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Atonement (2001)

by Ian McEwan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
23,703589105 (3.93)1 / 1146
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.… (more)
Recently added byprivate library, fairy.bookmother, tyeve, RaiseHigh, triplem80, plitzdom, Arina42, jobinsonlis, fbohnet, tlwright
Legacy LibrariesCian O hAnnrachainn
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» See also 1146 mentions

English (548)  Dutch (9)  Spanish (7)  German (5)  French (4)  Italian (4)  Catalan (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (584)
Showing 1-5 of 548 (next | show all)
Movie was better. ( )
  Rachel_Cucinella | Apr 24, 2021 |
I had read one novel by Ian McEwen before which I really did not enjoy. However a friend convinced me that this was very different and how right she was. The quality of the writing struck a chord immediately but I quickly became totally absorbed by the beautifully drawn characters right up to the desperately sad ending. One of the best books I have read in some time. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
I was looking for a good example of metafiction to read, and McEwan's work satisfied my curiosity. The author's thoughts as writing define metafiction, and I appreciate its value, but I find that the flow of the story is interrupted too much for my reading pleasure. That said, I loved Briony. Her aspirations to be a writer are admirable, and her imagination certainly gets its exercise when she misinterprets her cousin's affair as a sexual assault. I appreciated the letter from an editor included as part of the story, and I truly marveled at the ending where she affirms an author's right to play God. ( )
  LindaLoretz | Mar 15, 2021 |
Fieldnotes:
Surrey, 1935; Dunkirk, 1940
1 13 Year Old Writer on the Cusp of Adolescence
1 Very Bad Play
3 Cousins - Refugees of Divorce

1 Prickly Young Woman Just Back from Cambridge
1 Very Bright Cleaning Woman's Son

1 Sexually Charged Power Play by a Fountain
1 Broken Vase
1 Uncomprehending Observer
1 Accidentally Explicit Note
1 Painfully Overwritten Sex Scene, including a Prolonged Mountaineering Metaphor

1 Unholy Marriage of Adolescent Self-Righteousness and Attention-Seeking, leading to
1 Unfounded Accusation
At least 4 Ruined Lives

Dunkirk
Affection via Censored Correspondence
Nursing as an Act of Atonement
Musings on the Nature of Storytelling and Truth ( )
  Caramellunacy | Mar 10, 2021 |
I have tried on three separate occasions to finish this book, but have not been able to make it past page 66. I also tried to watch the movie, but also quit halfway through. I officially give up an declare this book a lost cause. ( )
  sunshine608 | Feb 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 548 (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 (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bailey, JosephineNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Basso, SusannaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blair, IslaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boyd, CaroleNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Britto, Paulo HenriquesTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ekman, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lukács, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Messud, ClaireIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Metsch, FritzDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rooney, AnneContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tanner, JillNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Válková, MarieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zulaika, JaimeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"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
Dedication
To Annalena
First words
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.
Quotations
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.
A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.
Find you, love you, marry you, and live without shame.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

No library descriptions found.

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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