Andrew Clements has done it again. We listened to this on car rides and I probably enjoyed it as much as the kids.
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.
More sci- fyesque than I was expecting, but also more disturbing, dark and violent too. I wouldn't class it as a children's book at all even if the main character is a 13 yr old boy going through a coming of age experience. This book reminded me somewhat of the AMC show, The Walking Dead, not for the content, there are no zombies in this story, but for the pervading sense of constant peril the characters are in. The feeling that they can't relax even for a minute, anything bad could happen at anytime, and the unlikeliness of ever getting out of their situation alive
The narrator is excellent.
2 stars. Way too angsty but with no real heart.
Not only was the angst factor high. It was misplaced angst. IMO it should have been directed at the fact that in a very short time shades were coming to suck her back down to the underworld and suck her dry. Not at whether, jack the cute quarterback still liked her. As thstory progressed the connection with jack took on more relevance to her fate, but still...
I like retellings of myths and the Orpheus/Eurydice is one of my favorites. Also the cover of this book is beautiful and appealed to me. However, It was a struggle to get through it. I began with the audiobook which I didn't enjoy. The flat lifeless tone of the reader was off putting even though it matched the flat, lifeless tone of the main character. I also found it difficult to drve while constantly rolling my eyes. So I switched to the print version to finish. Part of the problem may be that it suffers by being part one of a trilogy, perhaps if the author had been able to tell a complete story instead of just dragging out part one to the required 350ish pages it would have worked better. Remember, it's a retelling, which means its already been told. So most folks know the general direction the story will take. The ending was exactly as suspected and was just a set up for book two, which I won't be reading.
A grudging 3 stars for me because it was so heavily and obviously influenced by The Hobbit, The Narnia series, Lemony Snicket and Harry Potter etc that it became distracting and annoying to me. My 13 year old son felt the same as me but my daughter (8) couldn't get enough of it. She would give it 5 stars so it worked well as a read aloud to an 8yr old who hasn't read any of the above mentioned books except for Narnia.
I know it is almost sacrilege to say anything negative about Jim Dale but I'm going for it anyway. As a Harry Potter narrator he is brilliant, but he reads this book in EXACTLY the same way as HP. The Emerald Atlas is set not in England, but America. Baltimore I believe, but I may be wrong. However every character in The Emerald Atlas bizarrely has a quirky English accent, and uses English colloquialisms like "a potty old lady" and such,
(okay that part isn't Jim Dale's fault but I'm blaming him anyway), and all of the annoying dwarfs have cartoony Scottish accents. Being Scottish myself I was further annoyed by this.
I felt a lot more tense while listening to this than I expected to. Its pretty short so I was able to listen to it on one long evening drive which made it much more immersive. Definitely a well executed chilling ghost story.
Heart wrenching, chilling, immersive, compelling, uplifting...Still Missing is all of that and more. The subject matter is reminiscent of Emma Donoghue's Room but in my opinion this is a more powerful tackling of the subject of abductiion, imprisonment and the aftermath of such an experience on a person. And how, even when they are found and trying to regain their lost lives they are in many ways '"still missing". Room was softened for me by the child's perspective. The euphemisms and subterfuge necessary for that book to work were not needed here which made for a more raw, emotional and disturbing read. So well done and plotted I couldn't "put it down", I was sorry when it ended.
I hated this. It was nothing like PD James usual style and her portrayal of Jane Austen's characters didn't ring true at all. In my opinion, a bizarre verbose mess. However Roaslyn Landor was excellent as usual.
Formulaic, plodding and predictable. The term "phoning it in" comes to mind which, now that I found out that JG is producing his most recent books "in collaboration" with another writer, makes sense but still made for an decent audiobook.
With its varying protagonists , shifting tenses and non linear timeline this wasn't the easiest read. Not having visited North Korea i cant say for sure but it seems to me that Adam Johnson did a good job of depicting life there. I felt chilled and disorientated many times. It was a compelling but nightmarish read. I'm glad to leave that world.
This was a great summer read. Not because it is light and fluffy, quite the opposite, but because it is the kind of book that keeps you up very late at night to finish and it's good to be on vacation and not need to get up for work or to get kids ready for school the next morning. That is how I read it. In one night. Stayed awake til after one am to do so. Something about the way the author constructed the plot and the unfolding revelations kept me turning the pages/listening. The shifting tenses and backwards way of looking forwards ( if that makes sense) was an unusual but effective style.
I realized almost immediately after beginning this book that the blurb on the back and the phrase on the front are misleading. You find out very early on that the fate or location of Bea's sister is not in question. It's the who and why that needs to be revealed. Its a very well done, darkly imagined story with a, for me, unexpected development at the end. I hesitate to cheapen it with the twist label because looking back, clues to that development were laced subtly throughout the narrative and made me really curious to get to the end to find out what she was alluding to. I just didn't expect it to be that.
I don't have a sister, but I can imagine that if I did I'd be calling her today.
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