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64 Reviews
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not half bad
Having read Atonement and not got on with The child in Time, i decided to read a book of Ian McEwan's that was more off the beaten track. What i found was The Innocent. I throughly enjoyed it and i would recommend that for anyone who didn't get on too well with Ian McEwan's other books to read the Innocent.

It is a gripping tale about how an English man in cold...
Published on 26 Jun 2008 by K. Bulcock

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning - don't read whilst eating
A spy story set in Berlin shortly after the end of the second world war - a romantic love story - a gruesome and revolting horror story (don't read whilst eating) - then the circle continues on back through spy to love story again. It was only after starting the book that I noticed another review recommended "don't read this as your first Ian McEwan". Probably wise...
Published on 5 July 2007 by Four Violets


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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Warning - don't read whilst eating, 5 July 2007
By 
Four Violets (Hertford UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
A spy story set in Berlin shortly after the end of the second world war - a romantic love story - a gruesome and revolting horror story (don't read whilst eating) - then the circle continues on back through spy to love story again. It was only after starting the book that I noticed another review recommended "don't read this as your first Ian McEwan". Probably wise advice; but I enjoyed it anyway and will certainly read more of his.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not half bad, 26 Jun 2008
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This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
Having read Atonement and not got on with The child in Time, i decided to read a book of Ian McEwan's that was more off the beaten track. What i found was The Innocent. I throughly enjoyed it and i would recommend that for anyone who didn't get on too well with Ian McEwan's other books to read the Innocent.

It is a gripping tale about how an English man in cold war Berlin gradually losses his innocence. It is a light and short read which i thoroughly enjoyed.
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A cold, cold war, 9 April 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
This is vintage McEwan. He describes the love affair with feeling and, I guess, from some experience. I liked the sharp contrast between the mechanics and bizarre logic of the Cold War and the unpredictability of human behaviour when it is allowed free reign. 50s Berlin is also beautifully evoked - Harry Lime's Vienna moved north. The novel has a neat and typically weird McEwan twist before its moving, sentimental denouement. Great reading - thoroughly recommended to fans and sceptics alike.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A captivating tale of love and young life in post-war Berlin, 20 Jan 1999
By A Customer
The Innocent is a surprising book, combining the fascination of secret work in post war Berlin with a captivating story of love and sexual exploration The string of events which emanate from this background are all the more shocking because of the complete plausibility of the tale. The book reminded me of the Puzo novel Dark Arena in the setting of the backdrop, (although it cannot match the rawness and brutality of that story) and Hurry on Down for the frailty of the human emotion. Thoroughly enjoyable!
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a must-read!, 3 Jan 2006
By A Customer
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
The first time I read this I had to put it down unfinished as I could not bear to discover the foreshadowed doom of the main character. It took me a year before I could gather the courage to start again and read the whole thing. Exaggerating? If you found Enduring Love moving, it's nothing compared to The Innocent!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!, 16 Aug 2008
By 
I. Burgess - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
Yes wow what a book. I saw Atonement which was rubbish in my opinion and thought no not ever will I read one of his books and yet on the way to Hong Kong at LHR-T5 i was captivated by the book's cover and the basic story line which interests me anyway. Berlin post war is a sumptuous backdrop and this book delivers magnificently. I could hardly put it down and apart from the dismemberment pages was an absolute thill. So much so that I then bought Black Dogs which isn't half as good but after On Chesil Beach and Innocent I am raring to go with more of his work. Well done Ian.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have read, 22 Nov 2007
By 
Dr. Michael Rowlands (UK/Algarve Portugal) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
What a great read! Splendid in both form and content. A well constructed plot which starts with an easy read, but then it takes an interesting and unexpected turn. I bought it after reading "On Chesil Beach" which is only a short story, but which has got me hooked on the author. Recommeded. Dr Michael Rowlands
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gratuitous gore grates, 22 Nov 2009
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
I had never read anything by McEwan but was sort of aware of his success. While living in Berlin in 2008/2009, I came across a translation in German of the novel and bought it mostly because it was set in Berlin and because it was translated from English to German and therefore, thought I, would be a little easier to handle for my still rusty German skills.

The first part of the novel was unexceptional. I found the characters a bit two-dimensional and was neither enamoured nor turned off by the story. But then it got to the blood and gore and frankly I had to skip a couple of pages because even though my German was rusty I could not read it without wanting to gag.

The middle part rather "coloured" the whole book for me and I shall hesitate before ever reading another of his works.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic McEwan. Full of period (early cold war) detail ..., 26 Aug 2014
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This review is from: The Innocent (Kindle Edition)
Classic McEwan. Full of period (early cold war) detail and a decidedly gruesome plot at one point. The flawed protagonists battle relationship problems against a back-drop of cold war privations and a true (I beleive) phone tapping operation in occupied Berlin. I found it difficult to empathise with the main character at times -but maybe that's the point?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly chilling!, 25 July 2008
By 
B. J. Madeley - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Innocent (Paperback)
The Innocent is the first book that I have ever read by Ian McEwan, although I had heard good reviews of many of his other novels. The innocent is set in Berlin, shortly after the end of the Second World War and during the increasing animosity between the Russians and the Americans. It follows the experience of Leonard - a very straight-laced and naive Englishman, who is sent to Berlin to work on a secret espionage tunnel. During his stay Leonard enjoys a relationship with a local German woman called Maria. Rapidly their life together goes from bliss to disaster as the plot unfolds.

The Innocent is an incredibly gripping novel that will keep the reader hooked to the very end. The characters are likeable and realistic enough to make you believe that dreadful things could happen to anyone simply because they are in the wrong place at the wrong time (not a pleasant thought).

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and look forward to reading many more by Ian McEwan.
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The Innocent
The Innocent by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 3 Sep 1998)
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