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Interesting,
Slow,
Unconvincing

2 reviews

Sweet Tooth: A Novel
by Ian McEwan

Published: 2012-11-13
Hardcover : 320 pages
11 members reading this now
27 clubs reading this now
10 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 2 members

In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.

Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from ...

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Introduction

In this stunning new novel, Ian McEwan’s first female protagonist since Atonement is about to learn that espionage is the ultimate seduction.

Cambridge student Serena Frome’s beauty and intelligence make her the ideal recruit for MI5. The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. England’s legendary intelligence agency is determined to manipulate the cultural conversation by funding writers whose politics align with those of the government. The operation is code named “Sweet Tooth.”
 
Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is the perfect candidate to infiltrate the literary circle of a promising young writer named Tom Haley. At first, she loves his stories. Then she begins to love the man. How long can she conceal her undercover life? To answer that question, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage: trust no one.
 
Once again, Ian McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love and the invented self.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, November 2012: One of McEwan's finest female characters, Serena Frome--"rhymes with plume," the author tells us in the opening line--is both clever and beautiful, a speed-reading lit geek and a math whiz, a 1970s version of the Harvard MBA types who launch life-changing Internet startups. But in the dark and troubled Cold War days in London, there were few options for bright young women. So when a mysterious lover recruits her for the British intelligence service, MI5, Serena throws herself body and soul into an undercover operation code-named Sweet Tooth. What unfolds is a mystery, a romance, and a dazzling display of literary workmanship. Though the action slows to a crawl at times, McEwan is a brilliant and entertaining storyteller whose lines--sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, sometimes wickedly wise--had me reaching for my highlighter. --Neal Thompson

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Not engaging"by Lgriffies (see profile) 10/06/13

 
  "Sweet Tooth - The Early Years of MI5"by mostglad (see profile) 10/05/13

 
  "The only good thing about this book was the last chapter... "by Marcia131 (see profile) 07/16/13

I had high expectations of Ian McEwan and he did not fair well. What an awful book. Opportunities were squandered to take the book in an interesting direction. Not worthy of a book club's time, in my opinion.... (read more)

 
  "A spy story that isn't"by mistyviolet (see profile) 12/08/12

Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

In Sweet Tooth Ian McEwan has used lots of lovely words and strung them together in lots of lovely ways. Unfortunately this does not make a lovely story. It

... (read more)

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