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Summary

On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge.

By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

©2001 Ian McEwan (P)2014 (p) AudioGo Ltd. Published by Random House Audiobooks

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Slow start but beautifully crafted...

The reason I haven't given this five stars is because of the monotonous start. I nearly gave up. But I stuck with it and, what was a relatively minor event, in the scheme of things, was crafted into a huge web of little mysteries that I wanted resolved. The performance was outstanding and, overall, this is a beautifully written book.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Stylish and deep

Narration superb. Eclipses the film. Excellent in its style and delivery. Better than I had expected for my first book.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Amazing!

I had seen the film long before listening to this audiobook and loved it. However, the book is all the film was and much more. We are allowed access to Briony's mind and reasoning and it is not an easy story to hear. She is a character to love and hate and is written beautifully. I think the narrator does a wonderful job with an amazing story. A must read / listen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Ms
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 11-03-16

Beautiful Story

This is Ian McKewan at his finest. I found this heartbreaking love story totally absorbing. It is awash with emotion and thought provoking details of war, love and the divisions of social class. It is clever in its design and pulls you into the world of characters and the world they lived in. I absolutely loved it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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Excellent. Really enjoyed it

Would you consider the audio edition of Atonement to be better than the print version?

I have read the book but really enjoyed hearing the story - it bought it to life for me.

What does Carole Boyd bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Really great reading; smooth and handles the language of the book brilliantly.

Any additional comments?

Overall an excellent story with great characters; beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Atonement

Very first novel I have listened to by this author and narrator. I enjoyed this very much, the twins were my favourite and the book which I read several years ago is just as brilliant and pleasure to enjoy again. The film is next for me.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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An evocative tale

A beautifully told tale of the effect one lie from a child has on a family set against the backdrop of a 1930's upper class family, a war torn London and France and a passionate love that crossed the class barrier.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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An old fashioned sense of nostalgia

A fantastic piece by Ian McEwan, with clever uses of the passage of time to leave the reader in suspense, as well as the use of perspective to help gauge the consequences of certain characters actions.

I certainly know that my vocabulary benefited through his depiction of a girls life and her need to achieve atonement.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Gripping tale

The book it's self is a gripping tale of love tested by the laws of a prewar society, and the application of a child's imagination on such damning events! Very good read, chosen for my a levels would recommend.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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Great!

loved it, narrated very well - a great book to study for english A Level !!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • cate edwards
  • 08-10-15

What a rich experience with excellent narration.

Pared back writing that is meaty . Ian McEwan plays with time and memory and meaning to sculpt a nutritious story.