Although a short book (199 pages), there is a lot of words for not much action. There is basically one big thing that happens … the murder. The other event should have been the birth but, that is covered in just one paragraph and I did not like that paragraph . Writing about being given birth to is pretty difficult as (luckily) none of us remember it, but the description seemed empty devoid of adjectives describe the sensations; squelching, crushing, suffocating and finally all encompassing fresh air … Instead it felt very cliched like the “Panama canal’.
The concept of telling the story from a fetuses point of view was an interesting concept. At times the narrative is from an all seeing point of view but, at other points, great lengthens are taken to emphasise what the fetus did not know like explaining how knew restaurant candle lit because that was discussed. I found this jarring it would be better not to explain what fetus did not know; How did the fetus know so much language, yet not know other basics? Also how did the fetus not realise that John and Claude were bothers earlier just because he did not know Claude’s surname?
It is probably not my preferred type of book as I prefer more story. If it had been longer, I may have found tedious. Having also watched the BBC version of MacEwan’s Child of our time which had an intriguing (baffling) ending; I would not rule out reading another of MacEwan. Perhapas Amsterdam, just because I loved the place.