Wednesday, January 16, 2008


By Ian McEwan

Ok, I may be breaking the "rules" (if there were such a thing) of this here UBC (not to be confused with UCB), but hear me out. I'm borrowing this book from my mother, and if indeed it's as good as the blurb from the New York Times would have me believe ("A tour de force.... Every bit as affecting as it is gripping.") then you know I'll be passing it along to Abby in due time.

This was my Christmas gift to my mother. It took her an exceedingly long time to read, almost a whole week. My mom can normally power through a book in one sitting. I'm not entirely convinced that she reads all the words. After she first started it she told me she was having trouble getting into it, which I knew couldn't be a good sign. When she was done she decided that it had a good story, she just didn't like the way it was told. But I am reading the book anyway because my mother's drug of choice is a mound of Harlequin romance novels, so I can't really trust her judgements of quality.

I'm also reading it because I want to see the movie, and I really feel that I need to read the book first. I don't think Atonement is going to be like About a Boy or High Fidelity, that I'll be able to read the book with great enjoyment after having seen and enjoyed the film.

Synopsis: On a summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment's flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant. But Briony's incomplete grasp of adult motives and her precocious imagination bring about a crime that will change all their lives, a crime whose repercussions Atonement follows through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century.

I'm about 10 pages in and I'm already enjoying it, enough to put aside Wonderful Tonight, the memoir of Pattie Boyd, ex-wife of George Harrison and Eric Clapton, until I power through Atonement.


Abby-Wan Kenobi said...

I might have purchased this book. If I didn't I definitely considered buying it. If I find it in my room I will start it next.

I, too, want to see the movie, but I had the same feeling that I should read the book first. I had the same thought about "Charlie Wilson's War" but ended up seeing the movie. Which kicked ass. I would still read the book.

We need to sign our entries. It doesn't display our names for some reason. I'm sure there is a setting, but I don't know it.

miranda. said...

I don't know if you purchased it, but you were definitely there when I bought my (mom's) copy.

I've read about 200 pages since I first posted this, and my only complaint so far is that the second half of the book seems to be all about WWII. Which I get that it's an important event in the characters' lives, but it's taking forever.

As for signing entries, at the very bottom of each post in a pale pink font it does say "posted by so-and-so", but I can start signing my entries to make this more clear and readable.