″...it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.”
When I am asked to recommend that one book I used to be tempted to choose something epic, a book on spiritual or cultural relevance.
Now, older, I am attracted to finite and situated issues, and increasingly skeptical of the 'catch-all' books that I once devoured.
Atonement by McEwan is a different book. A book about writing, for writers, I think almost everyone here would enjoy it. Some quotes:
“It wasn't only wickedness and scheming that made people unhappy, it was confusion and misunderstanding; above all, it was the failure to grasp the simple truth that other people are as real as you.”
“Was everyone else really as alive as she was?... If the answer was yes, then the world, the social world, was unbearably complicated, with two billion voices, and everyone’s thoughts striving in equal importance and everyone’s claim on life as intense, and everyone thinking they were unique, when no one was. One could drown in irrelevance.”
It suffers from that which most British fiction suffers - an obsession with class. But that perhaps just reflects a nation of people who never really quite completed their revolution all those years ago.