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Monday, December 19, 2016

Nutshell by Ian McEwan

This is an odd book, even by Ian McEwan standards.
  His last several books have been pared down, and this one is no exception.  It is the tale of deceitful plotting and murder told from the perspective of an unborn child, who is witness to it all.  The story is the classic triad.  A man, his wife, and his brother.  We do not have to go very far back in literature to find parallel tales to this one, but this is like Hamlet only phase advanced to the womb.  So poor Ophelia skips that fate.  And the fetus actually is far more effectual than ill fated Hamlet.  This is more of a suspenseful comedy than it is a tragedy.  Ok, dark comedy, because the deceitful couple do indeed kill off the cuckolded husband while his wife is pregnant with his child (our narrator), but justice is somewhat served in the end.  You could see that a follow up story might be in the offing.  This could even be a trilogy, recapitulating other literary classics in the future.  This is an easy read, something for an afternoon. I read it on a plane, and it was very enjoyable.

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