National Book Critics Circle, Fiction, 2003
In Atonement, three children lose their innocence, as the sweltering summer heat bears down on the hottest day in 1935, and their lives are changed forever. Cecilia Tallis is of England's priviledged class; Robbie Turner is the housekeeper's son. In their moment of intimate surrender, they are interrupted by Cecilia's hyperimaginative and scheming 13-year-old sister, Briony. And as chaos consumes the family, Briony commits a crime, the guilt of which she shall carry throughout her life.
©2003 Doubleday, Division of Random House, Inc.
"A tour de force. Every bit as affecting as it is gripping." (The New York Times)
"Enthralling...With psychological insight and a command of sensual and historical detail, Mr. McEwan creates an absorbing fictional world." (The Wall Street Journal)
"A beautiful and majestic fictional panorama." (The New Yorker)
One thing this book requires is time to think about the author's words. This narrator, Jill Tanner, is reading so fast as to make any reaction except "What was that?" impossible.
Other reviews indicated that this one had a slow pace, and that was certainly true. I could have lived with that, were it not for the narration. The narrator pauses... all... the... time! She's a bit stoic, too. In the end, I could not endure more than a couple hours of this style of delivery, and they payoff never came. Oh well.
I am not a McEwan fan, i think he's a brilliant writer, but i usually don't appreciate his book plots which are focused on human weakness in an unbearable way.
In this case, both the writing and the plot are brilliant, he maginificently toys with the readers' point of view.
I am not the most critical reviewer and I will listen to almost anything, including books that my teenager downloads. Anyway, I had high hopes for this book, especially with all the hype about the movie. Anyway, I found the book to be a total yawn. The events of one day took half the book and by the end of that day, I didn't care about any of the characters. I almost ditched the book several times, but stuck with it. Still it is not my favorite book. I found it totally boring.
I enjoyed the story but just felt it so long for what it had to say. There was too much running on about the texture of the surrounding but not enough insight in to character development or what attonement really ment to the main character at a more deep understanding. I was disappointed.
I really wanted to like this book -- I had heard such good things about it, and heard it was being made into a film. I gave it the obligatory 50 pages, and just couldn't get into it. (I alternate listening and reading.) But If the story hasn't started by then, I can't get into it. I realize the author was doing extensive character development, but something needs to happen to hook me early on, and I didn't find the characters enough to keep me interested. So I did something I rarely do... I put it down.
This was my first by the author and the start was a little slow for my taste. The story takes place in a very unfamiliar social setting, which can be a rather frustrating to the uninitiated. The writing is beautiful, however, and it was well worth the effort and patience to see it through to the end.
I could never get out of the starting block with this book. After about 2-3 hours I found myself looking for a semi-decent radio station (now THAT is desperation.) I didn't have any interest in the characters, and there was certainly no action (or even movement) to fall back on. I can't recommend this one.
Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.
Give me a break. Without a doubt, this is the worst book I have purchased through Audible. Actually, this may be the worst book I have read in any medium... hands-down. Perhaps it was because I had just finished one of the most beautifully written of all time- The Count of Monte Cristo, an example of a great work of Western civilization. Atonement? Well, let's just call it junk. I completely agree with the reviewers who called it a complete waste of time and money.
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