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Publisher's Summary

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’ that 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.

©2012 Ian McEwan (P)2012 Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    44
  • 4 Stars
    64
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    30
  • 2 Stars
    13
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    11

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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    51
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    59
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    22
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    5
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    2

Story

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    38
  • 4 Stars
    45
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    30
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    11
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    12
No Reviews are Available
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mr D O'Reilly
  • 11-13-14

Not engaging

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

The plot just didn't grab me, I bought this as it was an award winner and unfortunately I was bemused and amazed that it had won awards as a political thriller as it said very little about politics and the characters did not engage with me. It was a struggle getting through this

What will your next listen be?

I'm a few hours into Sisterland and I'm already deeply engaged and looking forward to my next listen

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

The performance was fine, I think it was mostly the characters that did not engage me.

What character would you cut from Sweet Tooth?

I would change the attitudes and drivers of the central characters, who I just didn't believe in

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • BillyBlackBear
  • 07-31-14

Twisted Tale

This is a beautifully crafted tale which has a wonderful twist in its conclusion but also deals so well with human feelings and the struggle between duty and love.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • RJones
  • 07-09-14

Great listening!

If you could sum up Sweet Tooth in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, observational, turmoil

Who was your favorite character and why?

Tom - complexity of character

Which character – as performed by Juliet Stevenson – was your favourite?

This was the first reading for me by a female performer. I thought she did a really good job of characterisation and her accents fitted the parts well.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not a particular moment, the whole second half of the book!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Mrs K
  • 05-24-14

Tedious

I only got so far with this book as I found it hard going and Juliet Stevenson did not help.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • AJ
  • 04-04-14

Too clever to be entertaining

The story is complex and proceeds at a leisurely pace. Cruel I Know, but all I can say is thankyou to Juliet Stevenson for providing a captivating voice

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Roderic
  • 01-05-14

Excellently written; well told

Where does Sweet Tooth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It is on the top echelon. I have read all of Ian McEwan's earlier books and this one is also very well written. Juliet Stevenson, along with Anton Lesser, is my favourite narrator.

Any additional comments?

The inclusion of the Three Door puzzle did seem a bit contrived and out of place.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Louise Armitage
  • 01-01-14

Great book - thoroughly enjoyed it

This is an evocative book, sensitively written with an excellent portrayal of the main female character and her existence in a man's world. Set in the 1970's it tells the story of Serena, a spy working for the government during the Cold War. The references to life in England during the Thatcher era were fascinating and very insightful. The narration was fantastic and the excellent Juliet Stevenson narrated each character with ease and fluidity.

There is a gripping plot line that keeps you listening and a couple of turns that you may not be expecting. Overall a thoroughly good listen!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Elizabeth
  • 12-15-13

Utterly engrossing

For me, this was an utterly engrossing novel. Since finishing the audiobook I've read a number of reviews praising and damning it. I am very glad I hadn't read the publisher's synopsis before embarking; I find it reveals just enough that it would have ruined aspects of the narrative development for me. I enjoyed spilling from one event to the next through Juliet Stevenson's masterful narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • rosemary
  • 12-13-13

A great listen

Would you consider the audio edition of Sweet Tooth to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version of this but have read the print version of other books by Ian Mcewan

What did you like best about this story?

This book is set in the 1970's, a time when I was young and growing up so I can relate to the young women in the book and the way that the work place has changed for women. Also this period could be a difficult and brutal time to be living in the UK as there was so much unrest and discontent, this is well portrayed in the book

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

Juliet Stevenson reads with a clear voice and brings the characters to life and is really easy to listen to, meaning that you can concentrate on the story and not on her voice.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

London 1972

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Wras
  • 03-01-15

Power and deception in all its flavours.

We exercise soft power in the most mundane of acts in our lives with our children, with our lovers, at work and our friends. We deceive and are deceived with small white lies, big omissions and outright deception, the manipulation and manoeuvring never really stops it is why we care about the Joneses and why the Joneses care about what we do; they are the level the measure of our and their success. Countries do the same, and no areas of society are exempt, specially what is the soft power. The Beatles created more dissidents in the Soviet Union than any political manoeuvre could, and the soviets expended billions in developing athletes to demonstrate their physical superiority; one was a fluke of history the other a planned strategy. This book is about that dance de personal and the global. Men and women fight their sexual war, and countries strategies perception by the masses, both fields use deception, lies and manipulation and sometimes we get what we asked for, sometimes we miscalculate how the smaller game affects the larger game or vice versa.
The cold war and the struggles of the period are an excellent tableau to set this story in motion. Ian McEwan makes a well thought well executed plot shine in ways few could, excellent and twisted like humanity.

The reading was good and measured.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful