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Atonement

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message 1: by Kristin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:51PM) (new)

Kristin I just saw the film version of this book last weekend and I was curious what anyone who read the book thought of it, how well they managed to capture the essence, etc. I had an issue with Kiera Knightley's character, but only because she reminded me of Daisy in The Great Gatsby. Otherwise, I thought the movie was relatively good, but that the book must be better since I left the movie wanting to read it, not to see the movie again. I've only read Enduring Love by McEwan and it drove me up the wall. Maybe it's the whole ridiculousness of having such a strange psychological condition take precedence over the guilt of letting go of the hot air balloon and consequently being responsible in some way for a man's death. I thought that a whole novel could be written about the battle over this guilt, but then this love scenario developed and I was completely turned off. So, I guess my second question is, can anyone convince me that all of his novels aren't so disappointing?


message 2: by Alison (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:56PM) (new)

Alison Kristin, I don't know if you're still interested...I was hoping someone else would pick this up. I haven't seen Atonement, but I would like to if I get the opportunity. I did read and enjoy the book as well as "Saturday" by the same author. I think there was a little discussion about Atonement somewhere in this group...not sure where. I can only tell you that both of these books were beautifully and brilliantly written. You know the story behind Atonement and I can imagine it will only be enhanced for you by Ian McEwan's style of writing...Saturday is not as romantic as Atonement. It is an account of 24 hours in the life of a Neurosurgeon living in London post 9/11 and themes of morality, terrorism (on a smaller scale), and aging come into play.

I had heard there was a novel about a hot air balloon and it sounded a bit morbid and uninteresting to me. I think you would like any of those two I mentioned, or any of others recommended on GoodReads. Atonement was listed as one of the 100 best novels of the last century by Time magazine (if that means much to you) and was the only pick of McEwan's on the list...so it might be a good place to start.


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) The film was one of the most faithful adaptations I've ever seen. Very true to the novel but cut out all the unnecessary parts that made the novel tedious to me. A lot of small details were kept in the film that would probably only be recognized by someone who'd recently read the book (I finished the book on Saturday and saw the movie Sunday).


message 4: by Colleen (new)

Colleen | 1 comments I, too, thought it was an excellent adaptation. It's been a couple of years since I read the book, so while I remembered the major plot points, I had forgotten some of the smaller details. I thought the casting was excellent - I particularly think the actor who played the chocolate magnate Marshall was perfect. Smarmy, arrogant, creepy - precisely how I imagined him in the book. The young Briony was wonderful, as well. I did think that they waited a bit too long to show that Briony had also had a crush on Robbie and may have been acting partly out of feelings of jealousy and of being spurned. Everything looked the way I thought it would - the cinematography was amazing. I particularly liked the sound effect of the typewriter keys.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Colleen, in the book you don't find out about Briony's crush until Part Two, when Robbie reflects on the scene by the river while he's at Dunkirk. The only difference was that in the book Briony tells him she loves him.

I agree that Paul Marshall was perfectly cast. I think the Quincy children were as well. I thought James McAvoy's performance was outstanding. Someone needs to give Keira Knightly a sandwich.


message 6: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore LOL, Sarah! Yes, she is beautiful, but looks almost cachectic. She reminded me of a very thin, uh, blanking on the name, was in Beetlejuice and that one movie with Cher, caught shoplifting...

I loved the final scene with Robbie and Cecilia playing in the sea.


message 7: by Alison (new)

Alison Wynona Ryder.

(Sorry to intrude, but I just couldn't let it dangle there :>)


message 8: by Robbie (new)

Robbie Bashore Yes, Alison! Thank you! Does anyone else think she looks like her?



message 9: by Arctic (new)

Arctic Never thought of it, but she does a bit, you're right. The typical comparison is to Natalie Portman, but I think I like the Wynona Ryder comparison better.


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