Sweet Tooth Sweet Tooth question


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Dig at "The Road?"
Alexandra Alexandra (last edited Jun 15, 2013 05:53PM ) Jun 11, 2013 08:12PM
Did anyone else wonder if "The Somerset Levels" was a little jab at Cormac McCarthy's "The Road?" The absent mother, the fact that the characters are unnamed being described as "annoying," the length of the book? It made me chuckle because I hated The Road so I'm hoping that McEwan agrees with me.

Hi Dave - I couldn't respond for some reason so hope you see this up here. I was speaking more about the style of The Road than the substance. The shortness, the lack of names of the characters, etc. left me unable to connect with the characters and feel much for them. I prefer meaty sagas in the style of John Irving.



Alexandra wrote: "Did anyone else wonder if "The Somerset Levels" was a little jab at Cormac McCarthy's "The Road?"

I like your analogy because I didn't like The Road either but McEwan distilled his own early fiction into Haley's. Somerset Levels is based on Two Fragments from his short story collection In Between the Sheets published in 1978.


Hi Alexandra. I don't get the connection since the "wife" chooses to die rather then face the aftermath of Armageddon. Not exactly an event that a writer of McEwan's stature would make light of; not to mention that McEwan is in his own way a stylist.
The mothers' "choice" makes me wonder however, why you "hate" The Road. As a woman doesn't it strike you as horrifying that a mother could not find the strength to stay with the family for the sake of her child? I can't imagine the level of despair one must reach to make that choice. Does this event have any resonance for you? I know it isn't pleasant but how could you not be challenged by McCarthy's vision? Please don't read a negative tone into this note. I am not judging just wondering what makes people tick and how we can have such different views. By the way, Sweet Tooth was a fun read. Keep reading!

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Dave Alexandra wrote: "Did anyone else wonder if "The Somerset Levels" was a little jab at Cormac McCarthy's "The Road?" The absent mother, the fact that t ...more
Jun 18, 2013 10:18PM

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