Monday, February 25, 2008

Atonement - 1999

--by Abby (London, 1999)

Brilliant! In the jump to modern day we find old-lady Briony celebrating her 77th birthday. And she's losing her mind (glorious!)

So some truth comes out (truth? The whole book is fiction. There is no Briony. Whatever.) So the 'truth' is the anticlimactic death of Robbie before he ever makes it back to England and then Cecilia is taken out by a bomb dropped on a hospital some time later. That's fantastic. Much better than the happily ever after.

I now enthusiastically recommend this book.

The Lola and Marshall bits are disgusting. How wretched that they should appear happy together. Paul particularly should have suffered a bit.

I actually am now very curious to see how they handle this nonsense in the movie version. Do they just kill Robbie off, straight up? Or do they let him life in the fairy tale ending? The whole lying author thing seems difficult to convey in film. I will find out immediately. Or, like eventually.

Okay, I'm really pleased with this book, but am writing this after 7 consecutive entries and at midnight so no pearls of wisdom will be added at this time. Just that I love a book that ends with everyone dying. No loose ends, no sequels.

1 comment:

miranda. said...

I'm really excited to see the movie too. So much of the book is internal, I want to see it portrayed.

Did you see Saoirse Ronan's Oscar clip last night? From the scene where Briony is being interrogated about what she saw? That was what, like 30 seconds of the movie, and it looked great! The look on her face where she's trying to process what the difference between "knowing" it was Robbie and actually seeing him? Perfect. Saoirse is going to play Susie in The Lovely Bones, which will be another difficult role.

Anyway- once I got over being mad at Briony for messing with my head, I really liked the ending. Except that I totally agree with you on Paul Marshall and Lola. What ugly, selfish human beings. Paul, being wealthy, probably could have gotten away with "seducing" the young Lola. Maybe not gotten away with completely, but you know what I mean. And need I mention that Lola actually started all the lies? She could have told Briony the truth about the first time PM attacked her and things would have turned out drastically different. Instead they would rather watch Robbie be arrested and ultimately die to protect themselves. Briony at least wanted the truth to come out, even if she was unable to do so until so many years later.

Only the truly good books make me talk about the characters like they're real people.