[A book that makes you sad.]
Not sad so much as enraged, but there's a little bit of sadness in there. A little, tiny bit. It lingers under the crankiness.
I have never gotten into a novel like I have Atonement. It was beautifully written (darn amazing prose) with one of the most gripping storylines to come out of modern literature.
Why the anger, you ask?
BRIONY, WHAT THE FLIP.
Thanks to you, I have a severe mistrust of 13 year old girls. I can't trust them to not screw everything up. Everything.
(That's what you do on the interwebs, isn't it?)
Briony, you screw up massively. You screw up your rapists (remind me never to ask for YOUR help in a criminal lineup). And, you know, that'd be vaguely okay. Sort of. I could deal with it a whole lot more if it was an honest mistake.
But oh no, stupid little thirteen year old Briony had to have Robbie for herself, even though had she actually gotten Robbie, that would have been borderline pedophilia.
Actually, considering Robbie was at university, and Briony had just - yeah, that'd have been pedophilia, and YOU SUCK, BRIONY. You didn't think of that part, did you?
I despise you, Briony Tallis. You flipping lie about the gardener/groundskeeper/whatever raping your cousin. Did you think about how that would have been for Lola? Claps for Briony. And then she has to marry that rapist while you look on knowing you failed at life.
Oh, and then? Then you write a book and use it to fabricate a reasonable ending and expect it to be okay even though Robbie has contracted blood poisoning - during war, which he had to participate in because HEY, YOU GOT HIM IN JAIL - and Cecilia has been blown up/drowned as a result of bombs going off in tunnels.
And that's your atonement?
You atone by making the characters get together and by having Robbie's name cleared in your book, while you live the longest and only begin going senile at a late age?
Screw you, Briony Tallis.
My only sadness comes from poor Robbie and Cecilia. Lives messed up by a precocious and interfering 13 year old.
That being said, I loved this book. If I react passionately in any way, a book has succeeded. And - wow. Wow wow wow wow wow I wish I could write like you, Mr McEwan. Props.