Carly Thompson's Reviews > Atonement

Atonement by Ian McEwan
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's review
Apr 01, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction, listened-to-on-audio, arrt, anglophilia, reread, 2012
Read from March 20 to April 01, 2012

I re-read this for a genre study after listening to it on audio many year ago. I found the beginning hard going. To quote Lev Grossman from the NY Times, "a lot of literary fiction is very focused on style: dense, lyrical, descriptive prose, larded with tons of carefully observed detail, which calls attention to its own virtuosity rather than ushering the reader to the next paragraph with a minimum of fuss. That kind of writing can be marvelous, but sometimes you're just not in the mood for it." I don't I was in the mood for McEwan's style when I first began reading (I also knew everything that was going to happen so that made me less interested in reading on).

I did find the book picked up for me when the action shifted to WWII, particularly Briony's time as a nurse. (Interestingly this is the section McEwan was accused of plagarizing. So the section I liked the most owes its greatest debt to another writer).

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