azazel, February 12, 2008 (view all comments by azazel)
This book is a masterpiece, yes, that is what they have said. And it is hard to disagree, the writing, the descriptions, the author's ability to make profound such simple or brief moments and encounters is impressive, and his skill in creating atmosphere through sensations familiar and quite often nostalgic reminded me of Faulkner. But the Ending. I realize what it is saying about fiction and guilt and responsibility and what not, but I cannot help but want to see Briony suffer and I feel that these endings don't absolve her, but do create enough of a moral haze that I was left unsatisfied.
Look, I finished the book at one a.m. and I'm just a little bitter toward a character. Which is obviously a reccomendation in itself. A great book.
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Nan A. Talese -
A young girl sees her older sister and a man in a situation she doesn't understand, and subsequently makes an accusation that changes the course of all three lives. This is a study of a life-long search for forgiveness and atonement. McEwan is at his best here. An amazing and excellent book!
"Review A Day"
by James Wood, The New Republic,
"This twist, this revelation, further emphasizes the novel's already explicit ambivalence about being a novel, and makes the book a proper postmodern artifact, wearing its doubts on its sleeve, on the outside, as the Pompidou does its escalators. But it is unnecessary....because the fineness of the book as a novel, as a distinguished and complex evocation of English life before and during the war, burns away the theoretical, and implants in the memory a living, flaming presence." (read the entire New Republic review)
by Library Journal,
"Moving deftly between styles, this is a compelling exploration of guilt and the struggle for forgiveness."
by John Updike, The New Yorker,
"A beautiful and majestic fictional panorama."
by The Plain Dealer,
"Not since the 19th century has a writer stepped in and out of his characters' minds with such unfettered confidence."
by Laurice Taitz, Sunday Times, South Africa,
"Ian McEwan's latest novel is probably his finest yet. His stories emanate from the out-of-the-ordinary occurrences that would, however, be less dramatic if they were perceived to be so. But McEwan is fascinated with the workings of perception and with how one person's molehill is another's mountain...."
by The Washington Post Book World,
"No one now writing fiction in the English language surpasses Ian McEwan."
by Publishers Weekly,
"McEwan at his most closely observed and psychologically penetrating, and his most sweeping and expansive....With each book McEwan ranges wider, and his powers have never been more fully in evidence than here."
by The New York Observer,
"Magical....A love story, a war story, and a story about stories, and so it hits the heart, the guts and the brain."
by Chicago Tribune,
"Astonishing....[with] one of the most remarkable erotic scenes in modern fiction....[It] is something you will never forget."
In this rich novel by the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel "Amsterdam, " a young girl unwittingly tells a tale that turns her family upside down. Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of childhood, love and war, England and class, "Atonement" is at its center a profound--and profoundly moving--exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and the difficulty of absolution.
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