Sarah O'Connor

Writer – Playwright – Cannot Save You From The Robot Apocalypse

“Boredom…is not far from blizz; one regards boredom from the shores of pleasure…The condition of the modern foetus. Just think: nothing to do but be and grow, where growing is hardly a conscious act. The joy of pure existence, the tedium of undifferentiated days. Extended bliss is boredom of the existential kind. This confinement shouldn’t be a prison. In here I’m owed a privilege and luxury of solitude,” (McEwan 73).

Trudy is tired of her husband John. Though he loves and dotes on her she’s sent him away, living in his family home and having an affair with the successful Claude. But now Claude and Trudy are hatching a truly devious plot to get rid of John, the only witness to their murderous intentions the nine-month old fetus in Trudy’s womb. And he has a lot to say about it.

Hamlet is my favourite of Shakespeare’s play so I was excited to read Nutshell, especially when I learned that our melancholy prince is now a nine-month old fetus. It’s such an interesting concept, and aside from reading only a few of McEwan’s short stories in university, I really didn’t know what to expect. But this was such an expertly done adaptation, I’m obsessed with it! Hamlet is infamous for his inaction, but here our narrator is forced into inaction. He’s a fetus, powerless to do anything but listen to his mother and Claude’s plotting of his father’s death while contemplating about being and not being, someone alive but who is yet to actually be born and which life is still a great mystery, torn between loving and hating his mother who plans on murdering his father but carries our narrator in her womb.

A weakness some readers will find is how erudite our small narrator is, but it’s Hamlet, what can you really expect? I enjoyed these long monologue chapters and thought it was hilarious how much our narrator knew from the world without actually being born yet.

If you like Hamlet then you’ll love Nutshell. Clever and smartly written, this is an adaptation that takes care of it’s source material to tell a well-known tale in a wholly unique way.

29940500Publication: September 1 2016
Publisher: Tor Nightfire
Pages: 208 pages (Hardcover)
Source: Library
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary, Adaptation
My Rating: ⛤⛤⛤⛤.5

Trudy has betrayed her husband, John, who trusts and adores her. She’s living in the marital home–a dilapidated, and priceless London townhouse–but John’s not there. In his stead is the profoundly banal Claude–and together they’re hatching a murderous plan. But there is an unexpected witness to their plot, who cares deeply about the outcome: the inquisitive nine-month-old inhabitant of Trudy’s womb.

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