156 of 179 people found the following review helpful
Great writing, but unsatisfying,
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This review is from: Sweet Tooth: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
Ian McEwan is a great writer. He is such a master of the language that he is a pleasure to read. And this book had stories within stories that are very clever. It reminded me a little of Le Carre's "A Perfect Spy" in that it centers on the real silliness of lots of espionage activities, but somehow Le Carre was better on this. Perhaps because he knows the field better than McEwan. I found McEwan's story just a little too cute, too pat, maybe a little silly. If you're a diehard McEwan fan you'll like this book for the quality of the writing, which is as usual really very good. But ultimately I found myself unsatisfied by this novel.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 29, 2012, 8:13:49 AM PST
I agree that the ending, especially, was unsatisfying. About half way through the book I stopped caring about all the selfish characters and just kept reading hoping the plot would pick up. Not so.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2013, 11:21:57 AM PST
Joe Ahlers says:
I seldom quit a book in the middle but I did on this one.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 8, 2013, 6:11:01 PM PST
Then Joe, you're not qualified to criticize the book. Quitters never finally get it. Go comment on a book you've finished.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 23, 2013, 9:43:57 PM PST
Hemant Arya says:
Joe, if you didn't reach the last page, you didn't read the book.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 4, 2013, 1:11:54 PM PST
How annoying some of these comments are! If an author doesn't hold a reader, then the reader is not a "quitter," as if he/she is guilty of something. Being disappointed or bored by a novel is not a moral issue! In fact, "Sweet Tooth" held me to the end, despite a couple of serious reservations I had, but that says nothing about me. It's a disappointment for the reader to invest time and effort in a novel and then need to drop it, and the author and fellow readers should know about that.
Posted on Feb 13, 2013, 1:43:22 PM PST
W. D. Johnson says:
I agree with 3 Stars. First 40 pages were good and entertaining, but it petered out ("went flaccid" would be a phrase McEwan would appreciate!). I thought it was at its best development when Serena was re-writing the short story.
In reply to an earlier post on Aug 15, 2013, 12:17:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 15, 2013, 12:19:52 PM PDT
Lynne Wilson says:
I agree with you, Marvi. Not wanting to finish a book does not make one a "quitter". Go on and read something else if you prefer. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It is up to the author to hold your attention, not up to the reader to "stick with it" if he doesn't. I have read the reviews and these posts, and will probably go ahead and buy the book, as I do love Mr. McEwan's work.
Posted on Sep 11, 2013, 8:04:30 AM PDT
Mr. Simkin, well-stated! I did finish it, but only because I thought there was going to be something better a page or chapter down the road. Not so, alas, and the ending made me want to punch McEwan right in the jaw. And I'd adored his other books! What...happened to him, that he'd put his name to such stuff?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 11, 2013, 10:33:51 AM PDT
Mark Simkin says:
Oh well. I suppose we all have our off days. Pretty hard to keep up the level of brilliance he's shown in the past. It may also be a genre thing. Not so easy to switch as it might seem. This book certainly doesn't fare well in comparison to "A Delicate Truth", Le Carre's latest. He always seems to have his ironic finger on the pulse of this crazy world.
Posted on Apr 29, 2015, 4:25:50 PM PDT
I can see why you've said this but see review by Peter Matthews!
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