Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Innocent: A Novel Paperback – December 29, 1998
|New from||Used from|
Intrusion: A Novel
A loving couple, grieving the loss of their son, finds their marriage in free fall when a beautiful, long-lost acquaintance inserts herself into their lives. Learn More
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Deft, taut fiction. . . . Many English writers have been compared to Evelyn Waugh, often wrongly, but this book can stand with the master's best." —Time
"So exhaustively suspenseful that it should be devoured at one sitting. . . . McEwan fuses a spy-novel plot with themes as venerable as the myth of Adam and Eve." —Newsweek
"Has the spooky, crooked-angled, danger-around-every-corner feeling of a Carol Reid film. It reminded me often of The Third Man and that is no mean feat." —Jonathan Carroll, The Washington Post Book World
"Powerful and disturbing . . . a tour de force." —The New York Times
Top Customer Reviews
Rest assured McEwan is too smart to do that. Nothing happens as such that you are aware of for three quarters of the book until our everyman, the somewhat endearing British geek is plunged into a grand guignol not of his making and totally alien to the place where you would have expected the excitement you were owed to come from.(After all, you bought the book and it was sold to you as a thriller, and after all, it takes place in thriller-city and all major protagonists except two are freeks and geeks and goons and guards mostly in uniform and with varying levels of security clearance in the intelligence services of the powers which split this city.Read more ›
Set in 1954 in Berlin, before The Wall was built, it's the `true' story of the construction of a secret spy tunnel so the Brits and the Americans could spy on the Russians, whom they no longer trusted. Much to his surprise, Leonard Marnham, an extraordinarily innocent and naïve British postal technician, is recruited to participate in this top-secret operation. A virgin at age 25, Leonard falls in love with a pretty German divorcee, and his initiation into the pleasures of a sexual relationship follows. The couples becomes engaged, but their world collapses into macabre horror on the night of their engagement party. The 80-plus pages that follow this horrific event are gruesome and spell-binding at the same time in a way that only a superb writer could possibly handle.
The ending, leap ahead 30 years to 1986, feels a bit contrived and distanced, esp after the intense and personal material that's just been revealed.
At its best, it rivals Pulp Fiction and Fargo for explicit shock value. At its worst...well, it doesn't have a `worst.' It's really, really good.
But: Ian McEwan???? Who knew?
Berlin. A short time after the second world war. Leonard Marnham (an Englishman away from home - his mother, his father - for the first time in his short life) is our narrator. He is part of a project to dig a tunnel from what is termed American soil through to what is termed Russian soil, the intention being to place various taps on the Russian communications systems. He also has to contend with the rivalry that develops between English and US officers. Alongside all of which, he meets and falls in love with a German girl called Maria.
The project - Project Gold - was in fact a reality. It occurred, in much the same way recounted in the book. Leonard and Maria are fictions. The fact and the fictions weave a merry dance, but that is beside the point.
What is the point - and the point that should encourage you to read (and not just read this - read pretty much everything by Ian McEwan, bar "Amsterdam" which is weak) - is the skill which he brings to bear in creating images that remain with you long after you finish reading. Time after time (the balloon chase in "Enduring Love", the throat cutting in "The Comfort of Strangers", the soldiers brain seeping from beneath poorly fixed bandages in "Atonement", the dismemberment of a corpse here, in "The Innocent") you are left with a clutch of significant, striking, visceral images (images that often remain after other books rob you of a clear memory of the twists and turns of the plot).Read more ›
I have never read McEwan before, and I am looking forwards to trying my hand at another of his novels. It was courageous on his part to create such a novel as this, and I respect him greatly for doing so. But I just don't think that this book worked very well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story, great writing as is usual for Ian McEwan. Loved learning about post-WWII history of Berlin and the mixed involvement of Britain, US, Russia and Germany.Published 4 days ago by Ann Woodbridge
I always enjoy this author's novels and this was the best yet. Not only is it well written, exciting and believable but it's one that you can't stop thinking about. Read morePublished 1 month ago by embling
Engaging story, easy to get quickly engrossed in. The gruesome scenes were pretty rough though. And was anyone else suspicious of the ending? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Too boring to write a review of. I have loved several of his books. I could not make myself read 25% of this one.Published 5 months ago by Nancy Crater
I really didn't love it and I am a fan of Ian McEwan. it was so graphic in the descriptions of some terrible events it turned me off.Published 7 months ago by Helene
Ian Mcewan at his best. His insight into human behaviors and his ability to translate into such beautiful words is always a joy to me.Published 8 months ago by Heatherjoan
This sometimes upsetting, often moving novel recreates the lives that must have been led by those who struggled to lead normal lives in post-war Berlin, even before the advent of... Read morePublished 8 months ago by SF
Captures post war Berlin perfectly. Excellent characters and a well planned theme throughout.Published 10 months ago by Amazon Customer