Top critical review
9 people found this helpful
on 13 May 2014
It's difficult to take this book seriously. It reads like a farce about three middle-aged former lovers of a recently deceased woman who have an ambiguous relationship among themselves and are united in hatred of her husband who, in turn, also hates them.
The characters are the typical London metropolitan types people like McEwan write about - a government minister, composer, journalist, publisher - with not a hint of reality about them.
After a lot of toing and froing around London, with a side trip to the Lake District where the composer witnesses what might be a rape but ignores it, the book ends in a hotel in Amsterdam where a poisoned glass of champagne takes center stage and the reader waits to see which of the characters will take it.
I half expected someone's trousers to fall down at one point just to keep the story going. Mercifully they did not and the whole thing is wrapped shortly and efficiently.
Only to be read if there is absolutely nothing else around.