My Purple Scented Novel – Ian McEwan

I really enjoy Ian McEwan’s writing. Atonement is one of my fave books in the world. I might read it for a fourth time soon.

So, when I saw this teenie little pocket-sized book on the front counter when I was purchasing another book, I picked it up! And, I read it all in one sitting, accompanied by a hot cup of tea.

This short story is reminiscent of some of my favourite F. Scott Fitzgerald short stories. It’s short, sharp and witty. It was published to celebrate McEwan’s 70th birthday.

In a nutshell, we open the tiny pages to read an account by a fictitious author named Parker Sparrow – maybe we’ll even call the whole thing his ‘confession’.

In this short tale we read how he studied with a close friend named Jocelyn Tarbet who went on to become a celebrated author, while Parker got married and started a family, only to fade into obscurity as a writer. Clearly jealous of his friend’s success, Parker steals his concept for a novel and publishes it before Jocelyn does – therefore claiming that his friend stole his idea. He covers all his bases, even constructing fake journals with his notes for the story concept to prove he was the original writer. The weird thing is, in this account, Parker feels justified in what he’s done.

My Purple Scented Novel is amusing, cringey and utterly satisfying. Well worth a quick read!

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