seeds of a future novel. Each is a polished little gem.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ian McEwan is a master storyteller. This story is nothing but delightful and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.Published 20 hours ago by Errin M. Stevens
This story was well written. I enjoyed the author's use of language. Plot seemed shallow for a spy novel but the character development was good and I loved the stories within the... Read morePublished 2 days ago by T. Scutellaro
Ian McEwan is such a good writer that he can infuse any story with sufficient interest, dramatic turns, and often profound moral questions. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael J Helquist
Though being a spy novel I had expected a lot more action. That particular void was filled by a very articulate and soundly written book made solid by the exceptional ending. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This was one of the most fascinating books I have ever read. The writer is brilliant! I would recommend the book to anyone interested in exceptional story telling.Published 2 months ago by Doc Em
I have read (or listened to) Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth several times over, and I never tire of it. The story line is engaging, the writing style very grown-up. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mary Ann Rafoth