"While we are reading, we are all Don Quixote." ~ Mason Cooley

Sunday, January 20, 2013

"Sweet Tooth" by Ian McEwan

Having enjoyed Amsterdam and rarely being disappointed by anything written by an author who has won the Booker Award, I ordered Sweet Tooth, without consulting any reviews, or anyone who had read it.  I wish I had.  This spy novel, McEwan's most recent, was a letdown from the first page through as much of the book as I was willing to pursue.  I deleted it from my Kindle, unfinished, and that, in itself, is a critique. 

Normally, I don't need to like a character to find it engaging. Think Olive Kitteridge, a less than charming character, but in the long run, at least interesting, with some redeeming qualities.  In fact, I've often been surprised when someone has told me he/she disliked a book because he/she didn't like the main character.  And then I encountered MI5 agent, Serena Frome (rhymes with Plume).  Vacuous, insipid, self-centered, opportunistic - a bore.  I couldn't imagine spending several hours with her.  Add the fact that the outcome of this tale is told in the very first paragraph, and I'm surprised I lasted as long as I did.

Now, having said this, my brother, an avid reader and a McEwan fan, did finish Sweet Tooth.  His assessment - enjoyable, though not as good as previous novels.  So, if you decide to give the novel a shot, I'd be interested in whether you enjoyed it?