Please don’t think that I am trying to write a book review. What I am doing is merely giving you my impressions of a book. I have now finished reading the book and it has gone back to the library, hence the word impressions – what am I left with, which is not a page by page description of the story.
So…. My impression is another great book by Ian Mc Ewan, set in the 70’s just after the Cold War. One of the characters is a writer so as examples of his work we have some interesting complete short stories within the novel. I do remember that I found one of these stories particularly fascinating as he was using mathematical logic and probability as the basis for actions taken in real life.
Among the many layers another impression is of the part Deception and Betrayal can play in life. Early in the book a major player is involved in a fairly serious and ongoing deception. But after a while you begin to wonder if there is anyone else who is not really the person they seem to be.
I enjoyed his little digs at the Booker Prize and the Book Reviewers and their ramblings. I wonder a little, as I usually do with McEwan, about the way he writes about his female characters. There’s something I can’t quite put my finger on but sometimes when he is giving thoughts to his female characters I feel uneasy, a reaction I don’t have with other authors.
Was I so wise when I was her age, particularly when she was analysing the fictional author’s personality and reading all kinds of meanings into his writings. But this is a remembrance.so perhaps I read too much into her attitudes.
When I was getting well on with the book, the tension was really building up and I had a feeling of doom and suspense. I was very tempted to have a look at the ending, but fortunately I resisted . When I was nearly out of words to read my eyebrows went up, my mouth dropped open, I smiled, I laughed, I laughed out loud. Perhaps I’m naïve but it wasn’t an ending I was expecting and it took some moments for the full scope of what he had done to become clear. It is worth reading the whole book for that final explosion of insight. Such a clever author.