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 was my most horrible reading experience in the past 15 years. I read Life After Life because of my beloved Book Club, which I think is testing my resolve to finish a bad book. This “book” is quite similar to the movie Ground Hog’s Day, except take away all the humor or lovable characters. It is numbingly boring; dull scenes repeat, with subtle variations. It is a perfect example of pretentious authorship. You guessed it -- it drew in some fop critics. The “book” will die and thankfully never be reincarnated. I just wish the same fate had met Ursula. Maybe I will write a novel of redemption about the misunderstood, but creepy man from the lane or the charming sausage and cigar man. The same stupid critics will glom on my work … “like the moths drawn to warm light on a chilly night in late November when leaves whisper meanings discernible only fleetingly to a few of the touched.” Skip this dreck!Barristers Book Club Vice President
She could have stopped writing after the first death of the lead character, Ursula
Every time Ursula died.
No, it did not, which is terrible waste, considering the time spent
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 technology, reading, music, and shoes (not necessarily in that order.)
This review is for the Audible version. I gave this book “5 stars” because I enjoyed it (I think.)
I say I think because it took me a few chapters to catch on to what the heck was happening. I felt as if I was trapped in a Twilight Zone episode for a minute. Once I got the jest of what was happening I was able to concentrate more on the story – and a lot of story(s) it was.
I thought that the narrator, Fenella Woolgar, did an excellent job. She made each character come alive, and there was a distinct difference in their voices. It was a very unique approach to storytelling, and I think the book will find its way into the classroom because of this uniqueness.
However… there were times when I thought to myself… Lord is this every going to end! I did manage to make it to the end, and as I reflect back I enjoyed it as a whole. At the end of the book I knew all of the characters very well, and I have read many books where that was not the case.
If you appreciate “a different” approach to literature you will enjoy this. But be prepared to think as well as be entertained.
I hear voices. But maybe that's because there's always an Audible book in my ear.
I am awestruck by Kate Atkinson's skill as a writer. This is a perfect example of how she can craft a story with a level of complexity that's just mind-boggling. As the book went on, I couldn't wait to see where she took the characters and the plot. I'm not sure I've ever encountered anything quite like it - except for other books by her.
It doesn't take more than a glance at the reviews to see this isn't a book for everyone. It takes some twists and turns. It's not linear in its structure. It threw me off for about the first hour, but once I got used to it and understood what she was doing I found it easy to follow. Then I couldn't put it down. I'm so glad I waited it out. The narration is spot on.
Typically with a book like this I'd say, "if you like [this author], you'll like this book." In this case I cannot compare it to anything or anyone else. It stands alone. I just kept mumbling to myself, "she's brilliant." I can't wait to listen to it a second time just so I can marvel at it again.
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!