Friday, May 24, 2013

#18: Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

A young woman in 1970s London has a fling with an older man and gradually drifts into the spy world (during a gradually cooling Cold War) in Ian McEwan's Sweet Tooth.

McEwan's writing is generally considered literary fiction, but somewhere along the line he had to have read some classic John LeCarre as this novel seems to be a direct homage not only to that time and place but to LeCarre's works.

But there is also a literary element as McEwan explores how this young woman is used by men--her older lover, her first lover, her bosses and coworkers--as a pawn in what turns out to be a pretty low-stakes game.

I have read McEwan from time to time but was especially attracted to this novel because of the spy setting and time period.  My wife is a big McEwan fan and I bought it for her with the sly intention of reading it next (and did so).

Recommended on various levels, for serious readers and classic spy novel fans.

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