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A God in Ruins by [Atkinson, Kate]
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A God in Ruins Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 802 customer reviews

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Length: 398 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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"Triumphant...such a dazzling read...Atkinson gives Teddy's wartime experiences the full treatment in a series of thrilling set pieces. Even more impressive,though, is her ability to invest the more everday events with a similar grandeur...almost as innovative as Atkinson's technique in Life After Life - a possibly more authentic as an expression of how it feels to be alive...it ends on one of the most devastating twists in recent fiction...it adds a further level of overwhelming poignancy to an already extraordinarily affecting book." (James Walton Daily Telegraph)

"This is a novel about war and the shadow it casts even over generations who have never known it, but it is also a novel about fiction...this is a novel that cares deeply about its characters and about the purpose of fiction in making sense of our collective past. A God in Ruins, together with its predecessor, is Atkinson's finest work, and confirmation that her genre-defying writing continues to surpise and dazzle." (Stephanie Merritt Observer)

"With A God in Ruins she, once again, proves herself to be a writer of considerable talent. Her command of structure is extraordinary...She writes with terrific compassion for her characters...also shows off a brilliantly brittle sense of humour that on several occasions made me laugh out loud...to my mind, A God in Ruins stands as an equally magnificent achievement." (Matt Cain Independent on Sunday)

"Horribly funny...every page has some vividly original phrase...But the tour de force is her treatment of Teddy’s experience as a bomber pilot, recreated as memorably as the Blitz scenes in Life After Life... nothing can quite account for the imaginative leaps she has made...nailbiting...a really affecting memorial to the huge numbers of bomber crew who died." (Standard)

"Better than most fiction you'll read this year...Atkinson's prose is as bright as gunfire in the Second World War sections...I can't think of any writer to match her ability to grasp a period in the past. No, not even you, Booker-winning Hilary Mantel." (The Times)

Book Description

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA NOVEL AWARD AND BESTSELLING LITERARY PAPERBACK OF 2016: Devastating and brilliant, Kate Atkinson's stand-alone follow-up to Life After Life.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1534 KB
  • Print Length: 398 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0385671407
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (5 May 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 802 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,341 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have (sadly) just finished this wonderful book, and I will be reflecting on it for a long time. I have enjoyed all of Kate Atkinsons' books but this one, in my opinion, is her best so far. I became thoroughly involved in the lives of the characters, all so believable and so many memories were jogged from my own childhood as a child born in 1947. I obviously was not alive during the war but found her descriptions of life in a bomber squadron and the sheer waste of life during war both completely convincing and completely moving. There were moments of humour too so it was also uplifting, but I did not forsee the ending....My husband, who does not read novels, had to put up with me discussing various aspects of the story with him most mornings, I felt the need to share, which shows how much the novel affected me. Thankyou to Kate Atkinson, I look forward to her next book, and thoroughly recommend A God in Ruins, one of the best novels I have read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

It’s a couple of years since I read Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life, so I have to admit I have forgotten many of the protagonists, with the exception of Ursula, the main character and Teddy her beloved little brother. Many of the other characters in that book are now just a blur.

That doesn’t seem to matter in A God in Ruins, because this is a stand alone book; nevertheless some of those characters make another appearance. In particular, this is Teddy’s book, and although his story is told in a completely different way, it is an Atkinson characteristic that the past, the present and the future are shuffled together like a pack of cards, with the readers, not exactly omniscient, but still knowing some things about the lives of the protagonists, even when they don’t.

Kate Atkinson gets under the skin of the characters very quickly, so within the first 50 pages, we have already met up with many of them, formed attachments and have empathy with them, despite their failings, when appropriate. She frequently disobeys rules which new writers are generally told to observe, like staying in the viewpoint of one character for a reasonable time. Sometimes she hops about, bringing in another’s thoughts in parentheses, in a way that is almost reminiscent of Virginia Woolf. I say this as someone who is not enamoured of VW, but I can forgive Kate Atkinson.

I enjoyed A God in Ruins despite my liking for plot, and this is down to the quality of Kate Atkinson’s writing. A God in Ruins hasn’t really got a strong plot; it tells the story of Teddy’s life, more or less from cradle to grave. In the course of it, we find out a lot about his wife and his daughter, his grandson and granddaughter.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Occasionally one comes across a book which will remain in the memory for ever, a book to return to in years to come. This is one such rare novel, which deserves to be universally read. The life story of Teddy, both poignant but with touches of humour and wit throughout, was an emotional, yet most enjoyable reading experience. Kate Atkinson's meticulous research into the experiences of WW2 pilots, combined with her vivid and utterly believable set of characters ensure that each section of the book is gripping. Although I had not read "Life After Life", the prequel, this in no way impaired my understanding of the story. I also did not have any problems with the episodic structure, which jumps forward and back in time, but found each section soon had me engrossed. I loved Teddy, felt so angry about Sonny's mistreatment by his awful parents and grandparents, delighted in Bertie, so level headed, witty and quite unlike her mother. The depiction of Teddy and Nancy's marriage, not quite soulmates, was skilfully drawn. Of course the twist at the end is devastating, but the purpose of K.A. is clear: war is the ultimate evil, yet mankind never learns, the suffering goes on, our fault lies in our genes. I cannot imagine how she could write anything better than this book: it should become an "A" level classic one day.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved this book - a truly epic novel. I still prefer Behind the Scenes At The Museum but this is now a very close second. Atkinson writes so beautifully and in this novel, there is a return to some of her wit so potent in Behind the Scenes. I loved every page. It is well written, well paced and will leave you feeling very satisfied at the end as all loose ends are tied up. I think Kate Atlkinson is THE greatest British novelist of her generation and it was great to see her back to a novel with strong characters, family connections and historic interest. I enjoyed all of her crime novels but A God In Ruins and its predecessor, Life After Life show that she is in a class of her own - she's the only writer so far to have won the Costa Prize for 3 novels and she deserves all of them. One of the other novels she beat, Patrick Gale's A Town Called Winter is an amazing novel but A God In Tuins is even better. You will read this and love Teddy, the main protagonist as much as you loved his sister Ursula in Life After Life, its companion novel. Like all of her novels, other characters will also get under your skin and you'll be able to see them in your imagination larger than life, you'll be living during WW2 and imagining being a Halifax pilot and seeing what Teddy sees - that is the wonderful skills Kate Atkinson possesses; to get you living with these people and feeling what they feel. Well Done Kate -everyone else....read this book!
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