Thursday, February 16, 2012

Review: Atonement

Title Atonement
By Ian McEwan
Pages 351
Recommended by Book club

First sentence (way to freaking long to type out!!!!)

Synopsis
Briony witnesses a flirtation between her older sister Cecilia and the son of a servant, Robbie Turner. Not understanding, she commits a crime that changes each of their lives forever.

What it has going for it
LOL! Oh dear! I've never had the experience I had while reading this book...ever! I saw the movie way back when it came out and HATED it. So, when my book club decided to read it, it was with great trepidation that I decided I was going to try it despite my prejudices. Then, when I actually got the book, I kept warily eyeing it across the room and finally had to pick it up or risk not finishing it in time for book club. Then came the process of reading it. I won't bore you with too many details but, besides some fairly good writing and imagery, it was painful! I didn't like ONE SINGLE character and when you can't have at least one character to root for, it's hard to like a book. Plus, the movie was very similar, it was like reliving those horrid two hours all over again. And then...I got to the last few pages. (whoohoo! Almost finished) And then I got to the last, very last , paragraph...and went, "OH!!! I get it! Huh?" LOL! See why I'm laughing? So, no, I didn't love the book, all of the sudden, but I understood it. I finally get it!

What's lacking
I've already discussed a few things but I'll point out the things that bothered me the most. The writing was lovely but bordered on overly flowery...of course, now I understand why but it still got tiresome. I noticed a great deal of "telling", as well, and that was a bit of a disappointment; I'd heard Ian McEwan was an amazing writer. The whole fifty pages with Robbie at war just plain bored me to tears. I guess that makes me sound insensitive but that's just how I felt.

Yea or Nay?
Um, well, if you can trudge your way through it to see the whole picture it's kinda worth it, actually.

30 comments:

  1. Never had any desire to read this book, and I suppose I won't be any time soon. But, your review is funny and I did enjoy reading it! I'll be leery of the novel since I don't want to be reading anything painfully horrible.

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    1. Yeah, it was definitely hard to get through.

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  2. I tired reading this book a few years ago. My reaction is similar to yours. A definite "nay" from me. I actually found myself skimming the pages and finally just skipping to the end so that I would know it.

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    1. I used to be able to that but now I feel obligated to read the whole book and every single word. Argh!

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  3. Doesnt the name of this one say it all? The word Atonement pretty much equals boredom. I didn't want to see the movie so the idea of reading the book is very unappealing. But so many people love it. Good to know I'm not missing out on anything. I don't know how you manage to read the all the way through the books you don't enjoy.

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    1. It's very hard! I felt more obligated with this one because it was for book club. I never would have even started it, otherwise.

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  4. Oh dear, doesn't really sound as though this is the type of book I would like! Especially as there is a big part set in a war. I just don't like books or films that are about war!

    And a few years ago I read a book by this author (I enjoyed it so much I can't even remember the title!) and I also found I didn't like any of the characters in it and I found it such hard work to actually finish reading it! Needless to say, I haven't picked up another one of his books since!

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    1. Yeah, when there are NO good characters it's very hard to care about the book.

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  5. You know, I finished (and didn't really enjoy) the book, and I don't think I even "got" it at the end. Maybe you should explain it to me :)

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    1. LOL! I didn't want to give any spoilers away. But if you consider that the whole book you just read WAS the book Briony wrote and, therefore, all the characters viewed her and the world the way she did, it just leads to some reflection. Make sense?

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  6. You're hilarious. Way to trudge through. Perspective, so easy to get caught up in yours and spend decades in flowery melancholy.

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  7. I'm impressed you finished it! It's one of those books that I know is a "classic" in the why-am-I-doing-this-to-myself? sense.
    So did the rest of your book club like it?

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    1. Only three of us read it and I think we all kinda felt the same.

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  8. Thanks for writing this up. Your account has really made me think about my own impressions. I had to kind of force myself to read and finish this one. But I enjoyed the writing and the ending has left me thinking about this one. I think I liked it. A lot. But I don't know that I would recommend it to very many people.

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    1. Yeah, it's not one that many people could trudge through. ;)Well, lots of people have so what do I know.

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  9. Heard about the movie, but had no idea how good or bad it was. I might decide to read this one to see how it is :P Great review! Love the honesty– made my day XD

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    1. The movie follows it closely enough but you don't get the same "aha" moment at the end. At least I didn't

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  10. I loved this book. Didn't find it slow or boring at all. It's funny, I started the book fully intending to hate it, but I didn't.

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    1. I know a lot of guys that loved it...maybe us girls just don't get it.

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  11. Tag, you're it! I tagged you. See here for the rules: http://letsbookit.blogspot.com/2012/02/i-was-tagged-by-book-girl-of-mur-y.html
    Questions:
    What's your favourite holiday?
    What gave you nightmares as a kid?
    Which book character's life would you like to steal for your own?
    Who's your favorite artist?
    Coffee or Tea? (or something else all together)
    What's your pet peeve?
    What is your idea of comfort food?
    You are stranded on a desert isle - what one thing is with you?
    Sweet snacks or salty?
    When you were a child, what was your favorite piece of playground equipment?
    What's your favorite smell?

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  12. I've got a copy of this one but after I saw the movie I lost interest in reading it. I keep telling myself someday I'll get to it. I just don't know whether or not to believe me. :)

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    1. Yeah, I tend to say things like that to myself all the time.

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  13. Ha, I was going to see the movie. I'm glad I'm I stumbled across this post because now I won't be going to see the movie anymore. Definitely does not sound like my type! Thanks for the heads up!

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    1. Besides James McAvoy it doesn't have much going for it.

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  14. I have to throw in a "yea" for the book because I loved it and was wowed by it. I still enjoyed your review though. I've definitely felt that way about some books that are supposed to be great. I never saw the movie of this one, and maybe that helps? In fact, after I read the book, I couldn't even see why they would make a movie of it. It seems like the amazing things about it would not translate to the screen. The story itself is pretty blah.

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    1. I did like it...in the end, but trudging through it was hard for me.

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  15. Good for you, for getting through it! :) It is really hard to keep reading when it's hard to connect with any of the characters.

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  16. Even though you didn't like the book, I'm glad that you got something out of it. I still want to read it. I plan to eventually, lol. Only 1.5 months left of class!

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