Download Epub Format ó Life after Life PDF by Ô Kate Atkinson What If You Could Live Again And Again, Until You Got It Right On A Cold And Snowy Night In , Ursula Todd Is Born To An English Banker And His Wife She Dies Before She Can Draw Her First Breath On That Same Cold And Snowy Night, Ursula Todd Is Born, Lets Out A Lusty Wail, And Embarks Upon A Life That Will Be, To Say The Least, Unusual For As She Grows, She Also Dies, Repeatedly, In A Variety Of Ways, While The Young Century Marches On Towards Its Second Cataclysmic World War Does Ursula S Apparently Infinite Number Of Lives Give Her The Power To Save The World From Its Inevitable Destiny And If She Can Will She
5 stars So much great writing and characterization Such an interesting premise and structure Wonderful use of humor and irony thank you, Teresa throughout Remarkable depictions of The Blitz I want to give this book 5 stars But I can t A bit of editing would have helped but that s a quibble It s very difficult to go back over the same territory over and over again and keep it interesting Atkinson did this amazingly well, tho there were moments of, oh not this again The real blooper for me was Ursula view spoiler hanging out with Eva Braun and Hitler at the Berchtesgaden No way It just would not have happened And Atkinson didn t make me believe that it happened Yes, Eva Braun had friends, but how did Ursula and Eva meet and how would Ursula have been allowed to visit one of the most heavily guarded places during the war These sections lost me they felt lifeless My suspension of disbelief became overtaxed This section reminded me of Woody Allen in his movie Zelig, suddenly and surprisingly showing up in various historical moments That worked Perhaps because it was comical This didn t work because we re actually supposed to believe it hide spoiler What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right Ursula Todd is born in a snowstorm in England in 1910 but dies before she can take her first breath During that same snowstorm she was born again and lives to tell the tale again and again Life after Life tells the story of Ursula s lives, as with each new life she makes small changes that send her on a completely different path.
I feel like I m the only person on the planet that thought this book was overhyped and over rated Sure Kate Atkinson has this trippy ability to create this bleak world while still managing to add some wit and compassion but it wasn t the writing that was at fault The premise of the book makes it sound really good but let s face it it is just Groundhog Day in disguise The book is clever, but it tries too hard to be clever and it didn t really turn out the way it should have for me anyway This book is getting so many rave reviews, I feel like I am a black sheep just telling people it did not work.
As I said before, there is nothing wrong with the writing Kate Atkinson has created this lyrical narrative and I did find myself being swept away in the words I even felt like at times I was reading this book without thinking about what was happening a few times I had to stop and process before continuing I almost found myself not noticing a death and Ursula s life starting again and that could have got me completely lost I did feel like Kate Atkinson did however overdo the twists and it turned out to be a roundabout way to retell the same story over and over again with different outcomes This could have worked and it sounds like it worked for many people but I sadly wasn t one of them.
I wonder if Kate Atkinson was trying something different and experimental where she could play with the character s death and life, explore the concept of life s choices and their consequences but because there were no real penalty to Ursula s life I wonder if it really worked Do you ever have d j vu I don t think so, but I could check with the kitchen Life after Life just seems to repeat the same scenes, some readers might gain a sense of familiarity and for me it just felt like I wasn t getting anywhere.
Life after Life is the kind of book you should probably read in a real cold climate the snowy, dark and sometimes bleakness of the novel seems to call for it Maybe read snuggled up on a dark winters night and don t forget your booties cause it s cooooold out there today It s coooold out there every day What is this, Miami Beach It is just the book that would work better in the cold though it is never cold here in Townsville, maybe that s why it didn t work for me.
I really wanted to enjoy this book I will try another Kate Atkinson novel because I really think she has a great style Just so happened Life after Life was not for me and I know people loved this book and will probably complain about this review but at least it was just an excuse to put some Groundhog Day quotes into something This book has had so many positive reviews so maybe it is just me, if the book sounds like something you d like then don t let this review stop you, is it too early for flapjacks This review originally appeared on my blog
I wanted to like this book I wish I could enjoy it I bought it with such enthusiasm, and couldn t wait to start reading it But alas, I sensed almost at the very start that it wasn t going to be a happy relationship a point confirmed by mid way through the book.
The length, the repetitive scenes, the incredible number of times Ursula dies and is reborn, are all tedious and terrible torment to get through 2 3rds in, I found myself offended for having my time wasted Surely Atkinson could show the courtesy of not subjecting her readers to so many repetitive scenarios I cannot fault Atkinson s writing nor do I have any particular dislike for her characters I rather liked Izzy the best But the plot lost my interest fairly early on and by the end, I positively wanted to hurl it at a wall I didn t I m rather fond of my walls My apologies for offending anyone with this review I understand our tastes are subjective and many simply adore this book But I m not one of them.
kate atkinson has written a lovely, accordion fold of a novel here.
this is not a jackson brodie novel, which are always much better than your typical detective novels, even though i haven t read the last one yet merp , but this one is just so much ambitious in scope and style than even those gems it is sublime.
at its most simplistic, it is about ursula, a character who will be born and die all in the first two pages excluding what i am considering to be a prologue and then again and again she will die from falling off a roof, from drowning, from gas inhalation, but she will be reborn again to live a collage of different lives, but always as ursula, and always surrounded by the same family sometimes she can remember her past go rounds, in hazy half memories, and sometimes she can remember , but this is not some hippy dippy exploration of spiritual reincarnation i have never read a book that is human, terrestrial it is not necessarily about getting it right although you cheer inside every time she manages to avoid the decisions that led to some of her horrifying deaths it is about our possible paths, about family, about history.
it is about ripples and traps and the horrors of war.
and, oh, war i have read many books about england during wartime, whether it be I or II but never have i read one with immediacy than this one she does such a fantastic job with this particular material not just the parts that you would think i would respond to, being of a ghoulish bent the recovery of the bodies scenes were very graphic and haunting and shivery, yes, but i found myself responding not to the shocking descriptions, but to the quieter scenes, the ones which are focused on the national character during wartime the englishness of this novel is just brilliant there is such a pervading sense of one does as one must and then one has tea throughout On the way back from lunch, Sylvie said she wanted to visit Oberpollingers and buy a present for Hugh When they reached the department store they found the windows daubed with anti Jewish slogans and Sylvie said, Gracious, what a mess The shop was open for business but a pair of grinning louts in SA uniform were loitering in front of the doors, putting people off from entering Not Sylvie, who had marched past the Brownshirts while Ursula reluctantly trailed in her wake into the store and up the thickly carpeted staircase In the face of the uniforms, Ursula had shrugged a cartoon helplessness and murmured rather shamefacedly, She s English She thought that Sylvie didn t understand what it was like living in Germany but in retrospect she thought that perhaps Sylvie had understood very well.
i love that passage, on at least three different levels the brisk insouciance of a mother accustomed to living in an imperial nation, the shame of a transplanted daughter living in a changing country whose climate she is becoming a part of, but doesn t yet fully understand, and the latent judgment passing as ignorance and this, which perfectly sums up the english spirit No point in thinking, she said briskly, you just have to get on with life We only have one after all, we should try and do our best We can never get it right, but we must try i loved that about this book it is practical, unhysterical perfection there is a determination to these characters in the face of horrors and lives lived always on the brink of destruction that is admirable and almost uplifting you know, if it weren t for all the bombs.
this book killed me, it really did and then i was reborn, as a reader it is such a labor of love you can feel how much thought atkinson put into it, with all of its carefully sprinkled echoes from former life plots, and how lovingly rendered are even the smallest supporting characters mr emslie obviously, i love izzie, the free spirited drunken floozie of an aunt, even though she is such a selfish character but that s kind of what this book is about how when we are living our lives, we miss a great deal of what is happening around us, and if we had a chance to step back, to see the bigger picture, we might make different decisions, and in some cases, we could change the course of history.
which sounds trite, but kate atkinson is a much accomplished writer than i am, and this book is an absolute triumph.
you will have to wait until april to read this, unless you are greg, and are getting it friday, and then it will be mailed off to canada to bill and it is a beautiful looking arc so i am sad to see it go, but one does as one must.
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