Monday, March 10, 2008

Basically, Our Heroine was Unimpressed

I just finished the novel Atonement. Meh.

Incredible momentum in Part I, with all events, large and small, rushing forward to the story's horrible climax. And, like in Hardy, making the multitude of small words, choices and actions that lead to the terrible denoument seem inevitable. As if no other outcome were possible.

Hooray! Good stuff! I was gripped. And then. Meh.

Did you ever write an awesome scene, just a great little scene, and then be very, very sad that you had no novel to put it in? Well, that's what Atonement felt like to me. Like Ian McEwan wrote this fantastic little short story, "Two Figures at a Fountain," and then felt obligated to keep writing Atonement so he would have someplace to put it. Meh.


Frank said...

Like many women reviewers, you're uncomfortable with the nature of war and command- a bias that leads you to find concerted, organized strife boring or full of ennui.

If you can't appreciate something like "Killer Angels" how can expect to not be bored by Dunkirk?

Read Bruce Catton's trilogy, apply your new perspective, and the rational for the 2001 Booker prize nomiation will float into view.

Nicole Genevieve said...

Seeing as you served in the Army under a Democratic president, I doubt you truly appreciate the nature of war and command either!