Atonement by Ian McEwan


byIan McEwan

Kobo ebook | March 19, 2009

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From the Booker Prize winning author of Amsterdam, a brilliant new novel.

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, son of the Tallis’s cleaning lady, whose education has been subsidized by Cecilia’s and Briony’s father, and who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By day's end, their lives will be changed – irrevocably. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not imagined at its start. And Briony will have witnessed mysteries, seen an unspeakable word, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone…

Brilliant and utterly enthralling in its depiction of love and war and class and childhood and England, An Atonement is a profound – and profoundly moving – exploration of shame and forgiveness, of atonement and of the possibility of absolution.

From the Hardcover edition.

Heather's Review

This Booker Prize nominee has it all – family, intrigue, romance and some twists and turns which took my breath away.

see all heather's picks
Title:AtonementFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 19, 2009Publisher:Knopf CanadaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307371492

ISBN - 13:9780307371492

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh I'm surprised by all the positive reviews this book received. I found the story quite dull and felt like there was no action (not that I like action books). I was just lulled into boredom. I definitely think I wasted my money on this one.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from good great story. worthy of all the awards.
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Rated 3 out of 5 by from Great story... but not a fan Great story, great title, well written. I just hated the ending, so it makes it hard for me to really love the entirety.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great narrative, well written. I recommend this, shows how one lie, one erroneous perception can change someone's life forever.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great read It is a masterpiece you won't be able to set it down. Love the characters.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Very good read. Leaves an impression.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Absolute must read! McEwan has crafted a postmodern masterpiece.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing #plumreview I am not a big fan of Ian Mcewen, but Atonement does justice to his reputation as a masterful writer. The setting, the characters, the story, all captured me. And I never saw that ending coming.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from So wonderful! I read this a number of years ago, and it left a huge impression on me. The story was incredibly engaging, and I think back on it often.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from A beautiful story until... A beautiful, haunting story...until you reach the ending, which I wasn't a fan of.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Surprise Ending If you haven't read this or seen the movie you need to. I was in shock at the end.
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another great story from Ian McEwan Such a compelling novel that makes you really think about how each action and the consequences of each action, can have an everlasting affect on those we love. A sad, but wonderfully written story. #plumreview
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it Excellent use of unreliable narration. Wonderful book.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from It gives me goosebumps and makes me cry every time! Ian McEwan's writing is unmatched for its fluidity, expression, and provocation. I keep thinking how much I wish my writing was anywhere close to his.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from intense I felt like there was so little said about some of the characters but you could still feel the intensity of their sadness and heartbreak. You'll feel their pain lingering even after you've finished.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful The writing is absolutely stunning, though the beginning of the story was rather slow. I love the vivid descriptions and being able to read the different perspectives of the characters. The actual story was I can't believe the extremity that a single mistake made. But the concept of the Atonement was what blew me away in the end. I won't spoil it, but I personally felt that the ending was just genius!
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this! Beautifully writen and memorable!
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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absorbing Ignore the summary on the back cover as it can be a bit misleading to the plot. Quite simply put, this book is a masterpiece. Ian McEwan can write about very painful moments in such a beautiful way. It truly touched my heart.
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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Falls Flat This is the story of Briony Tallis and the effect a simple statement makes on the lives of those around her. Set during the years surrounding World War Two, young Briony learns that being an adult is more than just sounding like one. There are visitors to the family estate and she witnesses two events, both of which she mis-interprets. Almost immediately Briony realizes that she has made a mistake, but waits years to make amends. This story left me feeling flat. It didn't seem to go anywhere. Briony came across to me as a spoiled, rich little girl who wanted all the attention focused on her and when she didn't get her way, she stomped off. When that didn't work, she made accusations that drew all attention to her and kept it there. Spoiler Alert As for making amends/atonement, all she does is write a couple of letters, have them notarized and she's free. I was hoping for a public announcement or at least a scarlet 'L' emblazoned across her chest. Nope, a simple "I'm sorry" and that's it. I did listen to an abridged version, so perhaps I missed some important details, but if that's the case, then the editor did a shoddy job. Nothing important should be removed in an abridgement. This book was read by Josephine Bailey. I didn't like her voice; I found it distracting, too quavery. She was very clear, I could understand every word, but I just didn't like her voice. Even though this book didn't work for me, I do plan to read another book by Mr. McEwan in the future.
Date published: 2011-01-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Absolutely great! I love this book, it was the first book I ever read when I moved to Canada. My English was poor, and I had an ESL teacher helping me, but I really enjoyed it back then. Now (7 years latter) I love this book even more. Atonement is the reason why i LOVE reading.
Date published: 2010-07-19
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Wonderfully written. Wonderfully written. McEwan's prose is really strong. He can go on for ten pages about the color of the carpet in a room and it never gets boring. But this book didn't need to be as long as it is. McEwan could have cut 100 pages and still told the story very well. However, I enjoyed this (much more than Amsterdam and Saturday) and would recommend Atonement to a friend.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Pretty boring The concept for this book is great, unfortunately I found it hard to get through.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Brilliant, Powerful Atonement is an amazing book. The characters were very well written (Briony especially), first of all. No matter how detestable their actions, you still sympathise with them. The plot isn't the fastest going plot, so don't go in looking for a Dan Brown, because you'll only be dissapointed. Back to the book: It is a very powerful look at atonement, how one action can affect people's entire lives, and it also looks at how the real world and fiction are two completely different things, which, without spoiling anything, leads to one of the most astonishing plot twists I've ever read. This is an amazing book, and I recommend it to absolutely everyone. WARNING: The book is rather depressing
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Little to Enthrall the Reader It has usually been my experience that a good read seldom becomes a great film. In the case of this novel, however the author's constant repetitive foreshadowing and details of social milieux leave little to the reader's intuition. Having read much more nonfiction than fiction, a story must be given a logical, credible foundation to build suspense and leave the reader enthralled. Hopefully the film makers will improve on the author's presentation.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Quiet, delicate beauty I wasn't sure what to expect with Atonement; someone had recommended it to me and it took me a long time to finally get around to reading it. Once I did, I had finished it in three days. There is no one quite like Ian McEwan when it comes to generating emotion through what would seem regular writing. He masks his talent well, however, as his writing is far from ordinary and Atonement is inexplicably touching. I absolutely fell in love with Robbie Turner--tormented soul who only wanted love. You can relate with the people he creates. I was sad to see Hollywood take on its own interpretation of the novel--I refuse to watch it as I think it will take away from what the book does for an individual. Fantastic.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Story that Has It All This Booker Prize nominee has it all – family, intrigue, romance and some twists and turns which took my breath away.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from What a waste of time! About 140 pages into the book and I was still wondering when the bloody plot line would start. For all the detail and description from Briony's perspective, it seemed to be wasted towards the end of the book. Once you hit part 2, it felt that Mr.McEwan realized he had a deadline and rushed through or perhaps got bored as I did and just wanted it to end. Sadly, it had such potential to be a poignant book, but falls short and ends up anticlimatic.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! I loved this book! I couldn't put this book down, it is an intensely gripping and unique story, emotionally riveting! I want to re-read it again already and will be first in line to see the feature film that is coming out in December 2007, based on the book. The film looks to be as fabulous as the book! I think James McAvoy and Keira Knightley are perfectly cast as Robbie and Cecilia. READ THIS BOOK!!
Date published: 2007-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Gripping I found this book slow to start. It is at times, long winded and rather descriptive but once the story started I couldn't out it down. You begin to want the characters to succeed, and once one cares about the people in the story you know you are reading a well written book. I so desperately wanted a happy ending for them. This book broke my heart and put it back together again.
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Rated 1 out of 5 by from Looonnnnngggg Wow, I've read some books that take some time to get into, so I gave it a shot. Each time I thought that the story was to begin, a new one bagan. The amount of words in the book could be decreased by 50% and still tell the same story. I would not recommend this book!
Date published: 2006-01-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Life is too short This is one of the worst books I've ever read. I'm sorry that I won't ever be able to get back the hours of my life that were spent reading it. For all the build-up, the ending was not nearly satisfying enough and I would caution others to think carefully before reading this selection.
Date published: 2005-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Unforgettable This is the book that broke my heart. Though the first 50 pages scream for an editor - it's well worth your patience. Nearly 24 months after reading it, I'm still haunted by the outcome.
Date published: 2005-04-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Took forever to get through Part 1. It me a long time to get through Part 1. I find it difficult to finish a book if it does not grab my attention in the first twenty or so pages. Once I got through Part 1, I did enjoy Part 2 and 3. To be honest the one reason I finished this book was for my bookclub, otherwise I probably would not have finished it.
Date published: 2005-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful Tragedy The best book I read in 2003. A wonderful tragedy which reminded me of Thomas Hardy's works. A fascinating look at the tremendously damaging effects of a criminal accusation.
Date published: 2004-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing There are so many things that I've enjoyed in this book. I am amazed at McEwan's ability to create unforgettable characters, especially Briony, who's complexity I haven't really quite figured out. McEwan explores the thoughts and emotions of the characters in such depth, that you can't help but understand and feel what each character is feeling. The story is told in various perspectives, which do not reveal viewpoints in a sequence, but rather at different places, at different times; more like flashbacks. So it was interesting to read later on what had really happened in the situation from the perspective of a certain character. The ending was great; it had not ended the way I had thought it would, but I'm glad McEwan decided to end the book the way it did, realistically and truthfully, although sad. A truly wonderful book!!!
Date published: 2004-03-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from When will the story begin? As a member of a book club that meets on a monthly basis, this appeared to be a great choice. Was I wrong? In actuality it was one of the worst choices in four years. It dragged on and on in such intricate detail and the story never seemed to unfold. A huge disappointment!
Date published: 2003-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing!! I finished this book in two days because I just couldn't put it down. I loved everything about it and I will definitely read it again. If you want an amazing story that has it all, then read this book!
Date published: 2003-02-11