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Atonement by Ian McEwan

Atonement (2001)

by Ian McEwan

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20,54153472 (3.93)1 / 1045
Authors:Ian McEwan
Collections:IPOD - New
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Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)

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    rbtanger: I know that the Library Thing Recommendations aren't always completely spot-on, but I just want to say that if I were writing the recommend list, The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood would be top of the list. These books have so many similarities that it's hard to count them all.… (more)
    browner56: Two superbly crafted explorations of the cathartic power that comes from the act of writing.
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: Atonement, like Rules of Civility, paints a picture of events that instantly turn characters' worlds upside down. Also set in the 1930s, it highlights the lingering opulence of the age and how that can disappear amid tragedy.
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English (501)  Dutch (8)  Spanish (6)  German (4)  French (3)  Italian (3)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Portuguese (1)  Polish (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (532)
Showing 1-5 of 501 (next | show all)
Sorry, but this was just "meh" for me. Blasphemy, I know, seeing that almost all my friends gave it 5 stars. ( )
  Sareene | Oct 22, 2016 |
I can see why readers love Ian McEwan. Great writing and stortelling with likable characters. ( )
  JennysBookBag.com | Sep 28, 2016 |
I found this book on a list of novels to read probably the 1001, but also it appears on a number of others. Not much of a fiction reader I thought it not a bad idea to take on this book and see what all the fuss was about. Throughout I found myself going back and forth between wanting it to be over and getting drawn into the drama.

A depressing plot of a what can go terribly wrong when an overactive imagination and will moves against the real lives of people and the far reaching consequence. My interpretation in any event. We certainly get a lot to ponder on many aspects of life including our own by Mr. McEwan. History and cultural lessons are also on display in this novel. It is wrapped in a way leaving us or at least me hanging as to what really is atonement and is it really achieved in the end. Also the conclusion of forwarding many years to the author's concluding life left me with what we all must face, our ultimate decline. Our own real lives that are not quite novels. ( )
  knightlight777 | Sep 14, 2016 |
It's really interesting to see that a few people don't like this book!

I loved it. I'd read lines in it, and think, that describes something I've wanted to put into words for quite some time.

I became really involved in the story, in the development of the characters. McEwan really took his time to add details and texture to the narrative and I really appreciated that.

Initially, I thought the book would be too long, or too intricate, but then I became attached to the characters. I was swept along with the story, after that.

I loved the writing of this novel more than the story, but I read it quite a few years ago and a lot of the passages still stick with me.

I'm sad that a lot of people didn't enjoy it, because Ian McEwan is an author I really respect, and Atonement is one of my favourites of his works. c: ( )
  lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
One of the finest novels I've ever read, it's one of the few too that gets into how the mind works, into the thinking process--and that of a young girl, at that. I'd put this novel in the company of A.S. Byatt's The Children's Book, except that was more descriptive and not so much into the mind's workings. I guess I'm thinking they are similar in periods of time and being in England and perhaps there's not that much in common. I was a bit thrown off by the 1999 final section, not wanting to leave the historicity of the novel, but I think verisimilitude and connecting with the modern time demanded such a conclusion. Atonement also boasts perhaps, for me, the best feeling of "being there" and of the surreal aspect of wartime (boy's leg in tree) that I've experienced, if not the trench-central one of Three-Day Road or the old-school war of War and Peace. The horrors of wartime nursing are made very real, as well. I like too that there are some uncertainties introduced--did they meet again, or not? Sometimes there are no happy endings. Kind of a commentary on how fiction kind and movies kind of demand the loose ends tied, but reality might not allow that ... and the alternate endings can satisfy both the realist and the romantic. ( )
  Muzzorola | Aug 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 501 (next | show all)
McEwan is technically at the height of his powers, and can do more or less anything he likes with the novel form. He shows this fact off in the first section of Atonement, in which he does one of the hardest things a good writer can do: engrossingly, sustainedly, and convincingly impersonate a bad one.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, John Lanchester (pay site) (Apr 11, 2002)
McEwan is crafty. Even as he shows us the damages of story-telling, he demonstrates its beguilements on every page. Atonement is full of timeworn literary contrivances--an English country house, lovers from different classes, an intercepted letter--rendered with the delicately crafted understanding of E.M. Forster.
added by Shortride | editTime, Richard Lacayo (Mar 25, 2002)
If it's plot, suspense and a Bergsonian sensitivity to the intricacies of individual consciousnesses you want, then McEwan is your man and ''Atonement'' your novel. It is his most complete and compassionate work to date.
Ian McEwan's remarkable new novel ''Atonement'' is a love story, a war story and a story about the destructive powers of the imagination. It is also a novel that takes all of the author's perennial themes -- dealing with the hazards of innocence, the hold of time past over time present and the intrusion of evil into ordinary lives -- and orchestrates them into a symphonic work that is every bit as affecting as it is gripping. It is, in short, a tour de force.
Ian McEwan’s new novel, which strikes me as easily his finest, has a frame that is properly hinged and jointed and apt for the conduct of the ‘march of action’, which James described as ‘the only thing that really, for me at least, will produire L’OEUVRE’.

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Basso, SusannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, CaroleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, CaroleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, JillReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"Dear Miss Morland, consider the dreadful nature of the suspicions you have entertained. What have you been judging from? Remember the country and the age in which we live. Remember that we are English: that we are Christians. Consult your own understanding, your own sense of the probable, your own observation of what is passing around you. Does our education prepare us for such atrocities? Do our laws connive at them? Could they be perpetrated without being known in a country like this, where social and literary intercourse is on such a footing, where every man is surrounded by a neighbourhood of voluntary spies, and where roads and newspapers lay everything open? Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?"
    They had reached the end of the gallery; and with tears of shame she ran off to her own room.
Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey
To Annalena
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The play – for which Briony had designed posters, programs and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crepe paper – was written by her in a two-day tempest of composition, causing her to miss a breakfast and a lunch.
Novels and movies, being relentlessly modern, propel you forwards or backwards through time, through days, years or even generations. But to do its noticing and judging, poetry balances itself on the pinprick of the moment. Slowing down, stopping yourself completely, to read and understand a poem is like trying to acquire an old-fashioned skill like drystone walling or trout tickling.
How much growing up do you need to do?
It wasn’t only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.
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Book description
Briony’s tale begins with her restless and excited preparations for a play she had proudly written for her visiting older brother. The young girl's childish anxieties induce a light and amusing atmosphere for the story’s first few scenes. But soon enough, a series of baffling events takes place before Briony’s eyes and sets of her wildly-imaginative mind to believe a new story of her own creation. Coerced by her own impetuous sense of duty, she soon commits a “crime” that forever changes the lives of people around her, as well as her own. This highly-praised novel from Ian McEwan is no more of a love story than it is a contemplative essay on the rapturous highs and atrocious lows of our frail human existence.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 038572179X, Paperback)

Ian McEwan's Booker Prize-nominated Atonement is his first novel since Amsterdam took home the prize in 1998. But while Amsterdam was a slim, sleek piece, Atonement is a more sturdy, more ambitious work, allowing McEwan more room to play, think, and experiment.

We meet 13-year-old Briony Tallis in the summer of 1935, as she attempts to stage a production of her new drama "The Trials of Arabella" to welcome home her older, idolized brother Leon. But she soon discovers that her cousins, the glamorous Lola and the twin boys Jackson and Pierrot, aren't up to the task, and directorial ambitions are abandoned as more interesting prospects of preoccupation come onto the scene. The charlady's son, Robbie Turner, appears to be forcing Briony's sister Cecilia to strip in the fountain and sends her obscene letters; Leon has brought home a dim chocolate magnate keen for a war to promote his new "Army Ammo" chocolate bar; and upstairs, Briony's migraine-stricken mother Emily keeps tabs on the house from her bed. Soon, secrets emerge that change the lives of everyone present....

The interwar, upper-middle-class setting of the book's long, masterfully sustained opening section might recall Virginia Woolf or Henry Green, but as we move forward--eventually to the turn of the 21st century--the novel's central concerns emerge, and McEwan's voice becomes clear, even personal. For at heart, Atonement is about the pleasures, pains, and dangers of writing, and perhaps even more, about the challenge of controlling what readers make of your writing. McEwan shouldn't have any doubts about readers of Atonement: this is a thoughtful, provocative, and at times moving book that will have readers applauding. --Alan Stewart, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:21 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Imaginative thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis, misinterpreting a scene between her older sister Cecilia and Robbie Turner, the housekeeper's son, later accuses Robbie of a crime she has no proof he committed and spends years trying to atone for her actions.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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