Even though I prefer to read a book before I see its movie version, I happened to see the film version of Atonement when it was released. For ages afterward I wanted to read the book but couldn't make it happen until I found a copy for 50 cents at the Library Sale and even then it sat on my shelves until I decided to finally get to it the other day, when I needed a smaller book I could carry in my purse for reading on the subway.
Maybe it was because I had seen the movie, so I knew the overall story before I started reading, but I couldn't love this book like I thought I might. I feel like this same story could have been told, without losing any of the emotion, in a book half the length. I kept thinking of this past review while I was reading - "too many notes." Normally I prefer the book to its film version, but in this case the film, with its necessarily confined length (not many movies cross the three hour mark, after all) is probably a better adaptation.