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'The plot crackles like thin ice with dread and suspense' Mail on Sunday

'McEwan acknowledges his debt to the historian David Martin for the true story of the Berlin Tunnel or Operation Gold, the abortive brainchild of the CIA and MI6. To this truth of savage farce, McEwan has impressively and impassively wedded a fiction of tragedy, a love story of a sort, of many sorts. . . The Quiet Englishman, Leonard Marnham, is not just innocent, he is an innocent abroad, lodged in the heated poisonous atmosphere of a modern day Jacobean play, intriguing and intrigued' Christoper Ricks, Sunday Correspondent.

Reviews

It's the most tightly plotted of Ian McEwan's novels, and to argue properly for its excellence would involve showing how the political and emotional themes are inseparable from its narrative ingenuity, the patterns of revelation and about-turn which mark its final pages.

Jonathan Coe, Guardian

The sheer cleverness of the book is dazzling, and only fully to be appreciated as you turn the last page: but then cleverness is a real virtue here, the best guide possible to the questionable territory between innocence and whatever comes after

London Review of Books

To call The Innocent a spy novel would be like calling Lord of the Flies a boy's adventure yarn - the plot crackles like thin ice with dread and suspense - it ensure McEwan's major status

Sunday Times

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Formats & editions

  • EBook

    9781409089995

    July 1, 2010

    Vintage Digital

    240 pages

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  • Paperback

    9780099277095

    October 2, 1998

    Vintage

    240 pages

    RRP $19.99

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