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Life After Life Audiobook

Life After Life

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Publisher's Summary

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

Life After Life follows Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, she finds warmth even in life’s bleakest moments, and shows an extraordinary ability to evoke the past. Here is Kate Atkinson at her most profound and inventive, in a novel that celebrates the best and worst of ourselves.

©2013 Kate Atkinson (P)2013 Random House Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (103 )
5 star
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4.1 (92 )
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Story
4.5 (91 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Sarah Hannah 05-28-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
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    Story
    "a bit jumpy but well worth persevering"
    Would you listen to Life After Life again? Why?

    Yes. A really interesting story line with great characters. Sort of like a choose your own adventure where you can go back and find a better ending, except the author is choosing the new story lines her self, time and time again.


    What other book might you compare Life After Life to and why?

    The book thief or The time traveller's wife for its unconventional story line


    Any additional comments?

    I read comments about how jumpy the story line was and that put me off a little bit. But you soon get used to it and I actually started looking forward to the story line jumping back in time again. A great novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Donna New Lambton, Australia 03-16-14
    Donna New Lambton, Australia 03-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Can I give this book six stars?"
    Where does Life After Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 5.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Life After Life?

    Every moment described in beautiful detail by Kate Atkinson becomes memorable. I am literally IN the rooms, the gardens, the wars and the hearts of the characters. The story is compelling, funny, poignant and mesmerising.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The novel involves the retelling of stories multiple times so this is tricky to answer. The whole novel, with it's changing and retelling of scenes and the switching of time and place is just overall, fabulously, deliciously enchanting.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot imagine this story without the voice of the superb narrator. I loved her portrayal of the various characters and accents, but she does a particularly wonderful job of creating believable voices for the children. The author is fabulous but the narrator is simply divine

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen 03-27-13
    Karen 03-27-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So tedious"

    I really wanted to like this because I love everything else Kate Atkinson has written. So I kept trying and re-trying to slog through it. But it is so, so boring. The characters are bland, the setting is bland and every time her life started again, I groaned because I knew there was just more blandness coming. Really disappointed

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 05-18-15
    Joan 05-18-15 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    1
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    Story
    "Tedious"
    What disappointed you about Life After Life?

    The repetition of the first chapter I felt that we were never getting beyond the birth of the baby in February 1910. The whole story was pointless, the author said she had no idea what the story was about , that says it all.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kate Atkinson again?

    No if this story was an example of her writing .


    What aspect of Fenella Woolgar’s performance would you have changed?

    No the reading was OK the story was poor


    What character would you cut from Life After Life?

    Derek Oliphant


    Any additional comments?

    The story would have been enjoyable if there weren't so many possible aspects to Ursula's Life

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shelley Beer 01-10-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Could not follow the shifting timelines"

    The most powerful message was the horrors of civilian suffering . How DARE allies and Germans alike so relentlessly bomb each other's defenceless citizens

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Cath
    4/20/15
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    Did it meet your expectations?

    It exceeded them. Having never read Kate Atkinson before, this book was like discovering a new favourite ice cream flavour, or piece of music- joyful and wonderful.

    What was the most memorable moments?
    Hard to choose just one, but some of the moments that Ursula recounts from during the war, when she volunteers to help with the bombing clear up were harrowing and totally gripping
    The ending was good too.

    How was the narrators?
    One of the best that I've heard on Audible thus far. I love her and could listen to her all day and never tire.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Jenny
    4/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Listened to this twice"
    What did you like most about Life After Life?

    Wonderful book! Moving, thought-provoking and original. It's just my sort of novel. I highly recommend it.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • sora
    UK
    3/23/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very engaging performance."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I read this book about a year ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I found the ending unsatisfying. The performance of this narrator was excellent and it was very pleasurable to listen. I think the book makes more sense the second time through, and listening to it really brings it alive.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The central character is very likeable, and all the characters are believable and have depth. The way the story explores different paths through life, what might have happened had something quite trivial been done differently or different decisions been taken, is fascinating. The social history is also very well done - informative without being didactic.


    Which character – as performed by Fenella Woolgar – was your favourite?

    It has to be Ursula, although Izzy came a close second.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Linden
    BROMLEY, United Kingdom
    11/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fascinating story"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this intriguing and thought-provoking book. I loved the exploration of how differently life can turn out with split-second timing or different choices. It's a bit along the lines of the film "Sliding Doors" but whereas that film has just two different scenarios, this book has many. Great food for thought as to how much of our lives is dictated by fate or fatal choice. We all must wonder how things would have turned out if we had made a different choices during our lives.

    The characters were very real and I found myself really caring about what was going to happen to them. One small caveat though - I did think that the story started to lose it's way around about the middle, and the number of scenarios became a tad boring - just too much repetition. It soon picked up again though, so if you have the same reaction, do persevere. Several times I thought that the story was satisfactorily wrapped up, and was surprised when the next chapter appeared - but if anything it became more and more intriguing. I shall certainly relish listening to it again, maybe in a couple of years or so. Brilliant narration enhanced the story even more.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Angela
    Stoke, Staffs
    3/29/13
    Overall
    "Challenging and deeply sattisfying"

    An excellent book! The first Kate Atkinson I've really enjoyed since Human Croquet, although this is deeper and much more complicated.



    I found the publisher's blurb "What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?" to be unhelpful, though. The story told is not about this but is the well-written details of Ursula's various probable lives, each changed minutely or wholly by her own unknowing choices - or (sometimes) the choices of others.



    This is a challenging read and although the first half, dealing with Ursula's various childhoods, were very enjoyable and I was completely gripped by it, the second half, covering Ursula's violent and difficult marriage, or in another life, her work as an ARP during WW2 where nothing - especially dead bodies and bombs - is glossed over and yet another where she starves with her child in Germany at the end of WW2.



    There appears to be no overall story to this book, no getting it "right" and no ultimate end.



    It was a wonderful read, exceedingly well-written and beautifully narrated.



    I look forward to seeing this novel as a contender for some high-profile prizes in 2013.

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • CD
    London
    5/21/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What a waste, Kate."

    So disappointing - I was so excited to download a new Kate Atkinson novel but this book was not the treat I was expecting. The story was so boring and, with the full intention of the author, extremely repetitive. The book had none of Kate's intricate and exciting plots that unravel and all makes sense in the end. If I hadn't been listening to it with someone else bothering to read it to me, I would never have finished reading it. Come on Kate, you can do better!

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • jenny wren
    England
    9/26/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Extraordinarily inventive, moving and gripping."

    What can I say? Atkinson must be the top literary novelist of her generation, and this novel, with its partner A God in Ruins, is just a joy to listen to. I just don't know how she does it. I'm speechless. I've never known a novel that paints WW2 so well. The characters are beautifully drawn, the style effortless, and the whole awful grip of WW2 is quite within her grasp. Nothing else to say that wouldn't be crazily verbose, so just listen to it and be awed, and affected.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • K. Payne
    UK
    9/20/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Witty, deep and clever storytelling"

    This is a long story with the mystery of Ursula's reincarnation kept refreshing by having different perspectives each time she lives her life again. Sometimes very sad, sometimes witty but always captivating. It kept me going during my long journeys to work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Valerie
    9/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Like listening to the tide turning"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This was recommended to me as a "must read" and I thoroughly concur. The building momentum of imperceptibly changing tides on the narrative was so well crafted.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No. You need to take each away and think about it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Trish Evans, Senior Lecturer, Media Studies, Westminster University
    London
    9/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "superb in every way. There are many ways to live "

    Superb in every way. There is not but one way there are many ways to live and die.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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