Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She's still in the marital home - a dilapidated, priceless London townhouse - but not with John. Instead, she's with his brother, the profoundly banal Claude, and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy's womb. Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world's master storytellers.
"An astonishing act of literary ventriloquism unlike any in recent literature. A bravura performance, it is the finest recent work from a true master... Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a shocking tale of murder and treachery from one of the world's master storytellers." Daily Telegraph "A creative gamble that pays off brilliantly...Witty and gently tragic, this short, bewitching novel is an ode to humanity's beauty, selfishness and inextinguishable longing." -- Hephzibah Anderson Mail on Sunday "Ian McEwan's embryonic spin on Hamlet is a virtuoso feat of wordplay ... Virtuoso entertainment." -- Tim Adams Observer "While the literary device of an unborn baby narrating a novel from the womb is hardly original... Ian McEwan employs it with aplomb... Here everything is tightly controlled and the tension ratchets up as our all-knowing unborn watches helplessly from his watery sack while the dastardly plan progresses through a series of nail-biting moments... The ending is beautifully contrived... The book is elegantly written with plenty of pungent, topical observations upon the world." -- John Harding Daily Mail "At once playful and deadly serious, delightful and frustrating it is one of McEwan's hardest to categorise works, and all the more interesting for it." -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst The Times
Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed author of short stories and novels for adults, as well as The Daydreamer, a children's novel illustrated by Anthony Browne. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, The Cement Garden, Enduring Love, Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize, Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Solar, Sweet Tooth and The Children Act.