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Sweet Tooth

Ian McEwan

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Published by Jonathan Cape, part of Vintage Publishing

Format: Hardback


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EAN: 9780224097376
Published: 21 Aug 2012


About the book


Serena Frome, the beautiful daughter of an Anglican bishop, has a brief affair with an older man during her final year at Cambridge, and finds herself being groomed for the intelligence services. The year is 1972. Britain, confronting economic disaster, is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism and faces its fifth state of emergency. The Cold War has entered a moribund phase, but the fight goes on, especially in the cultural sphere.

Serena, a compulsive reader of novels, is sent on a ‘secret mission’ which brings her into the literary world of Tom Haley, a promising young writer. First she loves his stories, then she begins to love the man. Can she maintain the fiction of her undercover life? And who is inventing whom? To answer these questions, Serena must abandon the first rule of espionage – trust no one.

McEwan’s mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self.

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sweet tooth

In Cambridge they have supervisions, in the RAF they do not have flight commanders and I found one nominative shift. Otherwise superbly entertaining, ingenious and funny
Posted by stephen

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What the critics say

A brilliant portrayal of 1970s Britain at its absolute worst… But it's also a gripping spy novel with some characteristic McEwan twists toward the end
- Mail on Sunday

Gave us another of his delightful posh-totty narrators, young Serena Frome, who is recruited into the intelligence services in the 1970s.
- The Times

A triumphant shedding of genre limitations.
- London Review of Books

For most of its length, this account of a young woman's adventures in the British secret service of the 1970s reads like Le Carre-lite, but with McEwan nothing is ever quite as it seems and towards the end the reader is asked to re-examine what's gone before. Real-life friends and acquaintances of the author have walk-on parts, which you may find fascinating.
- Irish Independent

Gloriously readable and, at times, wickedly funny.
- Irish Times

McEwan’s prose is controlled, his observation forensic as ever... McEwan carries us with irresistible momentum to a surprise ending.
- Intelligent Life

Highly entertaining.
- Guardian

The great thing about McEwan is that, despite his success, he continues to work hard, producing ever more accessible and entertaining stories.
- Daily Mirror

An artful game of distortion... Clever handling.
- Mail on Sunday

Carefully researched.
- Daily Telegraph

His assumption of a female persona is pitch-perfect.
- Daily Mail

Must read... Intrigue, love and mutual betrayal by a master of the art.
- The Lady

This most cunning of authors entertains and manipulates his readers. Sweet Tooth is a masterclass in the art of fiction.
- Book Oxygen

Ian McEwan proves he’s still the master penman with his twelfth novel.
- Grazia

An acute psychological study and a wise contemplation of the stories we tell and read and the question of who actually “owns” them. McEwan at his best.
- Washington Post

About the Author

Ian McEwan is the author of two collections of stories and twelve previous novels, including Enduring Love, Amsterdam, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1998, Atonement and, most recently, Solar.

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