I’m not exactly sure I found this Booker prize worthy, but it wasn’t bad. To be fair though, I do find McEwan a bit hit and miss.The novel begins at the funeral of Molly Lane, introducing us to the two main characters – ex-lovers of hers and now friends – Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday. The funeral starts Clive, an erratic composer, thinking about his own mortality…. Molly had been very ill and was greatly altered in her last days. Thus, Clive asks Vernon if he is ever in that situation, would Vernon just help him die? Vernon, a methodical newspaper man finally answers – only if you do the same for me.

In these scenes, McEwan builds up a seemingly beautiful and unshakeable friendship. But as the novella progresses, this is slowly broken down… and McEwan presents us with an ending that the blurb describes as a “delicious shock”. I didn’t think it was that shocking… I had expected it by then. But it is still an interesting story about two self-involved characters, and how quickly rancour can occur to poison a friendship… you’ll get it when you read it!


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