Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Not the End of the World Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
Top customer reviews
Its not really a collection of short stories - well, it is , but if you can't get your head around it, then read the first and last chapters again ( miss out the rest ) after your initial reading and all will be revealed and become perfectly clear (hopefully) .
Make use of your Google Latin to English translator if you don't read Latin like a native - understanding those phrases will help you understand the book itself .
Someone who gave it one star thought the quotations from Ovid, Emily Dickinson, St Paul et al. were "pretentious" but they are gateways to further reading , and this, further knowledge . I love books that take me on journeys through other books - knowledge gathering is never wasted .
It's challenging reading but if you set yourself up at the beginning ( I didn't and had to re-read it twice before I clicked on) the way I have suggested , you will find it sad, funny poignant and ultimately a bit terrifying .
Its not Jackson Brodie territory so be prepared if you love JB and Kate's writing - its quirkier , more like "Human Croquet" .
I love everything she writes - sometimes , its challenging stuff but ultimately , Kate Atkinson is never, ever boring !
I don't think I understood enough of the references to ancient Greek/Roman mythology so I'm off to do some research and reading. I also must read more of Atkinson's work as I thought her writing style was really engaging. - It speaks volumes that I scored this book 5/5 when I dislike dystopian or 'magical/fantasy' fiction in general. I think Atkinson approached her themes in a way that was entirely different from anything else I've read - she has a style all of her own, which makes her unique and interesting.
I was inclined to look for a 'purpose' to these stories - possibly a political or moral message. As a result, I feel it's quite important to read these stories in order and to continue to the end. The final chapter kind of made sense of it all for me, the idea of recapturing our oral tradition that was mentioned a few pages from the end hits the nail on the head as far as the purpose of this book is concerned. I think the references to pop culture, juxtaposed as they are against a backdrop of ancient greco-roman mythology are a comment on modern pre-occupations and that perhaps we are steaming our way to our own destruction in a valueless society. Pop culture is somehow vapid when aligned so expertly by Atkinson with the deeper religious and mystical significance of the ancient world. Capitalism as a whole is undermined here but it's done ever-so-subtly and in a way that doesn't appear dogmatic.
I really liked this thought provoking set of tales and I think the short story genre was a perfect medium. It is rare to find a really great short story writer - so many of the short stories you read come across as simply pre-cursers to longer novels or appear as 'practice' on the part of the writer. I fell in love with well written short stories when I first read Katherine Mansfield & I feel that Atkinson is on a par with Mansfield as far as the impact of her writing is concerned (although the content/plot/genre structure is rather different). - The rules governing short stories are so little understood and so I feel Atkinson is very rare.
I'm beguiled, mesmerised and very impressed.
However the only drawback I would say is you do get the feeling often that she has come up with a wonderful idea for a story, started off writing, got halfway through and then not known how to finish it (and it was highlighted here in the short stories where presumably she had to get in, tell the story and get out again in as few pages as possible!!)
If you can suspend the need to have a neatly tied up ending and can just enjoy the way the story was told these short stories are an interesting way to pass a few minutes without demanding too much headspace to follow a plot and I would say go for this. If you hate stories that just hang at the end, or suddenly take a turn for the absurd then best opt for something else!
The stories are linked so we meet up some of the characters in different stories, sometimes only with a name check, sometimes with a role to play. The same central characters from the first story appear in the last one creating a complete circle. One of Atkinson's strengths is her characterisation and this is as true in the short stories as in her novels with an eclectic and engaging cast. The stories are playful, darkly witty and fantastic (in the true sense of the word) with touches of laugh-out-loud humour.
As others have said, though, she does not provide neat endings with all loose ends tied up - but the stories provide wonderful entertainment, which I, for one, will enjoy re-reading. Mary Smith author of No More Mulberries
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Most recent customer reviews
The description could have been more accurate.
Look for similar items by category
- Books > Fiction > Literary Fiction
- Books > Fiction > Myths & Fairy Tales
- Books > Fiction > Short Stories
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies & Short Stories
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary
- Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > Short Stories
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Short Stories > Single Authors
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Anthologies & Short Stories
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Contemporary
- Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales