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Sweet Tooth
 
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Sweet Tooth [Kindle Edition]

Ian McEwan
3.9 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (30 Kundenrezensionen)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Enthralling, beguiling and totally addictive from the first page to the last. McEwan's sense of time and place is authentic with his trademark attention to details of the social history of the period" (Bristol Magazine)

"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)

"No contemporary novelist is more enthralled by what goes on inside the human skull than Ian McEwan... Doubling back and forth across genre boundaries, Sweet Tooth takes risks...this acute, witty novel is a winningly cunning addition to McEwan's fictional surveys of intelligence." (Peter Kemp Sunday Times)

"Playful, comic... This is a great big Russian doll of a novel, and in its construction - deft, tight, exhilaratingly immaculate - is a huge part of its pleasure." (Julie Myerson Observer)

"A thoroughly clever novel...a sublime novel about novels, about writing them and reading them and the spying that goes on in doing both...very impressive...rich and enjoyable." (Lucy Kellaway Financial Times)

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

"What you see is not what you get, and the twist at the end reminds us of how many of this author's works confound readers imaginations... A well-crafted pleasure to read, its smooth prose and slippery intelligence sliding down like cream." (Amanda Craig Independent)

"Simultaneously a tongue-in-cheek riff on his own early stories, a typically assured spy novel with a sting in the tail, and a meditation on the relationship between reader and writer." (Justine Jordan Guardian)

"The true subject of this smart and tricky novel, set inside a cold war espionage operation, is the border between make-believe and reality." (New York Times)

"A wisecracking thriller hightailing between love and betrayal, with serious counter-espionage credentials thrown in... This is ultimately a book about writing, wordplay and knowingness." (Catherine Taylor Sunday Telegraph)

"A triumphant shedding of genre limitations." (Adam Mars-Jones 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)

"Given McEwan's ability to make riveting fiction out of English politics (not easy), it would be hard to imagine anyone better equipped to write such a story... Delicious... Gripping." (James Lasdun Guardian)

"Parallels and contrasts between the mind-sets and mind games of espionage agents and writers of fiction are deftly teased out... acute, witty, cunningly crafted and full of fascinating autobiographical insights." (Peter Kemp Sunday Times)

"Gloriously readable and, at times, wickedly funny." (Arminta Wallace Irish Times)

"Had McEwan, through Serena's benefit of hindsight in narrating her life, planted the clues? Let every reader have the pleasure of finding out." (Ion Trewin Sunday Express)

"A curious piece of autobiographical fiction." (David Sexton Evening Standard)

"McEwan's prose is controlled, his observation forensic as ever... McEwan carries us with irresistible momentum to a surprise ending." (Maggie Ferguson Intelligent Life)

"Highly entertaining." (John Lanchester Guardian)

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

"An artful game of distortion... Clever handling." (Anthony Quinn Mail on Sunday)

"Carefully researched." (John Scarlett Daily Telegraph)

"I loved it. It reminded me of his most successful novel, Atonement." (Harpers Bazaar Online)

"Adroitly done...highly diverting." (D.J. Taylor Literary Review)

"McEwan's mastery dazzles us in this superbly deft and witty story of betrayal and intrigue, love, and the invented self." (GQ)

"Fans of Ian McEwan should rejoice with this arrival of this novel, because Sweet Tooth is McEwan's finest work since 2001's Atonement." (Kevin Power Sunday Business Post)

"His assumption of a female persona is pitch-perfect." (Michael Arditti Daily Mail)

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

"Gripping." (Evening Standard ES Magazine)

"Full of ideas." (Claire Allfree Metro)

"Cleverly metafictional." (Sam Leith Prospect)

"

One of the most hotly anticipated novels of the year...it's brilliant.

" (Sunday Business Post)

"McEwan, as always, presents an engaging narrator... The plot is fantastic... McEwan plays with the readers expectations, and surpasses them all with a fabulous ending that makes me itch to re-read this superb novel all over again. Sweet Tooth marks another triumph for a brilliant British author." (Bookgeeks.co.uk)

"A pleasing, tricksy beast with a subsumed sense of metatextuality likely to be pleasing to his fans." (Bookmunch)

"This most cunning of authors entertains and manipulates his readers. Sweet Tooth is a masterclass in the art of fiction." (Paul Sidey Book Oxygen)

"Ian McEwan proves he's still the master penman with his twelfth novel." (Grazia)

"Dazzling." (Essentials)

Werbetext

Love and espionage in 1970s Britain: a riveting new novel from the bestselling author of Atonement and Enduring Love

Kurzbeschreibung

From the bestselling author of Atonement and Enduring Love comes ‘A web of spying, subterfuge, deceit and betrayal... Acute, witty...winningly cunning’ Sunday Times



The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. Britain is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism. Serena Frome, in her final year at Cambridge, is being groomed for MI5.



Serena is sent on a secret mission – Operation Sweet Tooth – which brings her into the 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.

Buchrückseite

'Riveting... Delicious... Gripping' Guardian

The year is 1972. The Cold War is far from over. Britain is being torn apart by industrial unrest and terrorism. Serena Frome, in her final year at Cambridge, is being groomed for MI5.

Serena is sent on a secret mission - Operation Sweet Tooth - which brings her into the 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.

'Sweet Tooth takes the expectations and tropes of the Cold War thriller and ratchets up the suspense, while turning it into something else... A well-crafted pleasure to read, its smooth prose and slippery intelligence sliding down like cream'Independent

'Sublime.impressive.rich and enjoyable' Financial Times

'Gloriously readable and, at times, wickedly funny' Irish Times

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

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.

Leseprobe. Abdruck erfolgt mit freundlicher Genehmigung der Rechteinhaber. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

1

My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with plume) and almost forty years ago I was sent on a secret mission for the British Security Service. I didn’t return safely. Within eighteen months of joining I was sacked, having disgraced myself and ruined my lover, though he certainly had a hand in his own undoing.

I won’t waste much time on my childhood and teenage years. I’m the daughter of an Anglican bishop and grew up with a sister in the cathedral precinct of a charming small city in the east of England. My home was genial, polished, orderly, book-filled. My parents liked each other well enough and loved me, and I them. My sister Lucy and I were a year and a half apart and though we fought shrilly during our adolescence, there was no lasting harm and we became closer in adult life. Our father’s belief in God was muted and reasonable, did not intrude much on our lives and was just sufficient to raise him smoothly through the Church hierarchy and install us in a comfortable Queen Anne house. It overlooked an enclosed garden with ancient herbaceous borders that were well known, and still are, to those who know about plants. So, all stable, enviable, idyllic even. We grew up inside a walled garden, with all the pleasures and limitations that implies.

The late sixties lightened but did not disrupt our existence. I never missed a day at my local grammar school unless I was ill. In my late teens there slipped over the garden wall some heavy petting, as they used to call it, experiments with tobacco, alcohol and a little hashish, rock and roll records, brighter colors and warmer relations all round. At seventeen my friends and I were timidly and delightedly rebellious, but we did our schoolwork, we memorized and disgorged the irregular verbs, the equations, the motives of fictional characters. We liked to think of ourselves as bad girls, but actually we were rather good. It pleased us, the general excitement in the air in 1969. It was inseparable from the expectation that soon it would be time to leave home for another education elsewhere. Nothing strange or terrible happened to me during my first eighteen years and that is why I’ll skip them.

Left to myself I would have chosen to do a lazy English degree at a provincial university far to the north or west of my home. I enjoyed reading novels. I went fast--I could get through two or three a week--and doing that for three years would have suited me just fine. But at the time I was considered something of a freak of nature--a girl who happened to have a talent for mathematics. I wasn’t interested in the subject, I took little pleasure in it, but I enjoyed being top, and getting there without much work. I knew the answers to questions before I even knew how I had got to them. While my friends struggled and calculated, I reached a solution by a set of floating steps that were partly visual, partly just a feeling for what was right. It was hard to explain how I knew what I knew. Obviously, an exam in maths was far less effort than one in English literature. And in my final year I was captain of the school chess team. You must exercise some historical imagination to understand what it meant for a girl in those times to travel to a neighboring school and knock from his perch some condescending smirking squit of a boy. However, maths and chess, along with hockey, pleated skirts and hymn-singing, I considered mere school stuff. I reckoned it was time to put away these childish things when I began to think about applying to university. But I reckoned without my mother.

She was the quintessence, or parody, of a vicar’s then a bishop’s wife--a formidable memory for parishioners’ names and faces and gripes, a way of sailing down a street in her Hermes scarf, a kindly but unbending manner with the daily and the gardener. Faultless charm on any social scale, in any key. How knowingly she could level with the tight-faced, chain-smoking women from the housing estates when they came for the Mothers and Babies Club in the crypt. How compellingly she read the Christmas Eve story to the Barnardos’ children gathered at her feet in our drawing room. With what natural authority she put the Archbishop of Canterbury at his ease when he came through once for tea and Jaffa cakes after blessing the restored cathedral font. Lucy and I were banished upstairs for the duration of his visit. All this--and here is the difficult part--combined with utter devotion and subordination to my father’s cause. She promoted him, served him, eased his way at every turn. From boxed socks and ironed surplice hanging in the wardrobe, to his dustless study, to the profoundest Saturday silence in the house when he wrote his sermon. All she demanded in return--my guess, of course--was that he love her or, at least, never leave her.

But what I hadn’t understood about my mother was that buried deep beneath this conventional exterior was the hardy little seed of a feminist. I’m sure that word never passed her lips, but it made no difference. Her certainty frightened me. She said it was my duty as a woman to go to Cambridge to study maths. As a woman? In those days, in our milieu, no one ever spoke like that. No woman did anything “as a woman.” She told me she would not permit me to waste my talent. I was to excel and become extraordinary. I must have a proper career in science or engineering or economics. She allowed herself the world-oyster cliche. It was unfair on my sister that I was both clever and beautiful when she was neither. It would compound the injustice if I failed to aim high. I didn’t follow the logic of this, but I said nothing. My mother told me she would never forgive me and she would never forgive herself if I went off to read English and became no more than a slightly better educated housewife than she was. I was in danger of wasting my life. Those were her words, and they represented an admission. This was the only time she expressed or implied dissatisfaction with her lot.

Then she enlisted my father--“the Bishop” was what my sister and I called him. When I came in from school one afternoon my mother told me he was waiting for me in his study. In my green blazer with its heraldic crest and emblazoned motto--Nisi Dominus Vanum (Without the Lord All Is in Vain)--I sulkily lolled in his clubbish leather armchair while he presided at his desk, shuffling papers, humming to himself as he ordered his thoughts. I thought he was about to rehearse for me the parable of the talents, but he took a surprising and practical line. He had made some inquiries. Cambridge was anxious to be seen to be “opening its gates to the modern egalitarian world.” With my burden of triple misfortune--a grammar school, a girl, an all-male subject--I was certain to get in. If, however, I applied to do English there (never my intention; the Bishop was always poor on detail) I would have a far harder time. Within a week my mother had spoken to my headmaster. Certain subject teachers were deployed and used all my parents’ arguments as well as some of their own, and of course I had to give way.

So I abandoned my ambition to read English at Durham or Aberystwyth, where I am sure I would have been happy, and went instead to Newnham College, Cambridge, to learn at my first tutorial, which took place at Trinity, what a mediocrity I was in mathematics. My Michaelmas term depressed me and I almost left. Gawky boys, unblessed by charm or other human attributes like empathy and generative grammar, cleverer cousins of the fools I had smashed at chess, leered as I struggled with concepts they took for granted. “Ah, the serene Miss Frome,” one tutor would exclaim sarcastically as I entered his room each Tuesday morning. “Serenissima. Blue-eyed one! Come and enlighten us!” It was obvious...
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