Friday, July 1, 2011


Atonement- Ian McEwan

This probably one of the best reviewed books that came out post 2000. McEwan , deserves the status he holds in the literary world , even if he were to be judged solely for Atonement.

The book is brilliant - the entire concept of a love story in the world war has been so overused , that when i first picked up the book , i did'nt think it would have anything to add to my reading experience. But the non-linear narrative structure with multiple voices has been brilliantly used to write about the doom that a flawed perspective can bring about. It is a nail biting read , where you might just know the ultimate suspense , but you will not put it down till you know the end . That is , saying a lot for a book about a little girl who writes and ultimately destroys her elder sister and lover's life. You do not read romances the way you will read Atonement. The book is brilliant. I dont think , i have ever read anything with this intensity excluding Animal Farm (which is a tiny book so i dont think it counts) and the Harry Potter series .

It is a spectacular book - I am not a huge fan of modern writers for they seem such cheap imitations of greater original styles that have been perfected by the classical writers but this one is light years before the time it was actually published.

I do not want to give up any part of the plot here - because that is just cheating the audience of the amazing experience that this book is. PLEASE , PLEASE READ !!

"But hidden drawers, lockable diaries, and cryptographic systems could not conceal from Briony the simple truth: She had no secrets. Her wish for a harmonious, organized world denied her the reckless possibilities of wrongdoing. Mayhem and destruction were too chaotic for her tastes, and she did not have it in her to be cruel. ... Nothing in her life was sufficiently interesting or shameful to merit hiding; no one knew about the squirrel's skull beneath her bed, but no one wanted to know."

The anticipation and dread he felt at seeing her was also a kind of sensual pleasure, and surrounding it, like an embrace, was a general elation - it might hurt, it was horribly inconvenient, no good might come of it, but he had found out for himself what it was to be in love, and it thrilled him."

Nothing as singular or as important had happened since the day of his birth. She returned his gaze, struck by the sense of her own transformation, and overwhelmed by the beauty in a face which a lifetime's habit had taught her to ignore. She whispered his name with the deliberation of a child trying out the distinct sounds. When he replied with her name, it sounded like a new word - the syllables remained the same, the meaning was different. Finally he spoke the three simple words that no amount of bad art or bad faith can ever quite cheapen. She repeated them, with exactly the same emphasis on the second word, as if she had been the one to say them first. He had no religious belief, but it was impossible not to think of an invisible presence or witness in the room, and that these words spoken aloud were like signatures on an unseen contract."


Movie : 2007

The only reason , I actually saw the movie was because of James McAvoy - who in all my lusty worship of him aside , cannot hold a candle to Robbie's character. Kiera Knightley , just as she always manages to , destroyed yet another perfect book for me - what are the directors thinking when they cast her into titular roles ?? Was she not satisfied with butchering Pride and Prejudice for everyone (a mistake - watch only the BBC version of the novel , starring Colin Firth , the popular 2005 version starring this woman is just murdering the book for you. ) and her sad sad potrayal of Guinever (The King Arthur movie) that she had to be cast here too ??

Though i guess , the movie with the certain liberties it takes , can give you a better understanding of the book , but Knightley is such a pain to watch , that i suggest you refrain from putting yourself through this torture.And the way it has been shot , i grudgingly admit is brilliant.

They even mange to completely destroy one of the most brilliant sexual encounters i have ever read about in a book - i mean , what the fuck is wrong with them ?

I have always believed in Rotten Tomato reviews, but this one (with an 83 % rating) seriously disturbed me. Sure , the movie has been shot pretty nicely , but in no way does it do justice to the book.


MOVIE : AVOIIIIIID !!!!! unless, you want to punish yourself - then i say go ahead.


Myself said...

I watched parts of the movie, here and there, so I don't really have an opinion. But, the book I shall read, soon!

Myself said...

I watched parts of the movie, here and there, so I don't really have an opinion. But, the book I shall read, soon!