Friday, March 30, 2012

5 Books Update: Atonement

Remember this post?  Well, I decided to start with Atonement by Ian McEwan.  I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from this book.  I picked it because it has been on so many lists of what to read and justifiably so.   For those of you that haven’t read it, Atonement is basically about a little girl who gets in the way of the romance between her sister and the cleaning lady’s son.  That's the simple version that doesn't give too much away because the story is so much more complex than that.

Truth be told, I actually finished Atonement about a month ago already but for some reason, I haven’t been to put any thoughts on it down on paper.  So, in the absence of a well put together review, I have decided to just list the things I liked and the things I didn't like.  

Things I liked about it:

  • The beginning.  I loved the low building of the tension and the anticipation of what would come.  I eventually suspected what might happen but I was still shocked when it did.
  • The fact that Briony in the beginning of the book made me think of myself when I discovered what writing could be for me.
  • The descriptions of the war in the second part were powerful and I found myself cringing or feeling sympathy for characters who weren’t central to the story at all.
  • Same thing with the description of the nurses training in the third part.  It made me feel the discipline and rigidity of the lifestyle.
  • Actually, the descriptions as a whole were really effective.
  • The ending.  I love stories with a twist and this one I did not expect.  Although in hindsight, I probably should have.
  • Ian McEwan's style of writing.  I’ll definitely be looking out for more of his work.

Things I didn’t like about it:

  • The ending.  I must admit that at first, I was very put out by the ending.  Once I got used to the idea though, it stopped being an issue.  I think it’s a testament to how much I cared for the characters.

Overall if you haven’t read Atonement you should.  Now I need to track down the movie!   In other 5 Books news, I have already made a significant dent in Brave New World and so far so good.  Also, unless a can find a copy of Slaughterhouse Five that A) ships to South Africa or B) doesn’t cost the earth, I’m going to switch it for something else instead.  Suggestions welcome:)

No comments:

Post a Comment