Life After Life

Life After Life

A Novel

eBook - 2013
Average Rating:
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"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. "--
Publisher: New York : Reagan Arthur Books/Little, Brown and Company, 2013
Edition: 1st United States ed
ISBN: 9780316230797
0316230790
Branch Call Number: PR6051.T56 L54 2013x
Characteristics: 1 downloadable text file

Opinion

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925 Circulations in 2014

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lbarkema Jun 19, 2014

Ultimately, I did really enjoy this novel. I am still confused after finishing it and I have a million questions, but I did like it.

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Michael Colford Feb 09, 2014

I know people have loved this book, and maybe I should have given it more of a chance, but I couldn't get past 150 pages before throwing in the towel. While Kate Atkinson has a nice writing style, I just found Life After Life to be too repetitive; and it really didn't seem to be going anywhere. ... Read More »


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j
jevans14
Mar 19, 2018

I was disappointed. I thought it was a very interesting premise, but the execution left something to be desired, and I almost stopped reading the book several times, but I didn't have a chance to run to the library to pick up something better. Many of her "lives" were dreary and I would wait for one to end, hoping that the next life would be more interesting or less hopeless-sounding, but often it wasn't. Toward the beginning there was a sense that she was aware of her life-reliving tendency, which disappears in the lives in the middle of the book, and then all of a sudden at the last life she mysteriously pulls it all together, figures out what has been going on this whole time, and becomes a heroine when in most of her previous lives she languishes as a victim. Not that I expected action every second, but the character development seemed forced and did not elicit my sympathy or interest.

SPPL_Anna Mar 10, 2018

This is a great audiobook, absolutely lovely narrator. The premise is very cool too, but after a point it can get to be a little much with the repetition. So it drags in parts while listening, and for some people, myself included, reading it in print might work better.

i
Iloveyoga1998
Jan 28, 2018

Stopped reading, too slow and jumped around too much!

s
susanchyn
Nov 16, 2017

Interesting premise; addictively atmospheric, but the storytelling is at times annoyingly protracted and over-the-top. The ending is abrupt and weird.

Ursula’s constant quoting of various poets, and her corrections (even in her own mind) of other characters’ misquotes, is heavy-handed and detracts.

The audiobook delivery is solid.

r
rtendean
Sep 24, 2017

A clever book! It was a very interesting read. Some of the elements are repetitive with variation, and each scenario of the main character's life is very surprising. The climax brought everything together and ultimately gave way for a new version of her life that was very interesting. I will definitely read the author's other books, especially the companion to this book!

s
spiderfelt_0
Sep 13, 2017

I was surprised by how immediately this book swept me up. The last several audiobooks I've tried either bored or frustrated me, and I was expecting this one to be the same. Despite revisiting elements of the same story, Atkinson kept uncovering new layers of the story, recreating the characters with unexpected variations.

CircMary Aug 01, 2017

What a clever concept - not exactly time travel, but it made the wheels of my mind start spinning in the same way. We all wonder "what if I had done this instead of that?" Kate Atkinson has a wild imagination. I enjoyed the ride. This is one of my most highly recommended books for Library patrons.

JCLAmandaW May 30, 2017

Every choice has a consequence that is far reaching. Ursula is able to relive her life with the hint of knowledge from previous lives; like the feelings of unexplained dread or deja vu. An intelligent and thoroughly engaging read.

k
karinmcgeorge
Apr 27, 2017

I found this a powerful and sad book. Sad because the pictures of two world wars seriously--if temporarily--undermined my illusion that everything's gonna be okay.
But there are worse things than feeling sad for humanity. And of course this book is chockablock full of love, beauty, sensitivity, and really good prose. Insights in almost every paragraph. I'm working on reading 2 more of Kate's.

j
jackieparker
Apr 17, 2017

I admit, I put this on my For Later shelf ages before I read it, so I'd forgotten entirely what I was getting myself into. This meant that since I was reading the audio version, without visual cues, that I was completely disoriented for a bit before I caught on to what was happening. Overall, it was brilliant. Difficult, at times, especially the versions of Ursula's life that were especially realistic and devastating (abusive husband; German husband), but the reoccurring threads and characters that repeatedly touched her story in different ways was fascinating and sometimes charming. More than just an exploration of how many decisions an author makes - it's a question of choices and fate, reincarnation, and revision.

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Quotes

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k
kn1226
Sep 14, 2015

Life is too precious to be unhappy.

s
sheirapop1
Aug 05, 2015

"He's always been a politician. He was born a politician." No, Ursula thought, he was born a baby, like everyone else. And this is what he has chosen to become.

n
nmullings
Jul 15, 2015

It's time she thought. A clock struck somewhere in sympathy. She thought of Teddy and Mrs. Woolf, of Roland and little Angela, of Nancy and Sylvie. She thought of Dr. Kellet and Pindar. Become such as you are, having learned what is. She knew what she was now. She was Ursula Beresford Todd and she was a witness.

debwalker Jul 08, 2014

Fur sie, fuhrer.

JCLJanineM Oct 28, 2013

"Darkness fell."

JCLJanineM Oct 28, 2013

"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."

b
becker
Jun 10, 2013

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

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cindyhib Sep 09, 2014

ery Confusing!!!!

d
dkilrain
Mar 10, 2014

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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d
dkilrain
Mar 10, 2014

dkilrain thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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