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Atonement by Ian McEwan

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Interestingly, I have heard a lot of people complain about the ending, that it was a bit of a

cheat

. I thought the ending had a lot to do with what made the book so enjoyable. :D

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Yes, like you all the book has stayed with me, too. I guess that is a sign of a good book regardless of the feeling that the ending stirs up.

To me, this book seems to be a book about stories and about the reader. In a way I learned that I, as the reader, place so much faith into a story line. It also seems that Briony's book rejection letter foreshadowed the ending. One more thing I've been wondering about, by the end of the story (which one...ha,ha) Briony no longer believes it was Robby who attacked Lola, but that it was Paul Marshall. Was there some evidence that made her come to that conclusion, that I overlooked? When Lola was attacked, I immediately thought it was P Marshall, did you all think that, too?

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^I too found it odd that all of a sudden

Paul Marshall was the attacker

. After thinking back, and reading a few things on the internet, though, there did seem to be some hints dropped. Mainly, when

Lola came into Briony's room crying about the chinese burns on her arms (saying it was the twins); later on, just before the dinner, Paul Marshall is described as having a slight scratch down his face (where she fought back?). Perhaps he attacked her twice?

I'm not entirely sure about it though.

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I remember reading

the part about her arms/wrists and thinking, 'surely those twins could not have done that?' and also the part where they mentioned Paul looking at Lola, I thought that was slightly off, but I thought I was being too over-sensitive, if that makes sense.

 

 

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I agree with you, Gyre. However, I put it out of my mind, as nothing else was made of it, and only

the younger Hardman was alluded to as the possible guilty one. It was only later on, when I read some things on the net, that I started thinking of Paul Marshall as the one. But the thing is, why did she marry him? :D

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Aaaaaaaaargh!

 

What an insanely annoying book.

 

It has so many, many, many of the things I hate. It has tedious period-piece nonsense set in dreary country house England. It has a central character who's an author. It has flighty pointless over-reactive emotional characters who do things on spur of moment: something that never, ever happens in real life.

 

 

And it has that stupid, stupid, stupid bottled out ending, like Life of Pi did. Oh, look, here's my story that's not really the story because I don't like the real story, so here's the version I prefer. Aaaargh!

 

And it's all set up so long in advance that you know it's coming. Firstly right at the beginning when she's thinking about writing a story of the couple by the fountain. It was fairly obvious then, although not as obvious as when she had her rejection letter from the publishers (and, by the way, there was a nice unintended irony where the publisher talks about nothing much happening in her original version - when actually in the first 150 pages of the "new" version it's dull as dishwater and nothing happens and you want to rip the book the pieces and burn it for being so utterly pointless.

 

 

To me, the only worthwhile and interesting parts of the book are the 1940 ones. These offer plot, colour, and value.

And then even that is scuppered by that moronic ending.

 

 

Gah! What a waste of my time. How on earth has this book got such rave reviews.

 

Pfeh!

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Oh, and the Paul Marshall thing with also flagged up from very early on, to me. Him being left alone with Lyra and then her coming in all shocked and bruised. And it felt like it was being flagged up all the way through from there, particularly with references to Amo bars.

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Yeah, come on Andy. Stop beating around the bush and tell us what you really think :D

 

I'm up to p 98 at the moment. Not much has happened but I like McEwan's writing style. If not for this, it would be a very dull book indeed.

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I'm so peed off. Have just finished part one and am really getting into it, tried to renew book from library and I can't because 4 people have reserves on it!

 

Can understand why some people could say this is a bit slow, but he makes some wonderfully descriptive observations.

 

I find it a bit of a stretch of the imagination that anyone Briony's age could be quite so naive .... the scene in the library is one instance. She really is the most annoying, self-righteous little blot.

 

But I want to know what happens ....think I'll have to go and buy it tomorrow :D

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I will say that a lot of the "atmospheric" passages of the opening part reminded me of The Leopard by Lampedusa, which should be a very good thing indeed. But those are largely the pieces surrounding Emily, the mother. For me, that mood is spoilt by everything going on around it, again something "good" in the book being scuppered by the rest of the structure and so on.

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I've just started Part 3. I enjoyed Part 2 more than Part 1 because the action picked up a little. Can't wait to see what this ending is that you all keep going on about! :welcome:

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I gave up. Was the word really necessary?

That's exactly where he lost me.

The blinking lights immediately went on saying "Contrived. Contrived. Contrived."

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I finished this on New Year's Eve and thought I'd better write it up as the final entry in my blog thing.

 

I was concerned that my review would go against the grain. Seems not :friends0:

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I finally managed to get this out from the library again to finish it (better late than never I guess).

I really enjoyed the second and third parts. Found myself warming to Briony in the end, thought she paid a huge price in guilt and separation from her family for what was really only naivety and bad judgement on her part. The ending came as a surprise to me

I suppose I wanted a happy ending, but it made the story more memorable ending as it did.

 

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I have started on this book last night - but did not find it engaging at all up to now. Was thinking that I must've missed something, with all the raves it has recieved.....but feel better now after reading all of this thread. On the other hand I feel dismayed at the prospect of finishing off a book which seems boring at best.....:D

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I pick robbie turner as my favourite character because he's so dashing is played well by James Mcavoy! I'm sure any of the girls in the forum will agree with me! I'm not sure if the would!

 

:friends0:

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I am about half-way through part two, and I am enjoying this book. I was wrong in how the story turned out - I did not see the twist (in the first part) coming.

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I was wondering when you posted whether you would see the twist Maureen. I cheated and read an article on this book that had the ending in, but I might get the book one day.

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I must say I enjoyed this book over all, although part one is a bit too long, and some passages are rather too flowery.

 

The ending was justified, in my opinion, it made the story more believable. Unfortunately there are too few happy endings in real life!

 

Did the film do it justice?

 

 

1- Who was your favourite character and why?

A toss up between Robbie and Cee - they both had strong decisive characters, and they did not give up on life.

 

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

The first part was tedious and too long.

 

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

Yes it is, and I would probably read another book by the same author.

 

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

I don't understand war jargon much.

 

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

Yes, I can't complain.

 

 

 

BTW, I enjoyed it, but I still do not get why this book got the reviews it did.

Edited by Maureen

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