Atonement. Ian McEwan. Review

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Work out if the book would suit you from this brief review
For me the book contained  4 main strands woven tightly together into a book that I certainly wouldn’t describe as ‘ropey’          The strands were:

love story

This has all the power of McEwans well established ability to raise emotions,   cross social boundaries,   fill you with anticipation.   I couldn’t work out which scenes actually included sexual intercourse.    I found this uncertainty rather fun,   to  be left to infer,   guessing by descirptions of position,   demeanor, sounds  and feelings.      Keep this up


crime story

An unusual bent on a traditional fictional genre,   no detectives.   Just the witnesses and victims and the impact of the legal and social  crimes as time unfolds.   The character’s role in the crime was well laid out in the first part.   As with being unclear about the sexual intercourse,   I was also unclear about whether a legal crime occured.   Certainly moral crimes occurred.   I would rather have found out more about the immediate aftermath in the second part.   Instead    we skip to 3 years later.    I was left with some major questions left unanswered about    the roles played by some of the key players in the first part.    Adjust this.  


war story

Uh.   I got bored and started skim reading wondering how the peripheral characters introduced in this storyline related to either the Love story,   the crime story, or the story about stories.   Either I missed something or they didn’t.    This storyline seemed superfluous.   Well written,   but it just didn’t entertain or significantly move the plot forward for me.   Cut this.


story about stories (postmodern)

This was fabulous.   Stories about formal stories,   informal stories, truths misundertandings,   lealities,   moralities and wonderful variations on self-reference.   This strand lifted the book to worthiness of reading.   It’s strongest hold is in the first part and the last part.     I was left wanting more of an exploration in the last part.   The role of the legal process,   historical archives,   news media,  in defining a story could so easily have been explored in exciting and interesting ways.   Like Oliver, I wanted MORE!
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Wendy Wittery-cWitic

Atonement. Ian McEwan. Review
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