The power of writing: Atonement

It’s been a long time since I’ve read a really good book. I mean, I read a lot, but finding a quality book is not an easy task. Finding a quality book written in THIS millennium is almost impossible.

You could see why McEwan’s “Atonement” was a refreshing, a wonderful surprise. I read it a few days ago and I’m still under its spell… And impressing me- that’s not an easy task.
By the way, I haven’t seen the film yet (perhaps I will); some people say it stays true to the novel, but I don’t think you could really adapt such a story to movie screen, now can you?

McEwan’s “Atonement” is boring at times, which is one of the best things about it. I have a theory, you see. Some of the greatest works (novels, films) are painfully boring at the beginning. Just think of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. “Atonement” has the same problem, but slow parts are, in fact, the best ones.

I love McEwan’s writing style, it’s really special. It’s… soft and nostalgic, but sharp and precise at the same time. And Briony T. character is well written, realistic and unique. It really touched me, this novel, because I was one of those weird child writers that are sometimes unable to perceive the world outside of their stories. No, wait, this sounds too weird. What I’m saying is, I know what is like to be 12 or 13 years old and lonely, writing your fifth novel, and every exciting moment in the real world around you inspires you to write. I was into mystery novels, and things such as small robbery at school (done by one of the kids, I guess) became inspiration to write a larger story, with detectives and conspiracies. Don’t get me wrong, I could always tell the difference between fiction and reality, yet, I enjoyed writing stories, because in stories, life was more exciting, people were honest and I was not just one of those uncool kids but protagonist of an important story.

What I’m saying is, I could understand the great power that writing could have to a teenager, and I love the way McEwan deal with questions about writing itself, its honesty and dishonesty, its power to affect the author and its strength to, well, messes up with someone’s life.

A great book, brilliant ending, I wish there were more novels like this one.

8 thoughts on “The power of writing: Atonement

  1. Simply Precious

    Yeah, I do know what you mean about how some books are boring at the beginning, but it gets better later on.

    I’ve never read the book, nor have I watched the movie. I watched a little bit of the beginning of it, but that’s about it.

    I’m glad you liked the book, though! =)

  2. Student of the World

    Mira what do you think the deal was with Briony’s cousin? Why did she marry her rapist? Also enjoy Ian McIwan’s work immensely. “The Cement Garden”, “The Innocent”, “Enduring Love”, and Saturday are some of my favorites.

  3. Mira

    Student of the World,

    I don’t think she was raped at all. It was consensual. But when they were discovered, she was too embarrassed and went with the rape story. She knew Robbie Turner wasn’t the one who “raped” her, but she lied to cover her own ass.

    She later married her “rapist”, who wasn’t rapist at all. (Ok, if we assume a 15 year old could give her consent).

    That’s my interpretation at least, but it makes sense.

  4. Student of the World

    Yes, exactly. It seems like it would be a natural reaction to her parents divorce, getting attention/love from an older man. Both her and Briony are very interesting characters.

    I think it might have been coerced “gray” rape considering how young and inexperienced she was and the marks he had on his face before the “rape” in the forest, but there had to be some consent there because she covered for him and later married him.

  5. Mira

    Well, true, it was a statutory rape (not sure if the term existed in their time). But it doesn’t change the fact she has kept her mouth shut because she wanted to protect both herself AND her rapist.

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