"Atonement" is a deeply satifying, extraordinarily well written book that seems simple because it is so well crafted, but deals with such complex issues. Core to the book is that each of us comes to our own 'truth' while never really seeing the whole. One of the characters says "It's like being close up to something so large you don't even see it. Even now, I'm not sure I can. But I know it's there." Throughout the book the reader watches this happen again and again, something so large the individuals don't see the whole of it, although they know it is there. For Briony, this lack of understanding leads to tragic consequences, but the book goes on to show how each of us lacks a comprehensive understanding.
I thought it a wonderful, brilliantly written book that will stay with me for many years. Rarely have I had such a satifying "read." From start to finish McEwan didn't let me down. I think those who don't like it are listeners who prefer more action in their books, and this isn't that. It isn't a light read, nor is it fast-paced. I find myself almost wishing I belonged to a book club so I could talk about it, since I know that for all I got out of it, I missed so much. If this type of book isn't to one's taste, or the subject matter and ideas the author explores aren't interesting to you, then certainly don't get it. But that it is well written is not in doubt. I also found the topic utterly fascinating and felt the author was able to express ideas that I have played with in my own head but never would be able to write up as well.
this audiobook has it all for a commuter like me: narration, a great storyline, and a length that makes it worth the purchase. the narration was clear, interesting, and pleasant to listen to. when she takes on the scottish accent, she does it very well and consistently, so as not to be distracting, but not such a heavy accent that one can't understand. the storyline is fun, adventure filled, there are enjoyable, complex characters, and yet it was easy enough to follow as i listened on my commute. while it is billed as a romance, the sex scenes are very minor. there are some parts that are graphic, but those are about the brutal war. i WILL say that if you love bonnie prince charlie the potrayal of him in the next book in this series is NOT flattering. clearly gabaldin does not have any sympathy for the scottish separatist movement.
this trilogy has everything. loved it start to finish. the narration is great. the story riveting and unique. the characters interesting. just make sure you listen to it in order.
the narration is very good. the story is fun and easy to follow. the downside to this book is that one has to believe that a)russia was better off under a tsar [check with, among others, the jewish community regarding this!], 2) russia could return to rule under a tsar in this modern age, and, 3) a brilliant lawyer wouldn't be able to see a corrupt conspiracy going on right under his nose. and that is just in the first couple of chapters. there are other parts of the narrative that are weak but i'd have to give away the story to go into them. i enjoyed listening to this on the way in to work, but didn't think it completely riveting nor really well written; it was too predictable to be either. and there were a number of parts and comments that i had to not examine too closely or else just ignore in order not to get annoyed with the sloppiness of the writing and stereotyping.
Wonderful story [but make sure you read this series in order] with lots of good characters, action and plot. The reader [F. Davidson] is perfect for the story and takes the listener along with him. Definitely worth it.
I found the story good, but the abridgement made the story choppy and it was clear there were bits left out. I do not generally like abridgements, though, so perhaps others who don't mind this will enjoy this production more than I did.
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