This book is just amazing. At this point it is one of my favorite books of all time. Kate Atkinson does an amazing job. The format of story telling is just so unique and a beautiful way to tell the story of WWII.
Adventure and suspense please!
It lacked depth or purpose
While narration was mostly pleasant, the main character's voice was childish and annoying.
The first several lives. The last life.
This book was terribly unsatisfying. I was thankful when it was finally over and angry that I had trusted the good reviews and gone for it, listening to the end. I really don't understand why the author wrote this book. The general concept was intriguing and had great potential, but the way it was expounded upon was just hopelessly depressing and pointless. Though we suffer through many versions of life with the main character, we never really get to know her. Her personality remains shallow, undefined and weak through every life. There is this other character, Izzy, that all the other characters seem to despise throughout the lives and yet, only in one of them is she someone worthy of disdain and even then that is questionable given the circumstances. I just couldn't identify with any of the characters in any of the lives really. The ending was particularly annoying. There really wasn't one. I'm about to ruin it for you here so stop reading now if you plan on listening anyway: SPOILER AHEAD:
It seems that Ursula is just in some kind of weird hell or purgatory like existence where no matter the choices she makes or what she does right or wrong or how long she lives or how she dies, she is doomed to keep coming back to the same old live as the same old person with the same situations ahead and anything good she ever does to change history is wiped away with the beginning of each new life. So, as the listener, you get to join her hell and in the end? Its even worse for you than it is for her because you, unlike her, are fully aware that her loop of a life is eternally doomed. What fun.
This one just didn't work for me. The "Groundhog Day" plot mechanism where she keeps dying and being reborn serves a purpose, but it's just not worth it. I'm glad I was listening to this because I would have never made it past page 100 if I tried to read it.
I purchased this book after reading the glowing review by Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn... Suffice to say, Ms. Flynn should stick to writing books instead of reviewing them. I could barely finish this book. It was way too ADD, moving in tons of different directions and very hard to follow. I prefer stories with deeper character development and a solid storyline. This one just floundered, completely missing the mark.
I'm trying to wean myself and learn to function without earbuds for more than ten minutes at a time. It hasn't been easy. I lose balance...
If there's one thing I love more than time travel- and arguably reincarnation is that as well...it's death theory and WWII. I confess I'm not done listening to this for the second time yet- and I suspect there may be more...after all...that is the point...I doubt in print I'd be half as emotionally invested which is everything. I'll tell you more next time through.
So, yes- I recommend it. But it's not a side listen while doing too much, it requires some attention. Beautifully performed though my download had some issues...I blame iPhone there....for me the British can only be understood in their own accent but I'm funny like that.
I love the last 150 years of history. Bully Pulpit and the Wilson biography absolute best!
This story is so compelling, so beautifully read and so important in concept of time that it is certainly one of the all time best. Comparing it only to Stephen King's 11/22/63 and Time and Again by Jack Finney. One of most enjoyable novels in the whole Audible library!
The reader was excellent. Unfortunately, the material, although well-written, was a frustrating read. Repeating the same story with different ways to die was exceptionally confusing and in many cases, boring.
The World War II era in England is a fascinating period in history. If the writer had kept to one story line instead of adapting several permutations of how the heroine, Ursula, would have died had events gone differently was a complete disappointment.
The descriptions of living during the bombing blitz in London was well done.
Thank goodness in real life we die only once.
As I entered the book, almost immediately I drew in my breath in a gasp at the beauty of the writing, the narration...knew that I was in the hands of a fine literary artist and was ready for a momentous ride. From the title one knows that the main character, Ursula, will die often so I was not emotionally harmed by her multiple sudden deaths but set my mind to watch how her life "repeats" related or built to the point where she "gets it right"...and what the author's vision of getting it right would be. Unfortunately after the flow and glow of her first 8 or so life repeats, to me, the book totally loses focus and gets tedious. Still, I plunged on trusting that no matter how boring, the author was leading to a point..any point that might be interesting and even hoped for a little moment of awe. The reader knows there will be a critical scene with Hitler from the get go. It takes forever to get back to that moment of choice...gets there then ends as though it never happened. Huh? Many of the characters know they are repeating their lives to varying degrees, yet nothing interesting is deduced after the reader knows this is happening. Did you think Ursula got it right in the end...the very strange, silly Hollywood ending? Did the end make any sense whatsoever? It is worth a read as it is great writing, you will meet people you like and there are vignettes of the bombing of London that are fabulous, but don't expect any awe and prepare to be disappointed.