Book Reviews of Atonement

Atonement
Atonement
Author: Ian McEwan
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ISBN-13: 9780385721790
ISBN-10: 038572179X
Publication Date: 2/25/2003
Pages: 356
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 885

3.6 stars, based on 885 ratings
Publisher: Anchor Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

148 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Atonement on + 73 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
I tried to read this book a few years ago, but I couldn't get into it. I must say, I'm glad I tried again. This time around, I couldn't put the book down. It's a beautifully written story, and the author perfectly captures the emotions of the characters and the moods of the situations. I can easily see why this was on Time magazine's list of 100 all-time novels. It was one of the best books I have read in a while. It's a captivating story and remarkably well-written.
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 13
This is one of the best books that I have ever read.
Mr. McEwan's writing is incredible. His descriptions of places and characters put the reader right in the scene. The author squeezes out of us a whole range of emotions while reading this book. We go from love to hate to fear to hope and despair.
I can't wait to read his others.
reviewed Atonement on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
I only wish I could call this book an easy read. To me, Atonement was a struggle, only because I knew such an emotional book could only end in heartbreak. I found Atonement hauntingly beautiful, and though I finished it three or four days ago, I find myself constantly thinking about the questions the book raises. My first Ian Mcewan, but definitely not my last. I am also planning on reading No Time For Romance, by Lucilla Andrews, whom Mcewan borrowed from to bring Atonement together.
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 12
It is a quiet summer day in 1935 England. This otherwise peaceful day culminates in a single tragic event that entirely shapes the second part of the story. McEwan uses first half of book to describe this days happenings from many points of view. The replay of simple domestic activities through the eyes of one person after another slows the story at first. Story picks up intensity towards the end of part I.

The story is action filled WWII fiction in part II. The reason McEwan retells story from so many different points of view in part I becomes clear in last 50 pages. Recommended mostly for those who enjoy character driven fiction or European period writing.

Well written story, a Golden Globe winning film in 2007.
reviewed Atonement on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
I've just finished, and all I can say is... wow. Just wow. I stepped into this book (and the movie) knowing exactly what the ending was, but that didn't prepare me at all. Both movie and book made me cry about five times apiece. (Even on the second time I saw the movie.) You will genuinely feel for these characters-- you will hate Briony, you will empathize with Cecilia, but most of all, you will feel horrible for Robbie. Oh how I loved and pitied him! I credit Ian McEwan for giving a startlingly realistic depiction of the war and being able to evoke such human emotion. Read this book, or at the very least, see the movie. They're both excellent.
reviewed Atonement on + 188 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I wanted to like this book (purchased it to read before I saw the movie). Parts of it were good, but overall, it just didn't provide any satisfaction. The themes were interesting ones, but the characters just never resonated with me. I felt like I struggled too much to "wade" through it. Just a nitpicky thing, but I got distracted several times by odd punctuation in the use of commas. At times it seemed well-written with lovely prose, but overall I have to say I didn't care for the book.
reviewed Atonement on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
At first, this feels like one of those books that is well written, but somehow not entertaining enough. The insight into character is very true, very perceptive, but plot arrives at such a slow pace. And yet it's obviously very deliberate, very controlled writing. I enjoyed the old-fashioned character analysis and the way he handled the growing emotional connection between Cecelia and Robbie was beautiful. The way he made emotional catalysts equally as important as the physical to the plot line is quite remarkable. I think I liked the book--it's definitely one to contemplate more in the future. (They're making a movie of this soon and I honestly cannot imagine this will translate well to the screen--especially with the way it ends!)
reviewed Atonement on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Wonderful book, if you can get through it. It is quite slow, especially at the beginning. But do push through--you'll be rewarded!

As much as this book is called a "love story," romance is merely a vehicle to get at the novel's bigger themes: family, mistakes, the written word, (self) forgiveness. A must read!
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 8
Ultimately one of the best books I have ever read! Took a little while to get into and then the book just flies.
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 8
Fantastic. He understands the psychology of his characters and gives great attention to detail.
reviewed Atonement on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
Once I got past the fist 90 pages, this book was absolutely wonderful. The setting up takes a while, but makes it so worth it because you can truly capture the mood of the characters. I could hardly put it down once I got into it.
reviewed Atonement on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
I can't decide whether I liked this book or didn't. The language is very flowery - so much so that you can skim entire pages and not miss what's going on. It was very easy to put down, but I was compelled to finish it. The story seems a little improbable - I understand that it was a different time, but I can't imagine the police taking the word of a child over the victim herself (who was unsure), and without investigating further. Some of the imagery is pretty stunning, and it was a good story, but probably not one I would re-read, or go out of my way to recommend. It reminded me of a play - not necessarily a bad thing. It would translate well to the theatre. Maybe I'm in a minority in my opinion about the brilliance of this book, but I was very lukewarm on it.
reviewed Atonement on + 56 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This book was hard to get into. The author uses so much description that the plot gets lost at first. It does pick up as the book moves along, but it is still very, very descriptive. In the end, I can see why he wrote the way he did, but that doesn't mean the book improves in my estimation. It is a good story - very emotional once it gets going, with a plot twist or two that really do add depth. I'm glad I read it, but I can't say I recommend it.
reviewed Atonement on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Beautiful novel of love, loss and regret. McEwan is a master at setting tone. Pace maybe slow for some, but that is exactly his intent, especially in the first part, to build suspense and conflict. Highly recommend this book for excellent writing and interesting characters.
reviewed Atonement on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This book was beautifully written, I just couldn't get into the story. I'm not sure why, it just never pulled me in.
reviewed Atonement on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Meh. Is the best work I could come up with. Atonement in my opinion wasn't fantastic and it wasn't horrible. I've read worse books, but I've definitely read better. The book was better than the movie I thought as there's a lot of thought and inner monologue going on which the movie has a harder time capturing. So if you are debating between the two, my recommendation would be to read the book. The story is very saddening, disappointing, and in general a downer. Just a fair warning
reviewed Atonement on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
with all books that have been turned into movies...i must say DO NOT watch the movie first. always read the book...it was beautiful. much more in depth, obviously, than the movie, and more touching.
reviewed Atonement on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
what an exquisite book. Lush and detailed, this story follows the lives of a family in turmoil after a young girl mistakes the flirtations between her sister and the gardner as a crime. As she names the accused her actions haunt her for the rest of her life.
There are moments in this book where the descriptions of what was happening literally made me cry. McEwan's ability to describe another's thoughts and feelings leave you with a complete understanding of everyone's motives. The ending is haunting, leaving you to wonder what might have been.
reviewed Atonement on + 23 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I could not get past page 48 in this book and many of my book club felt the same way. His writing style is very descriptive, but to the point of stalling the action of the book. Sorry, but I have to say I hated this book and will NEVER read another book by this author.
reviewed Atonement on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A true masterpiece. Words can't do it justice. Truly captures an age in more ways than one. I was spellbound by this story from the first page, never knowing where it would take me, devouring every nuance, every breath the characters took, their very essences. I read it before I even knew a film was being made of it, and when I saw the film I was happy they had captured the spirit of the book, but no film will ever be able to portray everything that happens in this book.
reviewed Atonement on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Good plot ideas, but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style. I honestly only finished it because I hate to leave books unfinished. There were few places where I was so engrossed that I couldn't stop reading. Most of the time I was just reading for the sake of finishing. The last chapter may well have been my favorite.
reviewed Atonement on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is one of those books that you remember for a long time. A 13-year-old girl witnesses an act and constructs her own immature interpretation of it, with disastrous consequences for one man. As she matures, she realizes her error and tries to atone for it by becoming a nurse in wartime. The opening section is a bit slow at times, but the rest of the book is a real page-turner.
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 2
This is a hugely incredible book, but not for everyone. Many people I know who saw the movie first did not like the book. I love both the book and the movie. Atonement is deep and multi-layered, and is not light reading. Interestingly, readers come away with different impressions of the resolution of the story. Most of McEwan's work is too creepy for my taste, but this is one of my favorite books ever. I've read it several times, and each time something new is revealed.
reviewed Atonement on + 327 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Just finished this book for my book club. I found it very boring. Very long verbous paragraphs. I will say the last third of the book is much better than the early portion. I didn't find the characters interesting. The war scences were good. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
reviewed Atonement on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The fluid, intellectual writing of Ian McEwan, which drives a superb and deeply-felt plot, makes "Atonement" a must-read for any person. I could hardly believe the book was written recently - it feels as though the author wrote it while living the life presented in the book himself! A human tale of mistakes, jealousy, true love, and the way in which we enter into these emotions and how we deal with them later, written in a period-exact style. I absolutely recommend this astonishing book - DO read it. You will recognize many of the inner turmoils of the characters and will more-than-likely be thinking of this book long after you finish it the first time. The movie is wonderful, too!
reviewed Atonement on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really wish I'd read the book before seeing the movie... The book is devastatingly beautiful, and it really sticks with you long after you've finished.
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Helpful Score: 2
I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
reviewed Atonement on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was beauitfully written. It was haunting yet sad in some parts. I agree with other ratings that this story carries with you days, weeks and in my case months later. I love this book and look forward in reading more by this great author.
reviewed Atonement on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book is beautifully written. Like some others have said, it is a little slow in parts, but it's done for effect. The story is heartbreaking and really makes you feel for all of the main characters.
reviewed Atonement on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I read this book right when the movie came out and it was being talked about by everyone. Perhaps due to the high expectations this created, I found the novel very disappointing. The characters were mostly unlikeable and I found myself ambivalent to whether they ended up happy or not. It was well-written, but I didn't find the story or the characters engaging. I kept with it, expecting it to get better, but was not satisfied.
reviewed Atonement on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm not a fan of Ian McEwan. No matter how many of his books I try to read I can't seem to get through them. The stories are inventive but he just gets so bogged down in details that the stories move to slow. Many people love his work but he just isn't for me.
reviewed Atonement on + 131 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very good book, definitely worthwhile to read.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was horribly boring. I don't recommend.
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Helpful Score: 1
Well written novel about the devastating consequences of a well intentioned action. It takes a few chapters to get engrossed, but then I couldn't put it down.
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Helpful Score: 1
Atonement is set in 1935, when 13-year-old Briony Tallis is a girl on the cusp of womanhood. Based on events she sees but doesn't quite understand, she becomes the reason an innocent man, (Robbie, her older sister's beau) is convicted of a crime that occurred on her family's estate. Years later during World War II, Briony is trying to atone for her guilt by working as a nurse tending to the mountainous piles of wounded that are arriving from Dunkirk, where Robbie himself is fighting. This is the faint outline of a novel about childhood, love, and war by acclaimed British novelist Ian McEwan that has garnered high praise from all quarters. The New York Times calls Atonement "his most complete and compassionate work to date." FROM ReviewsofBooks.com
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Helpful Score: 1
I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
reviewed Atonement on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
We read this in an AAUW book club. Great discussion! How a child's lie can change the lives of many people.
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Helpful Score: 1
I can't tell you how many times I picked this book up at the bookstore, because the story sounded good, but when I flipped through it, the prose put me off. I'm a chick lit kind of gal, and this book looked too...dense.

But, when I found a copy at my local friends of the library store, I decided to give it a try, because it only cost $1.

It took a LONG time to get into this book. By page 75, I still felt like I was waiting for something to hook me in. But it wasn't long before I was reading every chance I got, to see what would unfold next. Even the middle part of the book, the part that dealt with the war, held my interest, and I don't usually care for war stories.

BUT--and this is a big but--the ending just really irritated me to no end. I hated it. If I had not read the epilogue, I probably would have been left with a better view of this book. As it is, all I can think of now is how much I absolutely hated the ending. Although, I have to admit, I don't usually feel so strongly about a book, so even though it was a negative emotion, it still had a powerful affect on me, and I suppose that's the point?

I seriously doubt I'll read anything else by Ian McEwan.

Off to add the movie to my Netflix queue now, to see how well it was translated into film.
reviewed Atonement on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very moving story, very sad though. But beautifully written, I couldn't put it down.
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Helpful Score: 1
New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice
Selected Best Book of the Year
Winner National Book Critics Circle Award
reviewed Atonement on
Helpful Score: 1
Really wonderful. This is one of the few books in recent years that I have read multiple times. McEwan creates characters very well; he does particularly well at creating believable children.
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Helpful Score: 1
The first half and the last half of this book were absorbing, but the middle section where Robbie Turner goes away to fight in the war seemed out of place and a bit drawn out.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of the best books I've ever read. On a dark, pre-WW II night at a wealthy English family's estate, a pre-teen girl's jealousy of her older sister spurs her to make a shocking accusation, an accusation that in the end, along with the coming war, will forever alter the life of her sister and the man she loves. As the young girl grows and eventually nurses soldiers at a London hospital, she must come to grips with what she has done.
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Helpful Score: 1
Symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness -- brilliant
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Helpful Score: 1
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time. I sat down and read it front to back without moving much -- I highly recommend it to anybody, and I cannot wait for the movie to come out very soon!
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Helpful Score: 1
This is my all time favorite book. I found the characters fully fleshed and real. It took a bit to get through the beginning, but I was so happy that I did. It truly is all important and necessary, so if you're having trouble getting into the book I suggest you push yourself to do it. It's worth it. Ian McEwan is a modern master. A rare find.
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Helpful Score: 1
A wonderful, fully developed story & great depth of characters. Parts of it are almost mysterious & haunting. A great story about love & betrayal.
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Helpful Score: 1
I saw the movie first, then decided to read the book. I found the book to be very slow in the beginning and it struggled to keep my interest. But gradually it picked up until I found I didn't want to stop reading even though I knew how it ended. I enjoyed the book but I think I liked the movie better. Which is usually never the case.
reviewed Atonement on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The story was interesting enough that it held my interest, but I wouldn't say it was one of the best books I've ever read. The story itself is very good, but there were parts when I think I just glazed over what was going on. Certain areas of the story I figured out long before they were revealed. Both my sister and brother-in-law tried to read the book, but neither got through it. Having said all that, I would not, however, recommend the book to a friend - the story is very slow moving.
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Helpful Score: 1
Be prepared for an all-nighter! Impossible to put down.
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Helpful Score: 1
My bookclub had a good discussion w/ this book. Spooky ending.
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Helpful Score: 1
A very detailed and realistic account of (almost) every day life in 30's England which turns very surreal.
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Helpful Score: 1
Enjoyed this story, the first of his I've read, and can't wait to see the movie. It's about a brattie girl who makes up a story about her sister and her sister's boyfriend, and the life changing course that this "rumor" causes. Shows her growing up and facing the mistakes she has made.
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Helpful Score: 1
The story is good, but sad. A tragic love story! A story of two people in love and not being able to be together. Torn apart by being falsely accused of a crime. And a little girl who has to live the rest of her life feeling guilty for something she did.

I enjoyed the story, but didn't actually care for the author, Ian McEwan. He goes on and on, page after page describing one scene and I felt like "get on with it already, I get the picture!" I, personally, just didn't care for his style of writing.

I actually enjoyed the movie better, however, the book did help me to understand a lot of things in the movie that would have been confusing if I had not of read it. I do suggest reading the book first.
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Helpful Score: 1
A beautifully crafted book with a satisfying ending. Riveting, emotional and strong.
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Helpful Score: 1
I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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Helpful Score: 1
What a lovely read. That said i must also say, What a sad and frustrating read. Sad, because as children, things can be said and done that they have no idea of what will happen because of their words or deeds. Frustrating because i wanted evrything to turn out differently. I do realize in life this does not happen the way we want all so often. I must also tell you that i saw the movie, it was wonderful, but the book is always better. This is a deep novel and will leave you almost breathless. One i really would read again and again, as there is alot to pick up each time the book is opened.
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Helpful Score: 1
I have tried to read this book several time and just couldn't get "into" it. A friend said that it doesn't get interesting until after the first few chapters.
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Helpful Score: 1
One of the best books I have read in a long time. Memorable story and characters.
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Wow! I just finished this book last night and am still digesting it. This is a story of a misunderstanding that compounds on itself, leading to horrible repercussions. It was extremely well-written. McEwan draws you into the psyche of each character. I found myself sympathizing with almost all of them--even when I despised their behavior. I would recommend this to anyone that loves to be absorbed by excellent literature.
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This book wasn't something I would enjoy. However, many people loved it. I think it's a matter of personal taste.
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This was an amazing novel. I watched the movie and fell in love with it, and sought the book to get more info and just to read the original story. It was impossible for me to put this book down very long! I knew how most of the story was supposed to go and got a lot of details for these scenes, and much more. The ending was very different from the one in the film, although there are still some points in common. I cannot possibly recommend this book enough. It is a favorite and one of the most poignantly beautiful novels I have ever read.
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Really good book!! The first third of the book I thought was kind of dry and hard to get into, but once you get through that, the rest is great! At first, I got really annoyed with the abundance of description, it seemed sometimes that whole chapters were simply descriptions of people, places or events. After some time though, I started to appreciate his writing style and it made the book so much more enjoyable.
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I tried, but I couldn't get into it.
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In this novel, when Ian McEwan writes a sentence, it stays written.
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First book I've read by McEwan, started a bit slow, but by the end I really loved it -- would like to read more of him.
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I hated this book - my friend likened it to a 'literary m@sturb@tion' - he wrote it just to hear what he had to say.
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One of the best books I have ever read by one of my favourite authors.
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I actually saw this movie before I read the book (which is the opposite of what usually happens).

I thought the prose of the writer was lovely - absolutely beautiful. However, I did think that Part One of the book was very slow and tedious reading. I felt that if I had not seen the movie, I might not have gotten through it. It's rambling and seemingly pointless at times.

Once past Part One, it moves at a much more lively pace. I liked this book (although it is quite sad!) Would definitely recommend, just keep in mind you'll be trudging through the first bit.
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This is depressing. It was hard to get through. I understand McEwan's thought process but it did not hold my interest. I found myself hating it in the end. It was not what I expected. Very sad emotional story.
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I liked this book, but it was a very heavy read and I felt it was very thought provoking. And kind of made me sleepy at times. But the last bit really pulled me in as well. Contradicty much?

Most people have probably seen the movie and have a good idea of what the story is about. Let me tell you folks, it is an even more sad tale on the page than it was on the screen. Naturally, you get more into each of the characters and I think this really brings you to either fall more in love with them, or despise them more than you did before.

To read the rest of my review, please visit:
http://www.dorolerium.com/?p=515
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Rather heavy - his writing is.....but at the same time, I like it.
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Well-written and engaging, this book really takes the reader for a ride. Contrary to some reviewers, I had no problem getting into the story from the very beginning. This is a rewarding story and is highly recommended.
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I read this book for a bookclub 2 or 3 years ago and I still find myself thinking about it. It is a wonderful, complex story and a great read.
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Welllllll.....the first time I read it, I must say that I scanned it rather quickly looking for the meat of the story only realizing until after I had seen the movie, that my impatience caused me to completely miss the beat and nuances of this wonderful book. I picked it up again and could not believe what a treasure I missed the first time round. If you find it hard to get into, please go see the movie and then pick it up again. You will
clearly appreciate it much better. It is a gem of a book.
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Beautifully written and a true pleasure to read!
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Excellent writing! Great storyteller!
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I appreciate that the critics loved this book...BUT I didn't. I can only recall a handful of books that I have not finished once I started. I just couldn't stay with it. I found it choppy, and the story line didn't flow for me. I hope the next person appreciates it more than I.
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compassionate work - seductive and redemptive.
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The story takes a little while to get going, but is really a very good read.
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A Booker Prize finalist. A NY Times Book Review Editor's Choice.
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Excellent, beautiful book - takes a determined reader to stick to it long enough to get into the plot.
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Not one of my favorites. Thought it would be just be wonderful based on reviews and awards, but, yeah, in my opinion, not the case. I guess I didn't like it because it was much more character driven than plot driven. The beginning is very slow, goes into detail about the character's thought processes.......I did read it through, but all in all, dull and depressing.
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While I loved the movie, the book is better because the characters are truely brought to life.

The author has a knack for discribing the details around the characters. I will admit, at times, can slow the story down, but you get a true sence of what is going on.

The young girl's imagaination is quite vivid. You understand more clearly through the book, then the movie, why the young girl did what she did.

Read it and you will understand what I mean.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
reviewed Atonement on
This book gets off to a _very_ slow start. Things don't really begin to pick up till about 1/3 of the way through, but after that, I found it very compelling and interesting. I haven't seen the film yet, but I wonder how they could have captured all the drama, which mostly takes place in the hearts and minds of the characters. I bet that, like many book adaptations, the movie probably tells only surface narrative, leaving aside all subtlety. Unlike some of the other readers here, I found certain scenes to be movingly romantic. I also enjoyed reading more about what life was like for Londoners during the war. I would recommend it if you feel you have the self-discipline to pull yourself through the first part of the book--I almost didn't make it, but I'm glad I slogged through it to get to the good stuff.
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Good book that follows a family through twists and turns, deception and chaos. An easy read.
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I saw the movie first and then read the book. They are equally beautiful works of art. The book, of course, brings so much more of the story to life. The depth of the characters, the twists and turns of the story line are all so wonderful that I was very sad when the book ended.
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This is a great book set in the 1940s and very close to the movie. It is a definite tear jerker and sad twists to the story.
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Well written. Extremely close to the movie
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One of my favorite books. This is a beautiful yet tragic love story.
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I bought this book at the airport to read on a business trip. It was a pretty quick read. It is not the kind of book I typically choose, but it is a good story. Would be good for a book club selection.
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One summer day in 1935, thirteen year old Briony Tallis witnesses the flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, son of a servant. But Briony's incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime whose repercussions Atonment follows through the chaos and carnage of WWII and into the close of the twentith century.
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Most people love this book. Ian McEwan is a very well-liked author and this is supposedly one of his best books. It just didn't suit my tastes.
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A little wordier than I usually like; but well done. It took a hundred pages or so to "get into" it, but it was worth it in the end.
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This is a well-written book, rather unsentimental -- self-conscious and insightful about the power of a novelist. I did not particularly care for any of the characters so was not as touched by the series of tragic events that take place. There is incredibly graphic and documentary coverage of the what it was like to be a nurse in London at the beginning of WWII. It's a phenomenatl read, and even though it involves a love story it is not a tearjerker for that reason. Love and War, Peace and Deception.
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The story is told of her life changing mistake as a young girl who dreams of being a writer in upper-middle-class interwar England, the effects on herself, family and friends, and her own effort to achieve atonement over the coming century, which leads to an exploration on the nature of writing itself.
The novel bears the name of its primary theme. Throughout the work, the reader can see the characters search for atonement. "I gave them happiness, but I was not so self-serving as to let them forgive me," Briony says at the end of the novel. Briony recognizes her sin (i.e., wrongfully accusing Robbie and ruining his and Cecilia's chance at a life together) and attempts to atone for it through writing her novel. She does not grant herself forgiveness; rather, she attempts to earn atonement through giving Robbie and Cecilia a life together in her writing...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atonement_(novel)

The movie Atonement didn't follow the book exactly, but the book did detail all that really happened.
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I got stuck and could not finish it---someone else should enjoy it because the reviews were great.
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Every sentence was wonderfully writtren and important to they story. So glad I found this author at PaperBackSwap. Will definetly be reading more of his work. National Bestseller. Booker Prize Finalist.
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The story was so devastating that I had to put it down. If you are tender hearted, and if reading a sad book has, from time to time, ruined your day, then you might want to think twice about this one.
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One of that year's most acclaimed novels. If you haven't read it you should. I always give extra points to an author who attempts to write a character completely different from what they themselves are. Ian McEwan does this beautifully, telling a story from the point of view of a young girl and never faltering.
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An amazing book.
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I don't usually enjoy books unless they are set in the modern day, however, this book gave me the detail to imagine the characters and the home they lived in. Admittedly, the middle was a bit slow, but the beginning captured me, and the last third of the book I couldn't put down.
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One of my favorite books. World War I and II era novel, told through several different perspectives, following the story of a family and its dissolution. Focuses most closely on the life of the youngest girl, Briony, who has to grow up quickly, first due to an event she witnesses and fails to comprehend when she's young, and then due to her participation in the war.
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I really enjoyed this book. I am in a small book club and one of the other guys suggested it as a club book. It has a few "twists" in it. It was fun to read and very interesting to talk about.
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Could not get into this one no matter how much I tried.
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Booker Prize Finalist. "symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and foregiveness" Set in England in the years before and during WWII.
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Very well done historical novel. Set in Britain at the beginning of World War II. Characters are well drwan and believable. So worth the listening. Unabridged.
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good read...love it
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The insatiable desire to kiss and touch a lover...the ache from that unfulfilled want is the centerpiece to McEwan's "Atonement."
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I honestly believe this may be the slowest-moving book ever. It was very good, but very slow. Plus, Briony, the protagonist, is not the most sympathetic character in the literary world.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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Great book. The movie was well done, but the book is, too.
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I tried to get into this book - I really did. But just could not get interested. Hoping the movie will be better for me.
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Brilliant, gripping, couldn't put it down.
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I had some trouble getting into this one, liked the middle, didn't like the end. Overall, an "ok" read.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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Another in my string of dislikes of Somebody's Book List books. I was reading this for a book club; I wouldn't have chosen it for myself. I didn't make it much past Chapter 4. Perhaps it's just that I don't care for 'literary fiction', by authors like McEwan who have clearly spent too much time with their dictionary and thesaurus, as his character Briony does.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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0n a summer day in 1935,thurteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses the fliration between her older sister,Cecilia, and Robbie Turner,the son of a servant.Briony's incomplete grasp of adult motives and her percocious imagintion bring about a crime that will change all their lives.
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I just could not get into it. It reminded me of the blah-blah-blah-ness of Middlesex and I didn't want to put myself through that again.
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This book was difficult to get into, but overall a fair book.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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Interesting book, can't wait to see the movie to understand the ravings. IT started out slow, but mid-way things picked up and it was a very good book.
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Serious book. Makes you think.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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McEwan is a master; the Economist review: "Atonement is a work of astonishing depth and humanity...worthy of the Booker." This is the story of a family, and three young people, caught up as victims of a young girl's scheming imagination.
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I was really surprised at how much I disliked this book. It's one of those rarities where the movie was more enjoyable to me than the book. I couldn't even finish it because it just dragged on and on and the author was so redundant about the little girl and her fixation on her writings that it just bored me to tears.
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A real snoozer with a cheap story line. Lame.
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I loved this book so much, I had to get a second copy to pass on.
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A lovely book. McEwan is a gited writer.
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Beautiful, simply beautiful.
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I could not get into this book. It really dragged for me. Very confusing and all over the place.
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I have to agree with firefly "This book was hard to get into. The author uses so much description that the plot gets lost at first. It does pick up as the book moves along, but it is still very, very descriptive. In the end, I can see why he wrote the way he did, but that doesn't mean the book improves in my estimation." Probably one of the 20 worst books I have ever read. 76 pages to get going, then it is only mildly interesting. Overall, persistence is the only reason I got through it. Ending is predictable, but equally lame. Got into a corner and did not know how to get out, so just erased the story.
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Classic Ian McEwan.
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very deep
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interesting story
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My book club was enthusistic
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Grat story!
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FROM THE PUBLISHER
Ian McEwans symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.
On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moments flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilias childhood friend. But Brionys incomplete grasp of adult motivestogether with her precocious literary giftsbrings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows that crimes repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.
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This book changed my life.
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couldn't get into it so never got past the first few pages.
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Booker prize winner and national best seller.
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This comes from the inside cover. On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, 13 yr old Briony Tallis see her older sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge int the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching Cecilia is their housekeeper's son Robbie Turner, a childhood friend who, along withe Briony's sister, has recently graduated from Cambridge. By the end of that day the lives of all three will have been changed forever.
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Excellent condition

I had an order for this book on 1/17/07. I have been doing inventory at work and just saw the order. Now it isn't on my list so I can't mail it. Sorry. I still have it and will send it.