Paperbacks: Sweet Tooth, By Ian McEwan


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The Independent Culture

To many younger readers, Ian McEwan's super-smart Cold War entertainment will function as a history lesson as much as a delicious box of story-telling tricks.

In 1972, with doomy talk of crisis at home and Soviet menace abroad, keen bishop's daughter Serena becomes a low-level spy for MI5. She sets out to ensnare a rising star of literature into a propaganda stunt. Beyond virtuoso twists and turns, McEwan lays out the foreign landscape of 40 years ago – from smoky pubs to fuming punditry - with wry, affectionate panache.