Nutshell by Ian McEwan: Book Review


Obtained: Penguin Random House Canada, ARC
Pages: 208
Publish date: September 13, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

When I heard what this book was about, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I’m into some weird stuff – experimental storytelling, if you will. And I can’t say that I’ve ever read anything from the perspective of a fetus.

Nutshell is about a woman named Trudy who is currently taking a bit of a break from her husband, and is having an affair with another man. The two of them concoct a plan to murder her husband. All seems sort of typical, until you become aware that the narrator of the story is, in fact, the baby that Trudy is carrying.

Suspend reality while you read, because obviously a baby could never know such poetic language as McEwan uses to write this tale. And once you let yourself fall into the story, you’ll stay captivated. I thought that using the baby as the narrator was a great way to turn a character that most people wouldn’t really consider part of the plot into a main player.

For me, it cast the focus onto the character that most people would forget existed while reading. The baby has stakes in this murder plot, same as any of the other characters, but by making the fetus tell the story puts emphasis on those stakes – and also puts emphasis on how little thought Trudy or her lover give to this little person inside of her.

I really enjoyed reading Nutshell, as it’s something like I’ve never read before. It’s a very short read, as well. If this review made you intrigued at all, I suggest you give the book a read.

Nutshell is available online at Chapters Indigo, Book Depository, and Kobo.


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