Giveaway: Atonement

Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose.

On a hot summer day in 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis witnesses a moment’s flirtation between her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the son of a servant and Cecilia’s childhood friend. But Briony s incomplete grasp of adult motives together with her precocious literary gifts brings about a crime that will change all their lives. As it follows

that crime’s repercussions through the chaos and carnage of World War II and into the close of the twentieth century, Atonement engages the reader on every conceivable level, with an ease and authority that mark it as a genuine masterpiece.

As my first giveaway of the year, I’m giving away a gently used copy of Atonement, one of the first books I reviewed for the blog and one of the best.

Here are the rules:

  • Comment to enter–don’t forget to include an e-mail address I can reach you at!
  • US residents only, sorry!
  • Winners will need to respond within two days or another winner will be chosen.

This giveaway will end on February 24.

Good luck!

Booking Through Thursday: Not in Theaters

And–the reverse of last week’s question. Name one book that you hope never, ever, ever gets made into a movie (no matter how good that movie might be).

Any novel that’s very internal ought to be shied away from—any examples of books I hope will never be made into a movie have, unfortunately, already been filmed; Atonement, The Lovely Bones, Jane Eyre (that review’s going up tomorrow), just to name a few. Film is a visual medium, which makes it extremely difficult to get the internal narratives across clearly.

The Sunday Salon: Rant — Literary Fiction

And now for something a little different—a video rant about “literary fiction” and “genre fiction” (both literally meaningless labels). Emo!Ten, our cardboard cut-out of the Tenth Doctor (he survived a near collision between Sasha, the small Honda Civic, and a MARTA bus; his sadness attracts disaster), looms over my shoulder, Demora Pasha’s fan is really loud, and our window of dramatic lighting, well, lights dramatically.

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Booking Through Thursday: War Stories

It is November 11th, known here in the U.S. as Veteran’s Day, formerly Armistice Day to remember the end of WWI but expanded to honor all veterans who have fought for their country, so …

Do you read war stories? Fictional ones? Histories?

I tend to find myself dealing with fictional wars. Epic fantasy tends to concern itself with wars, and recently, the fantastical wars I’ve encountered have been about the human cost of war–it’s dealt with in The Lord of the Rings, The Way of Kings, and The Sundering. In fact, I can’t remember any fantasy that glamorizes war off the top of my head, although I’m sure I’ve encountered it.

When it comes to historical fiction, I tend, when reading about wars, to find myself reading about wars pre-1900–the American Revolution, the French Revolution, and the Crusades. I just haven’t found myself drawn to books about modern warfare, although I’ve read Atonement, which is partially set during World War II, and I’m sure there’s a few on my list. But perhaps this is my fantasy rearing popping up–I’m more familiar with pre-1900 warfare.

Booking Through Thursday: Film to Paper

Even though it’s usually a mistake (grin) … do movies made out of books make you want to read the original?

I fail to understand how it’s a mistake–isn’t it the assumption that the book is better than the film among readers, no matter if the story can be told better in a different medium? (Legally Blonde is such an example; I’ve heard that the original book is just poor, the film is fun, and I adore the musical.)

And yes, watching a film based on a book makes me want to read the book. I like seeing how people adapt things for the screen and how you translate a story to a different medium. For instance, Atonement focuses so much on the inner life of its characters that it’s very difficult to translate it well; you lose that by the sheer nature of a visual medium. Sometimes, the preview for the film is the first I’ve heard of the existence of the book, and so it serves as a book trailer for me.

Review: Atonement

by Ian McEwan



I picked up the recommendation for Atonement from Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust, and I also wanted to read it because the film adaptation was quite successful. It took a few days for me to get over the utter disappointment of The Historian and start on this novel. It soon turned out I couldn’t read it before bed, because I would keep reading it until midnight. I fully intended to go to sleep at 10 o’clock last night, but Atonement thought otherwise. I was quite delighted with this turn of events–it cleaned out the bad taste of The Historian beautifully.

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