REVIEW: My Purple Scented Novel, Ian McEwan

Monday, 9 July 2018

‘You will have heard of my friend the once celebrated novelist Jocelyn Tarbet, but I suspect his memory is beginning to fade…You’d never heard of me, the once obscure novelist Parker Sparrow, until my name was publicly connected with his. To a knowing few, our names remain rigidly attached, like the two ends of a seesaw. His rise coincided with, though did not cause, my decline… I don’t deny there was wrongdoing. I stole a life, and I don’t intend to give it back. You may treat these few pages as a confession.’
My Purple Scented Novel follows the perfect crime of literary betrayal, scrupulously wrought yet unscrupulously executed, published to celebrate Ian McEwan’s 70th birthday.

For a book that is less than fifty pages, My Purple Scented Novel transported me to places that a book ten times that length would have trouble with. Its characters, even those mentioned briefly, are vivid and alive, and the book’s darkly humorous examination of betrayal and plagiarism is a feat that need to be beheld.
Poor authors tend to hide behind overly flowery and arduously drawn-out writing but, My Purple Scented Novel is bare-bones - every word is picked precisely and not one of them is extra, unneeded or unnecessary for moving the plot forward. With nothing to hide behind, it is the truest display of Ian McEwan’s mammoth talent and one that, not despite but because of its short-length, shows one of the greatest literary figures of the modern day in all of his glory.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Head on over to for this book, as well as all of the others featured in my reviews, complete with the added bonuses of free worldwide shipping and bringing a little joy to my life.

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