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Atonement: A Novel Paperback – February 25, 2003

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,167 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A beautiful and majestic fictional panorama.” —John Updike, The New Yorker

“Flat-out brilliant. . . . Lush, detailed, vibrantly colored and intense.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“A tour de force. . . . Every bit as affecting as it is gripping.” —Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Luminous. . . . Atonement is brilliant and like nothing he’s ever written before.” —Newsweek

“No one now writing fiction in the English language surpasses Ian McEwan.” —The Washington Post Book World

“Brilliant. . . . McEwan could be the most psychologically astute writer working today, our era’s Jane Austen.” —Esquire

“A work of astonishing depth and humanity.” —The Economist

“His most complete and passionate book to date.” —The New York Times Book Review

“In the seriousness of its intentions and the dazzle of its language, Atonement made me starry-eyed all over again on behalf of literature’s humanizing possibilities.” —Daphne Merkin, Los Angeles Times

“Resplendent. . . . Graceful. . . . Magisterial. . . . Gloriously realized.” —The Boston Sunday Globe

“McEwan is technically at the height of his powers.” —The New York Review of Books

“Astonishing . . . [with] one of the most remarkable erotic scenes in modern fiction. . . . [It] is something you will never forget.” —Chicago Tribune

“Enthralling. . . . With psychological insight and a command of sensual and historical detail, Mr. McEwan creates an absorbing fictional world.” —The Wall Street Journal

“[Atonement] hauls a defining part of the British literary tradition up to and into the 21st century.” —The Guardian

“Astonishing. . . . Gorgeous. . . . Bewitching. . . . A thought-provoking, luxuriant novel.” —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“McEwan is one of the most gifted literary storytellers alive. . . . [Atonement] implants in the memory a living, flaming presence.” —James Wood, The New Republic

“[McEwan’s] best novel so far. . . . It will break your heart.” —The Star (Toronto)

“A masterpiece of moral inquiry. . . . Beautiful and wrenching.” —New York

“A first-rate novel on any scale. . . . His most expansive and ambitious book. . . . Few, if any, novelists writing today match McEwan in ingenuity and plotting.” —Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Magnificent. . . . McEwan forces his readers to turn the pages with greater dread and anticipation than does perhaps any other ‘literary’ writer working in English today.” —Claire Messud, The Atlantic Monthly

“The extraordinary range of Atonement suggests that there’s nothing McEwan can’t do.” —The Christian Science Monitor

“Magically readable. . . . Never has McEwan shown himself to be more in sympathy with the vulnerability of the human heart.” —Sunday Times (London)

“Magnificent. . . . Suspenseful, psychologically astute and intellectually bracing.” —Newsday

“Not since the 19th century has a writer stepped in and out of his characters’ minds with such unfettered confidence.” —The Plain Dealer

“A novel of artistry, power and truth that puts it among the most extraordinary works of fiction of the last decade. . . . It is, quite simply, magnificent–a masterpiece.”  —Michael Pakenham, The Baltimore Sun

“Magical. . . . A love story, a war story, and a story about stories, and so it hits the heart, the guts and the brain.” —The New York Observer

“Luminous. . . . McEwan’s writing has often made me blink, but never before blink with emotion. . . . [McEwan] is at one with his talent.” —Robert Cremins, Houston Chronicle

Atonement can’t be laid down once it’s been picked up. . . . [McEwan] can write rings around most others writing in English today.” —The Weekly Standard

From the Inside Flap

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.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ 038572179X
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Anchor Books; 1st edition (February 25, 2003)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 351 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9780385721790
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0385721790
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 9.6 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.18 x 0.8 x 7.97 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,167 ratings

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About the author

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Ian McEwan is a critically acclaimed author of short stories and novels for adults, as well as The Daydreamer, a children's novel illustrated by Anthony Browne. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His other award-winning novels are The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award, and Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,167 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on April 25, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on March 21, 2017
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77 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 8, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

David Beeson
5.0 out of 5 stars A book of dreams, three of them nightmares
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 10, 2019
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14 people found this helpful
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Kevin J. Sharpe
5.0 out of 5 stars Half brilliant, half as dull as ditch water
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 21, 2018
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12 people found this helpful
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escapetothebookshelf
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2020
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D. Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel wrapped up in a meta-novel.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 3, 2017
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9 people found this helpful
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Neasa MacErlean
3.0 out of 5 stars A great writer playing with his readers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 17, 2016
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5 people found this helpful
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