Sunday, October 31, 2010

~Book Club: Atonement~

I have to start by saying that I couldn't actually finish this book, I got about half way through and gave up. For me there was way to much waffle and I have heard on the grape vine that it is McEwan's style to go a bit crazy in the description department. I am really disappointed that I couldn't get into this book as the storyline is really captivating and original but hidden under way to many wordy, long and boring paragraphs describing the making of a cocktail or the shining of a shoe. The thing is I am not against description and background information (I managed to make it through the first 100 pages of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo) I just didn't feel like I was being rewarded for my perseverance.

Maybe I am being a bit harsh - I know a lot of people love this book and people from book club found the waffle annoying but the storyline sucked them in. The themes are also interesting - can children be held responsible for their actions? What is required for true Atonement? And that is what first drew me to the book. I think I would have been happy with a condensed version of the book. Maybe seeing the movie would satisfy this for me.

If you have read the book I would love to hear your thoughts?


  1. I haven't read it (or seen the movie, for that matter), but I hate that feeling when you start a book and just can't finish it. I used to make myself choke through them, but in my older, wiser age (haha) I've decided that life's too short for books that aren't captivating.

    I'm trying to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo right now, but struggling with the beginning . . . tell me it's worth it to stick with it!!

  2. I have only seen the movie (loved it!) and I'm thinking about reading the book, though I want to read it in Dutch then.. I have to find out if it's even translated into dutch yet haha..

    AND I LOVE the Stella McCartney bangles below!


  3. I tried to read the book after seeing the movie but gave up about 50 pages in for the same reason! Its a shame, because I loved the detail, all the costumes and sets in the movie.

  4. I am a lover of Atonement. I first watched the film, I had heard vaguely about McEwan, but after watching the film I knew I needed to read it (I am the kind of reader of loves more to watch the film and then read the book and check all the differences and create my own world, but the other way doesn't bother me), still I am very amazed by descriptions, still I can't be sure of how is the original version in English because I read it translated to Portuguese. It is one of my favourite books. I really think you should keep giving your opinion, normally when we love something very deeply we can get a little bothered by the contrary opinions, but what matter is the diversity of ideas, isn't it?

    Have a wonderful day,

  5. It was an excellent movie; you should see it. My mum and sister are voracious readers and tend to read the book first and then see the movie. Then I like to watch the movie with them (at home, not in the theatre) and they are very patient with me when I am asking questions... Them having read the book fills in a lot of the gaps! We recently watched the "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and although he movie has a lot of character development, they filled me in on a lot of background. The Scandinavian version was very good and they're about to film an English (American) version.

  6. i haven't read the book or seen the movie.

    i love my books and always think to myself that i only have one life, it is already too short and there are too many books to read.

    i say it's a good thing that you moved on!

  7. I LOVED Atonement - both the book and the movie!!! It's one of my favourites!!!! I read the book before I watched the movie and absolutely loved it!! For me the story stayed with me. The ending was a surprise and made me cry. I loved it all! If you are not going to finish the book, please please please watch the movie! I cannot stress how beautiful the movie is! I adore James McAvoy and his peformance was just perfect! I hope my passion for this book/movie inspires you to watch :)

  8. I've read Atonement and I can't remember if I loved it or not ... which makes me think it didn't make a big enough impression on me to remember. I absolutely ADORED the movie (and James McAvoy!). It is a stunning movie, but I think - like PS I Love You and The Notebook - the movies were actually more captivating than the books. That feels weird to admit as I am a huge fan of books, but in some cases it's true!

    x Jasmine

    PS. I love that you're in a book club. I'm thinking of starting one next year!


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