Wonderful story and excellent narrator. I knew this would be clever and have an unexpected ending and it didn't disappoint.
Father of three children, born in England, now a Pacific Northwesterner. I love science books (particularly space- or physics-related), BBC Radio 4 and NPR, but always eager to expand my horizons and try new things.
The narrator's performance was the standout highlight of this audiobook. She carries off a variety of languages and accents almost flawlessly, and manages to create a recognizable voice for each of the characters, even modulating them carefully from childhood to old age while not losing the timbre and tone that differentiates each role. Her pace was just right too - fast enough to hold the attention while never garbling or running sentences together. Her narration added immeasurably to the book and the lasting impression it will leave with me: it's truly a reference for quality audio recording.
I am a big fan of Kate Atkinson's work and was not disappointed in this book. The structure of the book is very unusual as it traces Ursula Todd's life over and over again as she is born and dies in different ways. I found it compelling. For me, it was not difficult to follow. Ursula is a character with whom I no problem sympathizing. I particularly liked the descriptions of Ursula's involvement in the support efforts during the war. Those parts of the book really came alive for me. I also found it very well-read. Woolgar has a pleasant voice and was easy to listen to without being boring. Well done all around. I am looking forward to Atkinson's next book.
I like this book but found it almost impossible to listen to - it is so hard to figure out where the transitions occur. This is a situation where the reader need to somehow note the transition.
Just a very curious person.
After reading about the launch of this book in several media, I must say I found that I agreed with the attention and the reviews. If you are a fan of Time Traveler's Wife, you might enjoy this book as well. Rather than focus on the importance of one meaningful relationship like TTW, this book displays the endless possibilities of life mulligans with drastically different life paths. Some might find the lack of a solid ending frustrating, however, I found it as intriguing as the main narrative of the book.
If you have enjoyed Kate Atkinson's early work (for example, "It's Not the End of the World"), you will love Life After Life. Her art of story-telling, descriptive writing, cleverness, and blend of tragedy and dry humor reach new heights here. She is able to suspend our disbelief time and time again. Each version of Ursula Todd is mesmerizing and essential to the plot. Life After Life is a unique experience.
I love the subtle details that change in each version and determine the future. Every time that Ursula makes a tiny decision (study modern languages, for example) or encounters a person or event, a small recalculation in the trajectory of her life follows. We all make choices in our lives, but most of us just pursue the course that we have chosen and don't have an opportunity to live multiple courses. Ursula does. This novel causes us to rethink our own lives.
"Which scene was your favorite?" is a humorous question for this book. Every time that Ursula is reborn is my favorite. Her birth is slightly different each time.
I totally enjoyed listening to Fenella Woolgar. She brought the language to life.
Can't wait to discuss this in my book group.
The best thing about this book was the narrator. The worst thing was it didn't seem to have any kind of plot. Kate Atkinson is a master of the jumping back and forth between time and characters, i.e. Behind the Scenes at the Museum, but this book just doesn't join the people, time and places very well. It was very disappointing. Bring back Jackson, please!!
I have enjoyed all Kate Atkinson books but was concerned about this because of its description.... I was wrong to be worried. This was so different but so, so good. Keep surprising me!
At first I was unsure about this book, but the more we lives we lived, the better it got. It was a fascinating study on what could be, what might have been. This could have gone on and I would still be listening.
No, but she was excellent. I have rarely heard better.
I picked this one knowing nothing about it except that it was written by Kate Atkinson. That showed good judgement on my part because Life After Life was one of the best and most memorable books I will ever read.Ursula, born in England 1910, lives a privileged but ordinary life. Except for the fact that along the way she dies many times and in many different ways. She somehow gets a do over each time "darkness falls" and usually makes it a little farther with each new try. Some episodes prove particularly challenging to move beyond but that's not to say every perilous situation ends in death. The reader is never quite sure which way a new life will end. When I say new life I don't mean reincarnation. She is always Ursula, always reborn to the same family in time and place. This is no scyfi or paranormal groundhog day type story. It's a beautifully written, thoughtful literary exploration of choices and chance. A celebration of life where Ursula's lifeline is portrayed as a palimpsest rather than a linear sequential occurrence.At first Ursula has no inkling that she lives life after life. Then slowly, feelings of unease or déjà vu began creeping up on her. That, for me was when the book became an unputdownable masterpiece. It takes a very skilled writer to write an essentially similar scene several times but make each telling fresh and somehow suspenseful, but that's what Kate Atkinson does. I loved this book and can't recommend it highly enough. Drop whatever you are reading at the moment and read this now. No matter what you are in the middle of, this is better.