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First Published in 2001 Atonement is on of McEwans best selling novels winning unanimous praise by the worlds literature critics but perhaps is also known for splitting the public opinion. Since its best selling status it has officially been revered as a British Classic slotting into line with titles from Bronte Conan Doyle and Eliot. It has also been made into an award winning film starring Kiera Knightly and James McAvoy. As a keen reader one cannot help but be sucked in by all of this success and hype. But to be honest I for one am always sceptical of hype. Nonetheless I had to put my dubiousness to one side and give this novel a go. The question is, should you?
Well firstly it is very hard to explain the story of Atonement without giving the twist away that unravels itself in the final part of the novel. The story starts in the summer of 1935 inside the household of an upper middle class English family. Briony Tallis is an avid writer for a thirteen year old girl a girl with a fantastic imagination desperately trying to understand the adult world as well as grabbing any attention she can with her self written play The Trials of Arabella. However it soon becomes apparent that she looses interest in her family production when she misinterprets a complication between her elder sister Cecelia and the family gardener Robbie Turner. There is obviously sexual tension in abundance between Cecelia and Robbie but what Briony doesnt realise is that there is a big difference between lust and manipulation. It doesnt help matters further when Briony walks into the library and interrupts an encounter between the two lovers. From then on Brionys imagination has severe consequences for Robbie as a series of events unfold which she will forever attempt to atone
Linguistically though this novel is most definitely not for children or the amateur reader. A high understanding of challenging vocabulary is a must and poetic use of elongated sentences may be too much for some casual readers. Paragraphs can sometimes be made up of only one or two sentences yet stretch the breadth of a single page. It is beautifully written on one hand which makes use of wonderfully thought out metaphors with its long line of adjectives and superlatives but on the other hand you can find yourself wandering off the straight line and forgetting about the plot altogether.
There are many pleasures to be had with Ian McEwans Atonement there just so happens to be some downsides too. Its a beautifully novel in many places very imaginative and detailed but this elevates it from everyday reading. This book will simply not be for everyone. The detailed paragraphs can be too boring and there is also the issue of character depth but on the whole there is life to be found in places throughout. Its most definitely worth at least one read but when the shock ending reveals itself it can be difficult to see any point reading it again at a later date. Refreshing yes but lacks real substance.
Angels and Demons
Angels and Demons is a great read that mixes adventure with betrayal and deception and it keeps you hooked throughout. The use of a strong subject matter and historical facts always creates intrigue but the correctness of the claims should never be taken as Gospel truth for the more naive reader. Brown creates huge amounts of entertainment with his use of pace and almost recognisable characters and his qualitative storyline is simply fantastic. It does have its faults, but may are merely ignored as you delve deeper into the religious world of the Vatican and the scientific realm of The Illuminati . . . No wonder it's a bestseller
Obscure II (2)
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Overall, Obscure 2 is a highly entertaining and enjoyable game despite the lack of any real horror moments. For a game to be released so late into the PS2's life it has effective dark graphics and a great feel to it. The multiplayer option really sets the game on fire despite its linear Gameplay style and simple puzzle system, but it all fits together nicely into a tight package. Beginners can find an element of enjoyment in this, whilst others can take pleasure in it addictive manner. I doubt another game would follow, but Obscure 2 is a fantastic starter whilst you wait for the main course to come.
On paper, 7 Sins sounds amusing, not breathtaking or 'legendary', but at least playable. A life simulation game that uses a winning formula of 'sim' style Gameplay that adds a touch of rude humour and tantalising yet addictive mini games was all the PS2 needed in its long and exhausting life, right?
7 Sins was meant to be fun, but instead turned out to be a ridiculous excuse that called itself a game. Its repetitive Gameplay and lack of any real depth means you will rather switch off than stick with it and overall it just fails to entertain at every level. The game just doesn't seem to know what it wants to be and whether it's the Gameplay, graphics or simply its idea it just isn't coherent enough to produce anything of real value. No wonder it didn't sell well - trust me ... stay away.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (Platinum)
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Overall, Grand Theft Auto Liberty City Stories (PS2) is an addictive game with many great moments of gaming action whether it be racing cars over cliffs and up ramps or completing criminal missions, but on the whole it just isn't original enough. It's a game that just carries on the series filling a void until something huge comes along. The graphics are basic and at times appalling mixing with a very sluggish feel. There is a high replayability factor with the side missions such as finding all the hidden packages and hidden jumps, plus the extra hours and hours of gameplay, but the removal of the multiplayer options and online features is shocking enough. At least it's still highly playable. Fans of the series will love this without question and I found myself wanting to carry on playing despite all the faults. It's worth a try at least but I expected more. Let's just hope GTA IV offers something at least more substantial.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
It is evidence enough that there are a variety of interesting qualities and overbearing faults within the book, but overall Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets is at best an average read that just prolongs a series that apparently becomes more evolved and 'dark'. The lack of detail used to create events and keep readers attention isn't used to great effect at times and the silly description though engulfs the Hogwarts world at times into a place of fun, to me just turns it into a place of mockery. Themes are used well to teach us more about social acceptance in our own culture but the lack of atmosphere fails to turn the book into something more thought provoking.
Yu-Gi-Oh! GX Tag Force
Overall, Yu Gi Oh! GX Tag Force is a brilliant strategy game that has many advantages up its sleeve to keep players attention, sadly, however, with a boring story mode that game suffers extremely badly with a monotonous tone and after a while, players will go in search of something more eventful. The duelling is fuelled with so much attention it is a shame the game overall is not. Especially since only Yu Gi Oh fans will want to play this, which again is a shame because strategists will love this. Mix that with being overly difficult at times, I would not recommend this game to anyone but a fan of the show.
Project Zero 3: The Tormented
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On the whole though, Project Zero 3 is a truly frightening experience with terrifying moments of attack and also huge moments of relief. The sound effects really do work in favour of a horror experience creating, as to be expected a great tense and frightening atmosphere and when mixed with the intriguing storylines of all three characters, the game itself becomes addictive, despite the sudden disruptions of reality. Fans will love the Easter Eggs of characters and locations combined with the secret Ghosts inside the game to capture, replayablity with different endings do create a challenge for players of all abilities, but Project Zero 3 is nothing original. Compared to Crimson Butterfly the extra features on the Camera Obscura works well for this individual title, but the previous instalment is a better game, more coherent and better paced. Fans will love it, and true horror fans will see something amazing here but on the whole certain aspects of the game let it down to being nothing more than an average horror game. A scary average horror game though ...
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Overall, Everybody's Tennis is quite an entertaining game offering a few hours of play and mix that with multiplayer options the game isn't that bad. With a unique style compared to most tennis games today Everybody's Tennis can be played by absolutely anybody meaning it can appeal to loads of different gamers out there. However with its lack of differing modes and short playing time, it really isn't worth a competitive edge compared to greater games. Whilst fun for a while, it rapidly becomes repetitive and should be played by beginners only or at least gamers looking for a few hours to waste away with friends.
Grey's Anatomy: Series 1 (3 Discs)
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The series follows a bunch of lively interns at Seattle Grace Hospital and continues to pursue their personal lives struggling with relationships, pressure at becoming a surgeon and just trying to survive in a competitive medical world. Each intern has their own secret or goal and the series although revolves around lead character Meredith Grey, never really splits away from the great supporting cast. Each character is never seen lesser than anyone else in terms of storyline but obviously the series cuts back to the personal agenda's of Meredith Grey.
The series itself is fast paced and to be honest a breath of fresh air. It mixes the medical complexities of ER with story movement from shows such as Six Feet Under. Dialogue though simple at times is very well thought out providing comical moments throughout every single episode. Near enough from the very beginning you become attached to the newbie interns as they move around Seattle Grace learning everything they need to know from their superior work mates and their individual charm shines out instantly as well as their on screen chemistry. There is always a twist and turn as well obviously to keep viewers hooked and though sometimes predictable these turns always make fantastic viewing.
The series itself presents itself very much like Desperate Housewives, with a narrative at the beginning and the end with a little story in the middle. Apart from individual storylines for each intern each episode solely represents a series not on a bigger scale. These singular episodes actually work well and act very much as a TV Show that isn't tense, but still provides great viewing. The twists and turns happen fast and therefore hooks you in even deeper and its nice to see how each intern develops.