The Innocent

Publisher: Vintage Canada
The setting is Berlin. Into this divided city, wrenched between East and West, between past and present; comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team.

Though only a pawn in an international plot that is never fully revealed to him, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life -- and to lose his unwanted innocence.

The promise of his new life begins to be fulfilled as Leonard becomes a crucial part of the surveillance team, while simultaneously being initiated into a new world of love and sex by Maria, a beautiful young German woman. It is a promise that turns to horror in the course of one terrible evening -- a night when Leonard Marnham learns just how much of his innocence he's willing to shed.


"A topical and brutal tour de force that somehow ascends from horror to a promise of goodness and grace." Michael Ondaatje
"Pure literary pleasure . . . . it's McEwan's fascination with the inner sources of cruelty and conquest that gives The Innocent its frightening vitality." LA Weekly
"Deft, taut fiction. . . . Many English writers have been compared to Evelyn Waugh, often wrongly, but this book can stand with the master's best." TIME
"Never less than wholly entertaining." The Wall Street Journal
"Powerful and disturbing . . . a tour de force." The New York Times
"Impeccably constructed. . . . Though its plot rivals any thriller in narrative tension, this novel is also a character study--of a young man coming of age in bizarre circumstances." Publishers Weekly