Sometimes I feel as though I’m the only person on Earth who didn’t think that Knives Out was the revolutionary and original murder mystery that everyone else believes. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it but the way some people go on, you’d think Rian Johnson had invented the drama. Although, I’m generally underwhelmed by whodunnits in general. It might be because of my love of Agatha Christie or because I’m just too cynical. Either way, I just think they’re too obvious. It’s such an oversaturated market that we’ve seen it all before. I just think it’s difficult to shock, so you need to do something special to keep me on board. I was keen to find out if See How They Run would do that.
When I was a teenager Ian McEwan was one of my favourite authors. I used to read everything I could. I started with Enduring Love and went from there. There is something about the way he writes characters and constructs a narrative that I was mad about. But I have to admit that I haven’t really bothered with him in recent years. I bought Sweet Tooth but, never being blown away by the synopsis, it remains unread. The Nut Shell was one of my must reads but it’s sat in my TBR pile for far too long. I’ve certainly let my appreciation of McEwan lapse over the years. It was, in fact, On Chesil Beach that was my last read by the writer. I absolutely loved it but it was a difficult read. It’s so awkwardly British and repressed but so fantastically written. It’s a fabulous character study about two young people trying to do their marital duty whilst living in a sexually repressed era. It made me physically cringe as I read it but I could not stop reading. So, I was fairly excited by the decision to adapt the novel, especially as it stars my newest love Saoirse Ronan. However, as we also know, Ian McEwan novels are often hard to adapt. So much of his novel is the inner thoughts of his characters and that’s pretty problematic. And On Chesil Beach is even more insular and held-back than most of this novels. I just couldn’t see how it could be done justice.