Thursday, December 20, 2007
90. "Atonement" - Ian McEwan
As long-suffering readers of this blog know, I will not see the movie unless I've read the book... at least, not knowingly. After Atonement received so many Oscar nods, I quickly checked this one out, despite a friend's warning that it "bored her to tears."
My experience couldn't have been different.
Based right before and during WWII, this is Briony's tale, a story to atone for a horrendous lie that changed the lives of lovers, her sister, Cecelia, and the charlady's son, Robbie Turner. It is rich in detail, reminiscent of Virginia Woolf, but that similarity is taken care of later in the book.
At times it was a bit self-aggrandizing. "See how great I am, but I'm hiding behind my author-character." The bitter mirror is turned to all of the characters, though, and nothing can be disguised. Admirable writing.
Simply, I wept over the last 20 pages, then reread them. I don't think I can go to the film, now. Lovely experiences with such books are what keep this soul stumbling along.
4.99 out of 5.0 Gold Cadillacs.