Ian McEwan’s Nutshell

The Ides of March have come and gone, and while this may call to mind the drama of Julius Caesar, for this librarian the date just reminded me of Shakespeare or, to be more accurate, Ian McEwan’s 2016  retelling of another Shakespeare play. Nutshell is the story of pregnant Trudy and her lover Claude’s plot to murder Trudy’s husband, John. Sound familiar? It’s the story of Hamlet, this time set in modern London and told from the perspective of Trudy’s unborn baby. The story is a suspenseful, psychological, even disturbing read, with a great deal of dark humor infused throughout the short book. From the initially perplexing opening line of “So here I am, upside down in a woman,” through all of the unavoidable, uncomfortable and horrifying situations the narrating, verbal fetus, Hamlet, finds himself in, McEwan’s spare, clever version of the story is pretty unforgettable. Visit the Moraine Valley Library to check out this book (or one of the many versions of the original Shakespeare play it’s based upon). You can find it in our After Class collection in the library lounge.




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