As I was thinking about what I felt like sharing today, I realized that I went through the entire month of August without a “Things I Should Like But Don’t” post. (My previous posts on this topic can be found here, here, here, and here.)
If you’ve missed my other posts and don’t feel like clicking on all of those links, here’s the basic premise: once in a while I cover something that, based on my interests and hobbies, I should probably like. Despite the fact that it would make sense for me to like it, I don’t. I’ve honestly tried to like everything I’ve added to the ever growing “Things I Should Like But Don’t” list, but, like I said, I just don’t.
Today’s post covers both a book and a movie based on that book. (See? I really tried to give this a fair chance … I watched the movie after reading the book to see if it would be any better. It wasn’t.) Today’s post is about Atonement.
I first read the novel (written by Ian McEwan) several years ago after picking up a copy at Half Price books. The plot sounded like something I would love (I’m a huge fan of darker stories), and it received so many rave reviews that I had to read it!
I’ll admit that the first third of the book was amazing. I couldn’t put it down! And then Robbie goes off to war … And the whole book went downhill. I was so bored throughout the second part of the novel. It focused solely on Robbie’s experiences at war, so you’d think it would be thrilling (or at least interesting). Nope. I think it took me over a month just to make it through that section because I had no desire to pick it up and continue reading. The last section of the book was slightly better, but it was still kind of … Meh. I did appreciate the ending, but I wasn’t overly impressed with the way McEwan arrived there.
After reading the book, I decided I’d try to watch the movie. Again, it seemed to get many rave reviews, and I was curious to see how a novel with such rich imagery and character development (Ian McEwan is an amazing writer even if I don’t always adore his work) would translate to the screen.
I was pleasantly surprised that the war portions of the novel were significantly reduced in the film, but it still managed to let me down. I can’t put my finger on what exactly turned me off, but the whole thing just kind of flopped for me.
I know a lot of people enjoyed both the book and film versions of Atonement (the movie was even nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year at the 2008 Academy Awards!), but I’m just not one of them.