This book is bad and Ian McEwan should feel bad for writing it. I think about a review for his newest book that was reviewed here and it’s funny to me how angry the review was. I am not angry because I knew going in it would be bad and embarrassing, but they had it at the library and I knew I’d be too curious to pass it up.
Mostly I think political writing and especially political novels are already a really bad idea. I feel like I understood some time ago that the world of politics (and especially now) drags on in the moment, but quickly changes topic later. Go to any used bookstore and look at the embarrassing books written by political entities trying to cash in on a given moment, or worse look at your local libraries politics section or their Overdrive account and look at all the money they poured into those fleeting, printed hot takes. You got one here, and it’s worst than a lot of them because it’s trying hard to be taken seriously. And it isn’t serious.
Oh so the book is about a cockroach that wakes up one morning and is a human, presumably Boris Johnson, and starts a bullshit political movement. You get it. It’s boring, it’s obvious, and worse, as someone who likely agrees with Ian McEwan in a lot of political questions, embarrassing. It’s the same kind of embarrassment I feel when someone can’t help but be hammy and sophomoric about American politics, not because I worry about decorum or anything like that but because I hate when anything treats politics like a game.