Friday, 26 February 2010

Atonement ~ Ian McEwan

Robbie and Cecilia grew up together in a manner house in England. He being the son of one of the servants and she the privileged daughter of his mother’s employer. And as usually happens in stories the two fall in love, despite their circumstances in life. But fate decreed that the two lovers should not be together, and Robbie is falsely accused of a crime the very night he professes his love. Robbie is sent to prison for several years, and after his release he joins the military to help fight the second World War. Cecilia joins the war effort as well, as a nurse. They meet up with one another before Robbie leaves for France, and they vow that they will be together when he comes back. But both will become victims to the war, and their love will be unrequited.

I watched this movie a year ago, and I was so moved by the story that after it ended I sat staring at the television while the tears flowed down my face. I watched the DVD extras and discovered that the movie was based upon a book of the same title. Naturally I put the novel on my “must read” list.
Well…it’s NOT a must read. I couldn’t even finish this book. It was excessively wordy and descriptive. McEwan gives the reader so much back-story, and it was just unnecessary information. I tend to like to skip ahead to the dialogue, but there was very little conversation during the first seven chapters. I put the book down to take a break from it, and even two weeks later I dreaded the thought of picking it back up again so much that I decided not to. I already knew the entire plot so what was the point?
This was one of those rare instances where the movie was better than the book. Skip it.

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