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Books in brief: Nutshell

By Peter Robins   November 2016

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Nutshell by Ian McEwan (Jonathan Cape, £16.99)

nutshellFoetuses are surprisingly knowing things, at least when novelists make them talk. The one in Nicola Barker’s short story “Inside Information” came by its knowledge as a transmigrated soul, yet to be scraped clean by the trauma of birth. The third-trimester narrator of Ian McEwan’s Nutshell has been learning from more prosaic sources: his future mother’s consumption of Radio 4, with a hefty side-order of podcasts. He—the foetus has noticed a “shrimp-like protruberance” between his legs—is…

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