I found no redeeming values of any kind in the main character. She was not interesting, and everything seemed to happen to her because of the men in her life, not because she had any initiative or talent that lead her to interesting things. I actually found the story to be a total bore. Performance was good.
I have read other McEwan's books and enjoyed them much more.
Found the book just dragged along and now, about a week later, can't even remember the ending.
teacher & book lover
I thought this would be a female spy adventure. It's not. NOTHING happens in the whole book. So boring.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It was very well written, had an interesting ending and was wonderfully narrated. It was the whole package.
The narrator is pretty good but the story is so annoying - because the main character is so annoying. I'm assuming she must be gorgeous because I cannot imagine another reason why any of the men in the story want to spend time with her. There seem to be no women in her life which is perhaps not surprising; she's endlessly self-reflective and self-absorbed and thinks of no one but herself.
This book has a soft tone, it made me unsure it would grab me, but eventually, it did. There were times i thought "where's this going?", but get there it does... and quite well. Not for those who need a ton of action, but recommended.
It was a story about a woman that wanted everyone to like her. We needed to listen to her various sexcapades including short stories about everybody else's lives of misery written by the authors she was investigating.
I was looking for a good novel incorporating life in the 1970s with some of the mystery and suspense that you would anticipate from the British MI5's. This book did not even come close.
Juliet Stevenson read it so beautifully.
Serena Frume because she was so realistic in her reactions
Shirley Shilling - because Ms. Stevenson got her accent perfectly and imbued her with exactly the right touch of lower class brashness. Wonderful characterization.
That's a strange question! Who's Watching Whom? maybe.
This was a very cleverly written book. Masterful in fact. The appeal for me was that I am very familiar with all the locations having grown up in Sevenoaks (Tony's home town) and lived in Camden when I was at college in London. I totally "got" Serena and could picture exactly every scene. I also grew up in the 1970s and remember all the political shenanigans of the time - the strikes, the three-day week, etc. Marvellous book, nice twist, and expertly read.
Somehow the author and narrator combined to drain all life out of what would seem to be an engaging story. I could not get any emotional involvement in the main character, so I just didn't care what happened next. I don't really understand how this feat was accomplished. The story is a first person narrative, with the narrator recounting events forty years or so in the past. She seems so cool and detached, even when the action is emotional, that it gave me some kind of cognitive dissonance. Obviously, I am a reader that needs to relate to the characters to enjoy the book. The writing is very good and the narrator is also very good, I can understand that other people may find it excellent.