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Life After Life

A Novel
Atkinson, Kate (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Life After Life


Item Details

"What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, 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? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Atkinson, Kate
Title: Life after life
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Reagan Arthur Books / Little, Brown and Company,, 2013
Edition: First United States edition
Characteristics: xi, 529 pages ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Kate Atkinson
Summary: "What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, 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? Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original -- this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best"-- Provided by publisher.
ISBN: 9780316176484
0316176486
Branch Call Number: FICTION ATKINSON 2013
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Comment by: multcolib_dianaa Report This Mar 24, 2014

Ursula, born in her banker father's country estate in 1910, dies at birth in the book's first pages. Then she gets another chance, dying in many ways and then being born again. Atkinson had a wonderful idea and executed it very well, and the writing is the very best- reminding me sometimes of Virginia Woolf.


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Le buzz sur ce live n'était pas mérité. Trop long et ennuyeux.

Report This Apr 02, 2014
  • mudmainah rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

It was more like a roller coaster ride, this book. Sometimes steady, sometimes fast, and sometimes dipping into heartfelt tragedies. It isn't a question of the writing, the writing was splendid, rather the story is what brings differing views. I didn't find it hard to believe, although I do not believe in reincarnation, that this was possible in the realm of fiction. Fiction is fiction. All together, this is a book that will be buzzed about for years to come, more for the memorable characters than the set story.

Report This Mar 29, 2014
  • LaRoyal rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Completely fell in love with this book after a rough start. True, without the wonderful writing, it would never have worked, but isn't that what all great books have in common? An unusual premise, dealt with in an unusual way. I give it full stars.

Not as good as her others but a decent read

Ursula, born in her banker father's country estate in 1910, dies at birth in the book's first pages. Then she gets another chance, dying in many ways and then being born again. Atkinson had a wonderful idea and executed it very well, and the writing is the very best- reminding me sometimes of Virginia Woolf.

Report This Mar 08, 2014
  • ms_mustard rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

a 'very good' for the writing, a raspberry for the plot device. how many times can you invest in a character and then have that life go phfftt? the ending weighed down the rest of the book.

Report This Mar 03, 2014
  • JCS3F rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Atkinson's 'Life After Life' alternates between an effective exploration of the reality of war and a tiresome plot device that seems designed to frustrate and alienate her readers. Her writing often conveys the pure consuming hum of anxiety that must accompany a world war. Uneasy domesticity punctuated abruptly by absolutely random devastation. At other times, Atkinson relies on cliché and caricature that fail to believably gird her characters' motivations. In all, 'Life' represents only an inconsistently engaging novel built, apparently needlessly, around an unexplained, sophomoric metaphysical device. Clearly a labor of love and not without other merit, too. But can this really be one of the best books of 2013?

Report This Feb 23, 2014
  • Birdwatcher rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I loved reading this book. Although I didn't fully buy the whole reincarnation thing and could see how people could find all the jumping about off putting I loved her story telling skills. she was able to intertwine the threads of her characters and events into one whole story. She is such an enjoyable writer.

Report This Feb 19, 2014
  • CindyL rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Can see both the 5 star and the 1 star point of views on this one. If Kate Atkinson wasn't such a good writer, this one could have fallen flat on its face. It was rather repetitive in some respects, but each life offered new facets and characters enough to keep it interesting. In some ways it was more like reading individual shorrt stories, rather than a cohesive novel.

Report This Feb 14, 2014
  • KarenW rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

If you could have a chance to live your life over and over, what would you choose to keep the same and what would you choose to change? Would you choose to make a difference to the whole world or would you want to make a small change in your world? Ursula gets to find this out as she lives over and over, making more intelligent choices in her life as she follows her heart in deja vu. While some characters seem trite or one dimensional, the sentiment was not. Ultimately it may seem a slog to figure out what is happening, but this book is absolutely worth the journey.

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Report This Mar 10, 2014
  • dkilrain rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

dkilrain thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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Report This Mar 10, 2014
  • dkilrain rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is the first book I have read by this author. I will definitely read another book by her as her style of writing is great. However, this book was a bit hard to follow. The basic premise is to show what would happen if you could relive events in your life until you got them right. The concept is great, but a bit cumbersome in the execution. You end up having chapter after chapter of the same events happening with different outcomes. The net result is you are left with a story that has no real linear story as you aren't sure what this person's life really ended up being. In the end it seems there would be some sort of tying together of all the elements. However there was not, and the reader is left hanging in the air, which is frustrating slogging through a fairly dense book. This would be a great book for a book club though as there is lots of food for thought.

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"Home," it had struck her on the torturous drive back to London, wasn't Egerton Gardens, wasn't even Fox Corner. Home was an idea, and like Arcadia it was lost in the past."

Report This Jun 10, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

"They had triumphed over death this night. Sylvie wondered when death would seek his revenge."

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Report This Jun 02, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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