Credit: Annalena McAfee
Nutshell is the 17th novel from acclaimed British author, Ian McEwan. This latest book is constructed within the framework of Shakespeare’s best-known play. The protagonist becomes aware of a plot between his mother, Trudy (Gertrude) and his uncle, Claude (Claudius), to poison his father, John Cairncross, ‘a man who knows by heart a thousand poems.’ He listens furtively to their scheming, deplores their devious plot, craves revenge, and curses his helplessness. So far, so Hamlet.

Review of Nutshell by Ian McEwan.

So what’s new? The narrator is a foetus of 38 weeks gestation. He describes his situation in the brilliant opening line: ‘So here I am, upside down in a woman.’ Click to read on…

15 thoughts on “Nutshell.

    1. Thanks Sam. I haven’t read the more recent books as they has such mixed reviews. Saturday is on my top ten of all time. Not sure why, I’ve read it twice and just think it is brilliant. I wrote this review as honestly as I could, I genuinely knew I was missing a chuck of the references. All the same, I really enjoyed it.


    1. Ah Thanks Fiona. I’m still very wary of reviewing the big names. I have so little confidence in my own opinions.
      I think Saturday is my favourite of his books. Atonement was almost unbearable (in a good way, I guess). I haven’t read the more recent ones. Did you read Sweet Tooth? A friend has recommended it.

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      1. Be not afraid …. Your opinions have value – don’t let any bugger unsettle you there (particularly that little meany that lurks within called ‘Doubt’). I have read all his books …. Sweet Tooth is currently with my youngest daughter who recently decided that the best use of her skills when she graduates from her Fine Arts degree next summer will be to become a spy (she rationalises it quite beautifully and I go with it as I do every other idea that is thrown my way for consideration and sometimes mere effect). It’s a great read. Less dark and bitterly macabre than his earlier work, the heroine is smart and pretty and for me that is rather the tone of the book despite the rather hefty Cold War setting. Give it a go, why don’t you?

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      2. Haha! Breastfeeding an infant whilst reading the tawdriest of trash ….I’m very happy to read that your book club burned the vile trash. Thank you for your kind thoughts on my peg leg …. As I’m always quoting to others from dear old Sister Juliette of Norwich ‘all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well’ 😊

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