Rated of 5
by Cloggie Downunder Mistitled
For me, Ian McEwan’s book, Atonement, was mistitled. I think a better title would have been “How to profit from ruining others’ lives”. I was prepared to give this book a chance. A slow start, but good use of language, beautifully written, characters to love and hate and what seemed like a good story until the rather grim ending, which made a complete lie of the blurb on the back: “Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone”. If doing a bit of wartime nursing and then writing the story of your crime after all the people to whom it might matter have died, first changing the ending so that it will be more acceptable to the reader, then Briony’s definition of atonement is something different from the accepted one. “Atonement: amends or reparation made for an injury or wrong”. I felt cheated by the ending for the time I spent on this book. Guess I don't need to try any more by Ian McEwan!
Rated of 5
by Chris I want atonement for the money I spent.
I read this book for my English class and I cannot fathom how it has received nothing but praise. Novels are supposed to SHOW the reader, not TELL the reader, and telling is McEwan's specialty. This is one of the only novels that has actually made me FALL ASLEEP WHILE READING IT, multiple times. And the movie wasn't much better.
Rated of 5
by Marilou Sprang Atonement
Atonement is a fantastic and addicting novel that is full of surprising twists and turns. It presents the power of the human imagination and what can happen when our imaginations run wild. McEwan’s imaginative story, complicated characters, and immense detail make this book one of the most powerful books I have read. Because there is so much to be gained from McEwan’s compelling story of 13 year-old Briony, her family, and the events of that summer in 1935 that alter all of their lives forever, Atonement is a must read for everyone!
Rated of 5
by A Bookshelf Monstrosity Atonement
I usually make a point of not seeing a movie before I get a chance to read the book, but the opposite is true for my experience with McEwan's Atonement. I rented the movie last summer from Netflix and as soon as the movie ended, I stared at the blank screen for a moment, blinked a couple of times in wonderment, and then hit play and watched it in its entirety a second time. Needless to say, I was completely entranced with the storyline and the cinematography. All of this is to say that after having such a wonderful experience with the movie adaptation, I began to worry that I'd ruined the possibility of having a good reading experience with the novel. I find it difficult to read a book after I've seen the movie since I have so many preconceived notions of the characters' appearance and eccentricities locked into my head visually.
Never fear. I loved the book just as much as the movie. I actually listened to this book, mostly while driving, and I'm quite lucky I didn't wind up in a ditch somewhere due to my complete inattention to my surroundings. I became so wrapped up in the characters, the story, and the heart wrenching consequences of one thirteen-year-old's misinterpretation of a number of events and a rash decision. This was my first foray into Ian McEwan's writing and it definitely won't be the last. I was mesmerized with his writing style. The characters, especially that of the young Briony, were so well-drawn. She is so frustratingly self-absorbed and narcissistic in the beginning of the novel, and her imaginative whims that so many young girls possess lead to such a catastrophic turn of events. I'll say no more. You must read it for yourself.
I don't often reread books anymore due to the sheer quantity of amazing novels out there that I must get my hands on, but I can definitely say this is a book I will revisit, perhaps a few times, in the future.
Rated of 5
by Emily Atonement Book Review
There was a crime. But there were also the lovers. This line from the final pages of Atonement by Ian McEwan accurately and succinctly describes the story. Atonement is a book that doesn't really seem like it would go together, but it does. It is a love story, a war story, and is full of suspense and adventure. The many different parts and the way they fit together are what make the book so good.
[deleted because of plot spoilers] Ian McEwan was born soon after the end of World War II, and I think that his father, who was a Scottish Army Officer, may have had some influence on McEwan's obvious interest in the war. His stories of the retreat from Dunkirk seem real, and indicate that he has either done a lot of research, or knows a lot of war stories, or both. The plot of this book is full of twists and surprises, and it is not your typical love story. It is much more complex, and it talks about social changes, moral decisions, consequences, and class tension in a way that is not boring or pretentious. Once you begin reading, the suspense of the plot will draw you in. Once I began reading, I did not put the book down, because I wanted to see who had really committed the crime. Each of the sections fits together even though they are very different, and the book flows smoothly. At first I disliked Briony because she made a very serious decision without getting all the facts or looking at the real-world consequences. At the end of the book, I still don't think she did enough, but at least she put in an effort, and the things that happened were a result of an unlucky combination of factors. While I didn't like Briony, I do have to admit that she is real. Or, at least, she seems to be real, which is part of the book's charm and appeal. I could see parts of myself in each character, which drew me in and made me more interested in their fates.This book is AMAZING, and each of the characters has their own quirks and passions. The story seems real, and is very descriptive, which is liked because I could visualize the places and people.
This is a great book for many different audiences because of its wide variety of subjects, which are all realistic. They include everything from love, sex and family relationships to war, death, and ill fated mistakes.
Rated of 5
by Marquie Atonement avalanche
Prodigious! Supreme masterpiece! If novels came with sound effects then each voluptuous sentence within ATONEMENT would burst with class and vivacity! McEwan wields a glorious prose portraying a bittersweet tale of romance - the atonement of a childish and envious crime, hate to admit this but it really did squeeze sour tears from my eyes when Robbie and Cecilia were separated! Its amazing how a 13 year old girl's imagination can smash a couple's sweet affair to pieces, Briony Tallis is brilliantly crafted that she seems so real! mcEwwan's splendid talent sinks us deep into the story plot - we hear each conversation between the characters, each tremble of the breath we hear as our own! McEwan is a GENIUS.. ATONEMENT is a book for everyone to enjoy!
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