Paul Taylor

Led Astray by Mrs Thatcher

The Child in Time

By

Jonathan Cape 224pp £10.95 order from our bookshop

What a rotten title is one’s first thought – and this from someone whose previous titles have always been so finely judged: the hint of paved-over repression in the near-oxymoron of The Cement Garden; the calm, inviting menace of The Comfort of Strangers; and the calculatedly bogus rurality of The Ploughmans Lunch. Bur McEwan’s new title sounds like a lopped-off, screwed-up proverb (‘A child in time saves nine’, perhaps), or like a time-slip children’s novel by Alison Uttley, or even maybe a thesis about the changing role of the child through history. It also has an air of making inflated claims for itself.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'What in other hands could have been a dry, pedantic account of Christianity’s birth and evolution becomes in Holla… ,
    • RT : One of my favourite literary magazines is celebrating 40 years this year. Here is the September edition of… ,
    • 'Now that the Thames is too fast-flowing to freeze, its spirit’s devotees ... have found other climes for their pri… ,
    • 'Bythell glowers past his till at a world in slow free fall.' on the travails of a second-hand book… ,
    • 'It is a scent of animal wrath, of instinctive need, of brutal life which affects the cultured nostrils of our civi… ,
    • 'The day produced countless stories of chance, of people taking one route or another without realising that the dec… ,
    • In this month's 'Silenced Voices', looks at the case of Azimjon Askarov, the journalist and human rights… ,