Monday, November 20, 2006

Atonement

Well, I've strayed from the list again, but I noticed that this novel has recently been made into a film, for release next year, so I felt I should read the book before actors start interfering with my imagination.

The first Iam McEwan book I read was Black Dogs and I absolutely hated it. I can't remember why except that I felt that I was forcing myself to read each and every word. So, it was reluctantly that I finally read Enduring Love. I read Saturday when I was on holiday earlier this year and loved it.

I started reading Atonement in snatches on the tube and as a consequence it took me a few chapters to get into it. However, as is so often the way - it then became a "non-put-downabler". I found that the writing really pulled me in. You don't feel as if you are reading, but as if you are watching the events unfold.

The middle section where the action jumps to Robbie and the Dunkirk evacuation is at first a frustration, as you want to carry on with the narrative of the first section. However, you are soon pulled in again to this new perspective and it is equally frustrating to jump to Briony in the hospital back in London. These shifts keep taking you almost to the end and then pulling away from a conclusion. Manipulating the readers emotions wonderfully. As a reader you are left in suspense throughout, and the feeling that there are no happy endings and that loose ends will not necessarily be tied parallels Briony's inability to take back or fully atone for her actions.

I loved it.

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