Review: Ian McEwan’s “Sweet Tooth”

by writereaderly

ian mcewan sweet toothAn ultimately annoying read. Serena Frome is a baby MI5 spy fresh up from an average university career at Cambridge. Asked to run an author as part of a cultural espionage program, Serena (yawn) falls in love with him (name already forgotten), (yawn) sets off some childish sexual jealousy in the “Five” office and (double yawn) isn’t who she really seems at the end of the novel. The “shocking” plot device McEwan uses is unoriginal and smug, the resulting narrative little more than shallow romantic drama, and – although the novel is easy to read – the results are uninspiring and unrecommended. As with Solar, I’m disappointed McEwan wasted his considerable talents on such facile endeavours. Willingness to read further McEwans eroded, but I will try Amsterdam as it is already lurking on the To-Read Shelf.

Post-post-lectoral rant: The more I think about this book, the more it irritates me. The heroine’s so vapid and blondely flouncy. She pingpongs around between the three idiot men in her life, and that’s the sum total of her being. Her career is rocketed by a jilted non-lover, she’s blamed for it, and takes it as her due. Her reading taste is rocketed by her terribly well-informed author-boy. The whole novel’s so sneery and pompous, and I’m hard pressed to tell whether that’s the work of author-boy or author-McEwan. Infuriating, even more so given the smarmy praise this book received just because McEwan wrote it. Ook and rant.

Where it came from: AJ’s Bookshelf
Time and manner of reading:
One bed-read, in which I nearly gave up in tedium 30pp from the end
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of/that:
Who I’d recommend it to:

Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon; Being Alive edited by Neil Astley; The Light between Oceans by M.L. Stedman