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November Books 1) Atonement

1) Atonement, by Ian McEwan

A very good book, this, which had been sitting on my "to-read" pile for far too long. Thirteen-year-old Briony tells a lie with huge consequences for her family. As one review put it, there are three stories here - a love story, a war story, and a story about a story. The first two of these were gripping and page-turning; it was with difficulty that I put the book down last night after finishing the first part (my mathematical mind pleased by the fact that it came at page 175 of a 350-page book). I was a bit less convinced by the very last section, which left me wondering to an extent what I had been getting worked up about. Still, much recommended.


Nov. 1st, 2004 09:55 am (UTC)
Atonement was the first book I read for a book-group I joined in Oxford a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed it too. There seems to be a fashion at the moment for endings which deliberately draw attention to the fictional nature of the preceding narrative: the same thing happens in Life of Pi, which I read with the same group.

How do you manage to read all these books so quickly, by the way? It's just taken me some 3 months to finish the book I finished last night: a detailed account of Christopher Lee's screen career.
Nov. 1st, 2004 03:56 pm (UTC)
I've always been a fast reader, for as long as I can remember, especially if it's a genre I'm familiar with (sf, Balkan politics, the Guardian). It does mean that my patience with long, badly-written policy documents can be rather limited...
Nov. 1st, 2004 04:47 pm (UTC)
I guess some people have that skill and others don't. Partly, I actively prefer to spin out a book I'm enjoying, reading it at about the speed a narrator and actors would read it out loud for e.g. a radio play.

Once, when I was a teenager, a friend of mine who was round at my house went to the loo, taking a book with her: Jackie's Pony Camp Summer, I believe it was. She took a while, but sometimes people do in the loo, so I left her to it. I was only just starting to get worried enough to knock on the door and ask if she was OK, when she emerged, having read the entire book. It was aimed at readers of about 10, and probably only had about 60 to 70 pages in it. But still...
Nov. 1st, 2004 07:34 pm (UTC)
You'll be amused to know that through the magic of the interweb I can assure you that the book has as many as 124 pages. But I imagine it would be a pretty quick (and predictable) read.

Is speed reading that much faster than talking? I suppose it probably is...
Nov. 2nd, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
Ah, so her feat was twice as impressive as I thought! Actually, I had the exact same edition as is featured in the link you posted: I recognise the picture on the front.

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