It is hard to dispute that Ian McEwan has evolved as a writer, adopting different styles and genres to suit the ideas and situations he finds most urgently in need of expression; becoming more openly sophisticated about the power of narrative to communicate, to reconcile and at times to deceive; and writing prose that gains him international respect for its technical beauty, emotional timbre and intellectual depth. Once considered, along with his friend Martin Amis, one of the enfants terribles of the British literary scene, he is now touted by many, such as this reviewer, as the best writer of contemporary fiction in English in the world: “McEwan is not only the greatest living writer in England; now that Bellow has stopped writing, and now that Roth’s mastery of le mot juste has exploded … McEwan is writing better English prose than anybody. The Nobel Prize committee could start making itself respectable by giving him the nod” (Siegel 4).
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