Sweet Tooth Paperback – 9 May 2013
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"Riveting... Delicious... Gripping" (Guardian)
"Highly entertaining" (John Lanchester Guardian Books of the Year)
"A web of spying, subterfuge, deceit and betrayal... Acute, witty...winningly cunning" (Sunday Times)
"Gloriously readable and, at times, wickedly funny" (Irish Times)
"Sublime...impressive...rich and enjoyable" (Financial Times)
Re-jacketed in stunning new series style, Sweet Tooth is a story of love and espionage in 1970s Britain from Booker prize-winning, Sunday Times-bestselling Ian McEwan.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I was concerned early on in the book that there was a lot of writing about writing going on, something I detest. And there are a lot of references to books and authors - there is even a very famous author who has a part in the book, although we never "see" him directly.Read more ›
There are writers -like Martin Amis, who appears as a minor character in this novel- who excel at writing gorgeous, funny, efficient prose and who create engaging characters but struggle to package it into a wholly satisfying novel. McEwen is at the other end of the spectrum; the complex structures of his novels are marvellously articulated but the tone and characters feel cold and, consequently, can leave the reader a little apathetic.
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that this novel only really seems to catch light in the latter third, when the plot (and the obligatory twist) accelerate and come to the fore. In comparison, the more prosaic early chapters seem to drag. There is some interest to be had from the minutiae of the security services, considerations on literature and a nice evocation of the winter of discontent. Nevertheless, I found it difficult to warm to Serena, who is so central to the novel and whose tribulations struck me as mundane and her insecurities annoying rather than endearing. There were also few tics in her first person narrative (repeated phrases, the sex descriptions) that seemed careless.Read more ›
Serena manages to get through the screening process for the British Intelligence Service and starts working for MI5 in a very junior position; however she is keen to improve her prospects and when, through her knowledge of literature, she is assigned to an operation called 'Sweet Tooth' she is eager to prove her worth. Serena learns that MI5 have set up a cultural foundation to secretly support writers who speak out against communism and she is to act as a representative of the foundation. In her pose, Serena is to encourage a young writer, Tom Haley, to leave his post in academia and be supported by the foundation to enable him to write full time, but he must remain unaware that the funding is coming from MI5. Serena is initially successful in her mission, but when she becomes intellectually, physically and then emotionally involved with Haley, she finds leading a double life is much more difficult and less exciting than she had imagined and she also discovers that this is where the lines between truth and fiction become blurred.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Delicious. Combination of thriller and love story, about 'honey-trapping' Cambridge recruit. Except it's less honey trap than genuine, tortured love affair between spy and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. L. Bennett
Don't think I can finish reading this.Totally unconvincing.Would surely not have been published if the writer had not had previous successes.Published 3 months ago by Tony A
This very bland and uninspiring story of shenanigans in the literary world and the Secret Services was unconvincing to say the least – and irritating to boot. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amanda Jenkinson
Poor take on espionage very predictable tried to be funny fell down on every parameter.Published 3 months ago by Mr. Mark Simmons
Not as good as the early edgier McEwan, but a good plot , beautifully told with lovable intelligent people behaving in ways which are unusual but believable. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Henry Howie
A contemporary spy thriller with an interesting twist to the endingPublished 3 months ago by John Fava
brilliant insight into spying with plenty of twists. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.Published 4 months ago by Helen Waller
Riveting story, first time I have read anything by Ian McEwan but it certainly wont be the last,Published 5 months ago by Tiptoes