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Books by Title/Title=topic name > _Atonement_ by Ian McEwan (2001)

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message 1: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 19, 2014 07:06PM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments RE: Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)

SUMMARY: (view spoiler) [from a post at a newsgroup June 2008:]

In case you might be interested, below are some raw notes about _Atonement_" which I copied and pasted from various sources:
-"good story, but too full of spiritual / metaphysical / psycho babble" - Joy H.

-"an ending that blindsides us with its implications." -Roger Ebert review

-"the tome’s metaphysical depth" -Variety movie review by By DEREK ELLEY

-"the book’s perpetual shuffling with time" [ibid:]

-the ending (wherein lies the book's full, brutal power) "The ending packs an emotional punch" -Film Review by James Berardinelli

-"The story is told ... from several points of view. -customer review of book at

-"It was difficult for me to get into and while some moments seemed to drag on for 50 pages, others seemed to pass in a paragraph. I found myself skipping over pages and saying to myself "Ok, I get it already, move on". -another customer review at [By T. Wolff - title of review: You'll Love It or You'll Hate it", June 3, 2008]

-"the writing is over-detailed to the point that it makes a reader struggle to remember what is actually happening in the story. It is with great regret that I am forced to add another book to my "Unbearable" list, and hope that no more innocents are trapped into reading Atonement." "unable to finish" [customer review,, By Nicole Loew "Bibliophile"-title of review: "Abandon all Hope ye who Enter Here" 6/1/08]

-"it takes about 75 pages until it starts to get readable." [customer review at]

-"a complicated, multi-layered book" [customer review,]

-"I just could not get in to this book at all." [customer review,]

-"Absolutely hated this book. I didn't read it all the way through, but I figure 260 pages of literary torture was enough. How this book has been so well received and turned out a movie is beyond my comprehension. This book was entirely inaccessible and boring. I hated the long winded laments on architecture and gardens and I hated and didn't identify with any of the characters. This has been the worst book I've read in a decade at least." [title of review "Literary Torture, May 8, 2008 By Katherine A. Kennedy:]

-"My final note would be that the film did a much better job at revealing its final twist than the book - it was acted in such an outstanding way that you felt the weight of the final revelation that much more..." [customer review,]

-"I wasn't keen on the paragraph-long sentences and the overwrought descriptions of just about everything..." [cust review-amaz:]

-The most inane denouement I've ever read. I actually felt cheated and this is a feeling I don't often get with my reading. And this is the twist/ending that practically everyone was saying was brilliant?! I actually re-read the last section just to make sure I didn't miss anything; perhaps some nuance that slipped by me, etc. Nope. Read everything, understood everything, and still felt cheated. Deflated doesn't even come close to describing what I felt. [customer]

message 2: by Joy H., Group Founder (last edited Feb 11, 2010 08:40AM) (new)

Joy H. (joyofglensfalls) | 16697 comments I read Atonement (2001) by Ian McEwan before I saw the movie.
Movie: "Atonement" (2007) (2008 Academy Award: Best Picture nominee)

Each had its good points. IMO, the movie did a better job of explaining the ending, which in the book was very hazy.

Otherwise, I liked the book a bit better. Actually, it's a toss-up between the two because certain things were clearer in one than in the other.

It was great fun comparing the movie to the book!

Quote from a review:
"The ending packs an emotional punch."
-Film Review by James Berardinelli

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