Ian McEwan is considered a literary god in England and is often cited as the greatest modern, currently writing, British author. And they aren’t wrong. McEwan is the consummate writer, addressing life’s big questions while adeptly caressing the details — as his major influence, Nabokov, advocates — and miraculously moving the plot inexorably forward all the while. Most will know him for his best-seller-made-into-a-movie, Atonement.

In a 2009 article in The New Yorker, Daniel Zalewski describes McEwan as “a connoisseur of dread, performing the literary equivalent of turning on the tub faucet and leaving the room; the flood is foreseeable, but it still shocks when the water rushes over the edge.”

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