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Publisher's Summary

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

©2001 Ian McEwan (P)2014 (p) AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks

What listeners say about Atonement

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You want to read this book!

The book picks up very slowly, but once it does you will not put it down. So trust me when I say you should read it!
I don't want to say much cause then I'll just give you spoilers.

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What a rich experience with excellent narration.

Pared back writing that is meaty . Ian McEwan plays with time and memory and meaning to sculpt a nutritious story.

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  • essjaybella
  • 09-22-16

Slow start but beautifully crafted...

The reason I haven't given this five stars is because of the monotonous start. I nearly gave up. But I stuck with it and, what was a relatively minor event, in the scheme of things, was crafted into a huge web of little mysteries that I wanted resolved. The performance was outstanding and, overall, this is a beautifully written book.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Helen N.
  • 12-15-16

Amazing!

I had seen the film long before listening to this audiobook and loved it. However, the book is all the film was and much more. We are allowed access to Briony's mind and reasoning and it is not an easy story to hear. She is a character to love and hate and is written beautifully. I think the narrator does a wonderful job with an amazing story. A must read / listen.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ms
  • 03-11-16

Beautiful Story

This is Ian McKewan at his finest. I found this heartbreaking love story totally absorbing. It is awash with emotion and thought provoking details of war, love and the divisions of social class. It is clever in its design and pulls you into the world of characters and the world they lived in. I absolutely loved it.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Richard
  • 02-12-15

Stylish and deep

Narration superb. Eclipses the film. Excellent in its style and delivery. Better than I had expected for my first book.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Sarah Bailey
  • 09-09-16

Excellent. Really enjoyed it

Would you consider the audio edition of Atonement to be better than the print version?

I have read the book but really enjoyed hearing the story - it bought it to life for me.

What does Carole Boyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Really great reading; smooth and handles the language of the book brilliantly.

Any additional comments?

Overall an excellent story with great characters; beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Sonia
  • 03-09-16

Atonement

Very first novel I have listened to by this author and narrator. I enjoyed this very much, the twins were my favourite and the book which I read several years ago is just as brilliant and pleasure to enjoy again. The film is next for me.

5 people found this helpful

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  • R. White
  • 06-02-15

An evocative tale

A beautifully told tale of the effect one lie from a child has on a family set against the backdrop of a 1930's upper class family, a war torn London and France and a passionate love that crossed the class barrier.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Jack
  • 01-29-15

An old fashioned sense of nostalgia

A fantastic piece by Ian McEwan, with clever uses of the passage of time to leave the reader in suspense, as well as the use of perspective to help gauge the consequences of certain characters actions.

I certainly know that my vocabulary benefited through his depiction of a girls life and her need to achieve atonement.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Andrew Callaghan
  • 10-05-16

Great!

loved it, narrated very well - a great book to study for english A Level !!

5 people found this helpful

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  • Daniel Westmoreland
  • 06-18-15

Gripping tale

The book it's self is a gripping tale of love tested by the laws of a prewar society, and the application of a child's imagination on such damning events! Very good read, chosen for my a levels would recommend.

5 people found this helpful

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  • M I WATSON
  • 09-24-16

Highly recommended. Excellent narration.

Very enjoyable narration. The story is a little slow to get going, but develops into a very absorbing tale with very interesting and likeable characters. Highly recommended and much better than the movie.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zack
  • 01-22-17

Spectacular

A lyrical and kaleidoscopic exploration of youth, innocence and morality. what elevates this novel to a masterpiece is it's telling of multiple perspectives, each shaping the reader's in turn. Dominant voices develop then recede and we are left with the one narrator who has manipulated the story, as McEwan began in the book's genesis. That said, it is also a wonderful story. Unlike Briony's first unpublished novella, this book packs pace. Loved it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Keegan
  • 10-31-16

Leaves you breathless

I've not seen the film or know anything about it but the twist at the end of the story will leave any reader speechless.

This book is a must for history buffs and hopeless romantics.

McEwan's writing is poetic and will leave the listener breathless and light.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Natassia
  • 06-09-16

Wow

I will be adding this to my list of favourite books and the narration was lovely.

1 person found this helpful

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  • sue
  • 05-15-15

Loved this book

Beautifully read. Ian McEwan makes me think. He paints an incredible picture. Also -He creates wonderful characters and uncomfortable situations.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lynnette
  • 08-25-19

Complex and simple together, thought provoking yet something you know.

My second McEwan book, what a clever author can do with a simple story. I like the 40’s era and enjoyed the description phrases around clothing furnishings and people. Atonement couldn’t have been a more appropriate name for the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-19-19

An amazing story of love and sadness..

Atonement is a beautiful story about love and dramas that can get in the way.

The characters and descriptions of the times and places make the book feel alive in your mind.

Carole Boyd as the narrator is one of the best I have had. The voices and tones used take an a amazing story that already felt alive and double the experience.

Thank you to both the Author and the Narrator for my enjoyment of the book.

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  • Jane Feast
  • 01-07-19

Wrong language used for the period.

Poor narrator, had to curse. Names and phrases not in keeping with this class 1930s Britain.

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  • Lyvia
  • 10-13-17

Great story!

Be prepare to a emotional, sad and naked story. About relationships, war, lies and misunderstandings.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Melinda
  • 10-06-16

Not a winner.

struggled to follow the story. Attention given to characters not integral to the plot annoying. Could not see the relevance to some parts of story line.