Margot's Reviews > Atonement

Atonement by Ian McEwan
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's review
Feb 19, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: movies, fiction

This was one of those rare occasions where I watched the movie adaptation before reading the book. I was vaguely unsatisfied with the conclusion of the movie, and the book was a bit less unsatisfying, but still left me with a feeling of "But, wait..." at the end. This novel is so focused on writerly aspects to the story, and internal monologues, that it is surprising that it turned out as well as it did in translation to film. It examines the effect one action (in this case a false rape accusation, allowing the perpetrator to go free) can have on people's lives, and alter the course of their future forever. The atonement of the title is attempted through writing the guilt away. Is this what artists are really attempting to do with their art? Atone for their sins?

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