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Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Anyone who would like to get hold of a copy of this book and join in the circle - there are quite a few copies available at

Green Metropolis





The Reading Circle choice for November is Atonement by Ian McEwan:

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.

 



Some questions to consider:

1- Who was your favourite character and why?

2- Was there a particular part you enjoyed/disliked more than the rest?

3- Was this the first book you've read in this genre/by this author, has it encouraged you to read more?

4- Were there any parts/ideas you struggled with?

5- Overall, was reading the book an enjoyable experience?

 

(You do not have to answer all, or indeed, any, of these questions, they are meant only as points for you to perhaps mull over as you read, and provoke more discussion. Please feel free to ask and answer any questions that come up as you read.)

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I started 'Atonement' the other day, so far, so good. My mate has been telling how much she hated this book, but I am enjoying it.

 

:lol:

 

Happy reading circle people! x

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Hello,

 

I just finished 'Atonement' which proved quite difficult at the end because 'Coronation Street' was on, but I finished.

 

I heard mixed reviews about 'Atonement', a friend of mine really hated it but you know me not one to be put off. I am glad I read it because I really enjoyed it, Ian McEwan style of writing is direct in some aspects but in other aspects, there is a lot of the story between the lines (I hope that makes sense).

 

A good read. x

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I tried starting on Atonement yesterday. I say "tried" because I read about 3 pages but it seemed very dense at said very little and all seemed a bit turgid. A poor start. It may take me some time to get into it. Not helped by the Northanger Abbey quote at the front which reminded me why I have never read more than a page or two of Jane Austen.

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I read this several years ago and it obviously made no lasting impression on me as I can remember very little... except that the ending annoyed me and it wasn't as good as I'd anticipated.

 

(Sorry!)

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I've just started this; I've only read the first chapter, but I'm enjoying it so far. I do like McEwen's writing - "Self-pity needed her full attention, and only in solitude could she breathe life into the lacerating details..." - how good is this quote?! :censored: I pretty much have no idea about this story, so I'm looking forward for more to be revealed.

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I'm really struggling. I'm the exact opposite of angerball. The first chapter had me wanting to give up. And to slap Briony on the face (metaphorically). It has two of my least favourite elements in books - an author writing about writing, which always feels to me like a failure of inspiration; and a precious character who gets over-emotional about small things. I have so little time for either of these. It was only yesterday that I managed to read more than a few lines in chapter 2, and it was picking up a little. I'm hoping something might happen soon.

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I'm really struggling. I'm the exact opposite of angerball. The first chapter had me wanting to give up. And to slap Briony on the face (metaphorically). It has two of my least favourite elements in books - an author writing about writing, which always feels to me like a failure of inspiration; and a precious character who gets over-emotional about small things. I have so little time for either of these. It was only yesterday that I managed to read more than a few lines in chapter 2, and it was picking up a little. I'm hoping something might happen soon.

 

 

It is very slow to start with Andy, and I found the writer writing about writing a bit of a turn off, and yes I also wanted to slap Briony, but that will soon pass.

 

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*resists urge to look at spoiler* Oh, it's so tempting! :censored:

 

I'm really enjoying reading about Briony's view on writing - it's almost philosophical. I love the idea that a story is a form of telepathy ("By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's".); I'd never thought of it that way before.

 

I'm still quite early on.

Cecilia has just received the "wrong letter" from Robbie - whoops! :lol:

 

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*resists urge to look at spoiler* Oh, it's so tempting! :censored:

 

I'm really enjoying reading about Briony's view on writing - it's almost philosophical. I love the idea that a story is a form of telepathy ("By means of inking symbols onto a page, she was able to send thoughts and feelings from her mind to her reader's".); I'd never thought of it that way before.

 

I'm still quite early on.

Cecilia has just received the "wrong letter" from Robbie - whoops! :lol:

 

I felt embarrassed just reading that part Anger! x:lol:

7.gif

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I'm only about 50 pages in and am doing a lot of :D at Briony, like Freewheeling Andy I think a good slap wouldn't go amiss, she's so wrapped up in herself. But I will keep going since it sounds like things improve.

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I do want to read this book, but there was an article in Christianity magazine this month which gave away the ending so as to discuss the point. I couldn't help reading the article. Atonement definitely seems worth reading to the end.

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I'm still being driven mad by the tedious-period-drama content, and all the focus on flighty fickle emotion, and the fact that nothing happened for about 120 pages. But finally in the last 30 pages or so, one or two things appear to have happened, so it might be worth pursuing.

 

I also, by the way, despise the dropped-hints-to-the-future stuff. There's a lot of "as she would think about many times over the years that followed" stuff.

 

The rest of the book had better be bloody brilliant, or I'll be flummoxed as to why it's so highly regarded.

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I find it really interesting at the mixed responses the book is getting! The reason I love the book so much seems to be for the exact reason that Poppy and Freewheeling Andy don't like it. :D I love the fact that Briony is so wrapped up in herself - I really enjoy all her internal dialogue, misguided as it may be. I'm hoping to finish it tonight! :lol:

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Me again,

 

I did do a lot of :D to Briony but I did find her endearing, she is discovering all these new things in her life and is trying to work them out. x

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I've finally finished part 1, and you finally understand that Briony does need to be like that. But I find it insanely annoying because I don't think I've ever known anyone who has been so fickle and flighty, at any age, and it seems to always be a construct of author's imaginations. Perhaps I'm just too old and cynical. Anyway, the book has woken up at last. Will probably finish it in Paris this weekend.

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Just finished this - what a great book! I really enjoyed it. :lol: I love McEwen's writing style, how he is so detailed and descriptive of every thought and moment of his characters lives. I'll be looking for his other books for sure.

 

Initially I had mixed feelings about the ending, but the more I think about it, the more I liked it. I wouldn't say Briony atoned for her mistakes; if anything, it showed that she was

still living in her fantasy world

. The ending certainly makes you think about things that happened earlier on in the book. Can't wait for the movie to come out on DVD - I haven't seen it yet, but I really want to now.

 

I'm really itching to get started on my next read, but I can't get this one out of my head. :D It's definitely one that will stick with me for a long time.

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Hey Angerball

 

Glad you enjoyed 'Atonement', I enjoyed it too (but you already know that), a great ending I thought too.

 

I am hoping to invest in 'Enduring Love' another title by Ian McEwan. I can't wait to see the movie as well.

 

:D

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I absolutely loved Atonement too. I thought it was so full of atmosphere. I agree with you Angerball when you read a really good book it stays in your mind for a while and everything else seems insipid. I am really looking forward to seeing the film.

 

I have read On Chesil Beach and I liked it too. I have since bought but not read

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I agree, I was thinking about 'Atonement' for days after I finished it.

 

:D

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