Customer Reviews for

Sweet Tooth: A Novel

Average Rating 3.5
( 95 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(32)

4 Star

(19)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(14)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

If you come to this novel expecting a spy thriller, you will be

If you come to this novel expecting a spy thriller, you will be perplexed and disappointed. Readers who are familiar with McEwan, one of the greatest living English novelists, will find this delicious psychological puzzle and meditation on fiction, reality and creation,...
If you come to this novel expecting a spy thriller, you will be perplexed and disappointed. Readers who are familiar with McEwan, one of the greatest living English novelists, will find this delicious psychological puzzle and meditation on fiction, reality and creation, a joy. If you have never read his work before this is a wonderful place to start.

posted by Anonymous on December 6, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Save your reading for John LeCarre or Len Deighton, or even Bria

Save your reading for John LeCarre or Len Deighton, or even Brian Freemantle and most certainly read Alan Furst. This book is not too original, and it was a bit tedious. I was expecting more. Very much derivative of several other authors in the espionage genre.

posted by Cataloger on November 25, 2012

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  • Posted December 22, 2012

    I am a huge Ian McEwan fan.  If you are a fan of McEwan, I think

    I am a huge Ian McEwan fan.  If you are a fan of McEwan, I think you will enjoy this book, and it address many of themes and topics addressed in Atonement (e.g., the relationship between reader and author relationship and the author's relationship with his or her fiction.  But , notwithstanding that I enjoyed this book very much, I found it to be a bit gimmicky and a much lesser work compared to Atonement.  A lot of the book's ambiguities only pay off at the very end of the book (and you may find yourself re-reading the first chapters immediately after finishing the last one.).

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    If you come to this novel expecting a spy thriller, you will be

    If you come to this novel expecting a spy thriller, you will be perplexed and disappointed. Readers who are familiar with McEwan, one of the greatest living English novelists, will find this delicious psychological puzzle and meditation on fiction, reality and creation, a joy. If you have never read his work before this is a wonderful place to start.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 8, 2013

    This book is quite extraordinary, and I would have loved to give

    This book is quite extraordinary, and I would have loved to give it five stars. The story was interesting, the characters enticing, and the writing simply superb. Although many readers seem to have a problem with their lack of historical knowledge of situations in the story, this is no fault of the book; rather, it appears to be a personal problem. I had no prior knowledge of most subjects, since I have mostly only been taught American history up to this point, and I found no problem in my reading because of this- the story explained things well enough to understand all that was needed. The reason this story has failed to earn my last star is because, as some readers said, it was hard to "get into." However, once you do, it proves to be an amazing read. The final chapter's content made me unable to put the book down, and like another reviewer said, practically forced me to reread some parts found earlier in the novel. If you give this book a chance, and read it thoroughly to the end, no matter how long it takes, you shouldn't be disappointed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 25, 2012

    Save your reading for John LeCarre or Len Deighton, or even Bria

    Save your reading for John LeCarre or Len Deighton, or even Brian Freemantle and most certainly read Alan Furst. This book is not too original, and it was a bit tedious. I was expecting more. Very much derivative of several other authors in the espionage genre.

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 21, 2013

    When I put Sweet Tooth on my Christmas list, I thought it was go

    When I put Sweet Tooth on my Christmas list, I thought it was going to be a fast-paced novel. I wasn’t expecting action-packed, obviously (it's still Ian McEwan), but am I the only one who sees the words “secret mission” and clicks “add to cart”? That’s all I need to know. I’ll read it.

    I probably should’ve noticed, though, that “secret mission” was indeed in quotations even on the book jacket. But I was all, undercover! betrayal! intrigue! female spy! I read two chapters over Christmas break, got back to school, and four months later as I was packing up my dorm room, I found the book under my bed, untouched. I’m glad I picked it up again, because it’s definitely worth the read.

    Serena Frome is a smart, confused, independent girl who attracts the attention of many gentlemen callers, including, during her senior year at Cambridge, an older man involved with the British Security Service. It’s the Cold War era, the government is attempting to influence the cultural sphere, and that’s how Serena ends up on her quote-secret mission-end quote: to form a liason between the Security Service and unsuspecting writer Tom Haley (that’s where the romance and intrigue comes in). I’m not going to say anything else, because the best part of the novel is how it all unfolds.

    The only thing I didn’t like about Sweet Tooth was reading Tom Haley’s stories. Some of them are a little bit tedious, and (do I dare?) heavy-handed. But Ian McEwan knows how to end a novel, for sure, and sometimes a good ending makes it easy to forgive a few dull moments.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2013

    Most of the reviews are from eegits nooking their friends - so t

    Most of the reviews are from eegits nooking their friends - so the rating is completely off. Barnes and Noble what are we going to do with these eegits who take advantage of texting on their Nooks?? Let's get them off the system and start monitoring the anonymous postings. Everyone else - complain to B&N and start logging in and flagging the idiotic postings. Flood B&N with reporting the postings. Maybe they will get the message. The system isn't working for readers - just people who think they are funny. Once again - it's all about them. Nook users - please go somewhere else for your fun.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    Whiny Narrator, Self-Pandering Premise

    Did Sian McEwan think of his reader at all when he wrote this novel? It seems he just wanted to spend time writing about the Cold War, the beginning of the IRA terrorism, get away with being sexist, and just spend time being a pretentious, old, literary white guy. This is NOT a spy novel, it's a love story with mild perversion, but this does not approach the best of McEwan's work. Give it a pass; it's overrated by far.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2013

    Good luck with this one

    Try as I may, I just can't get into this book. Too much thinking, not enough dialogue!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    My book club read this book because it sounded so suspensful and

    My book club read this book because it sounded so suspensful and interesting. Unfortunately, it was positively awful! It was slow moving, too many unnecessary details, and the characters were dull. All six of us were very disappointed. We all felt cheated!

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 8, 2013

    Very effective if not entirely affecting emotionally

    To begin, I am a real fan of McEwan's writing, especially the less gothic-style works (Saturday, Solar). I appreciate his beautiful language and often satirical tone. This novel kept me in suspense until the last two pages and provided an ending that I had not at all expected. My book group was slated to discuss this so I read it a second time and enjoyed it just as much --- this time looking closely at the texture and the back story of the Cold War. I cared less about these principal characters than I'd expect to in a work that I liked. However, as a semi-autobiographical work about a literature major coming of age in the early '70s, I found this novel utterly satisfying and intellectually stimulating.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    Worth a read

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this and was left pleasantly surprised. If you are a fan of his writing you will not be disappointed.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2013

    I got three chapters in and had to quit. I guess that is my rule

    I got three chapters in and had to quit. I guess that is my rule; if after three chapters I find that I do not care what happens then it's time to move on. Very well written, but not engaging.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2013

    disappointed

    This was out book club choice and it was unanimous - none of us liked the book. We didn't understand the story line (was there one), nor the writing. The topics were scattered and the book just didn't make sense to all 10 of us. Bummer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2013

    Story was very dull, I was waiting for it to get exciting, first

    Story was very dull, I was waiting for it to get exciting, first time in a long time I had to force myself to finish the book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    Not quite enough. This book is good. Placing it next to Atonemen

    Not quite enough.
    This book is good. Placing it next to Atonement seems almost laughable. Atonement is amazing. This book: good. Unfortunately, this is the only word I can think to describe it.  Certainly, there are passages which are lyrically lovely. Some characters are enthralling. It was fun for me, someone who loves the cult of talented British writers (Amis, Hitchens, McEwan, Rushdie...), to see them in novelized form, but overall the book did not have the spark to lift it off the ground. 

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2013

    DISAPPOINTED

    This book assumes that the reader already has a certain level of understanding of British politics in the '70's. A little background info would have been helpful, as most of the time I have no idea what the aithor is referring to!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2013

    McEwan going downhill? After Atonement, it would appear that McE

    McEwan going downhill? After Atonement, it would appear that McEwan stretches what are essentially short story topics into longer novels with various literary fill-ins but this does not make things better. Solar, Sweet Tooth, On Chesil Beach, and Saturday were mundane stories, presumably treating topical subjects but they were all indicative of a trend: downhill.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    This book is well-written and gets inside the main charater's he

    This book is well-written and gets inside the main charater's head in detail, but she is boring, vain, and shallow. The book is not a thriller, it's more of a character sketch, but it is not intersting because the main character is not intersting. She seems to primarily think about sex. So, while I would label this a "good" book in many ways, I would not recommend it. I'm half-way through, and I'm abandoning it for a more interesting read. I enjoyed Saturday and Atonement, but the positive reviews this book got from some in the media makes me hesitate to give this author another chance.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    I utterly loved this novel. I've read a lot of McEwan and this

    I utterly loved this novel. I've read a lot of McEwan and this was my favorite. I received it as a Christmas gift and plunged right in. Now I'm recommending it to everyone. Serena Frome is an incredible character--I wish McEwan would write a sequel!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2013

    A let down this time.

    Very dissapointed!
    I always look forward to reading Ian McEwans books.
    This one however, is a let down .
    The plot seems fragmented and boring.
    I'm struggling to finish it .
    Perhaps the last few chapterswill change my thoughts..
    I hope so ......

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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