Jana's Reviews > Atonement

Atonement by Ian McEwan
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May 07, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: heart-and-mind, fiction

I was attracted to this book, because in the trailer there was Keira, wearing that stunning green dress. And because the soundtrack was impressive. It reminded me of my childhood, raised as a daughter of a hyperactive and workaholic journalist, the sound of typewriting machine was the sound that I was constantly surrounded with. Plus, I had something of Briony in my personality. Book wonder, and sneaking upon my older sister.

So I saw the movie, and because I didn’t have any clue what to expect, I cried for the next few days.

Atonement is the first book that made a huge impact in my twenties. I decided to read it because, I thought, no, honestly, if a movie is really that great, is it possible for a book to be even better?


Most of the time during reading, I was utterly envious. I couldn’t believe that somebody – McEwan, actually had all those words in his vocabulary. He was talking about Briony and her aggressive attitude toward nettles for 20 pages – what a fantastic psychological mind game. And during those pages, I was biting my nails because my brain just couldn’t cope with his eloquence.

His symbols, sexual connotations, guilt as a wild angry animal that will torment you till the end – everything about this book is connected with human psyche and rotation consequences.

I know that Briony is just a kid, inspecting her childhood years on the edge crossing into adulthood, while dark and humming sounds of sexual deviations are coming to the surface during lazy summer nights, but at one point I just wanted to slap her. Mind your own business you spoiled and stupid child!

But I understand her. Perspectives change as everybody in this book inevitably change. Characters develop, as the narration develops.

There is no atonement. Just guilt, and they can’t apply - don’t look back.

It is just an amazing book, to put it mildly. Not enough words in my vocabulary.
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message 1: by Катя (new)

Катя Пашковська wow, you'd written it so good!Usuaaly I don't read here thoughts of the people concerning books I decide to read or no. I can say it's first time I read it to end. Good words and goog thoughts I see here))Thank you for you review:)

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