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Life After Life | [Kate Atkinson]

Life After Life

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?
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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

4.0 (79 )
5 star
 (30)
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4.0 (69 )
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Story
4.4 (69 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Suzanne Sydney, Australia 07-13-14
    Suzanne Sydney, Australia 07-13-14 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I REALLY enjoyed this"
    What did you love best about Life After Life?

    It's such a creative story! The characters were so easy to attach to and the reader has such talent for telling the story, not just reading.


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

    It's such a creative story. I can't compare it to anything because I've never read/listened to another story quite like it.


    Have you listened to any of Fenella Woolgar’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I had not listened to Fenella before but her voice is so fantastic for audio books that I will definately be looking out for more of her books.


    If you could take any character from Life After Life out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    This is a hard one. I'm tossing up between Ursula and Izzy. Izzy would be highly entertaining, but Ursula would the character I would be most interested in chatting to.


    Any additional comments?

    Thank you to the author for such an entertaining story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Hannah 05-28-14 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
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    Performance
    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 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    16
    4
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    2
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    "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 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    167
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    71
    42
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    7
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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
  •  
    Shelley Beer 01-10-15 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 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.


    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
  • Amazon Customer
    Hull, East Yorkshire England
    7/29/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engrossing book, superb performance"

    Really interesting story (although I was just a teeny bit bored of it by the end) but the narrator was fantastic, I heartily recommend her.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle Kirkland
    7/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Loved this book."
    Where does Life After Life rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of my favourites.


    Any additional comments?

    Fascinating premise and great storytelling which made for addictive listening. I wanted to revisit it again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    Fleet, United Kingdom
    7/25/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "such an intriguing book..."
    If you could sum up Life After Life in three words, what would they be?

    Confusing , fascinating, understanding


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The central narrator


    What about Fenella Woolgar’s performance did you like?

    Fenella read this book with no hint of giving the premise of the book away. She read it as if it was the first time of reading it and she did it word perfect.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was amazed and sometimes wished life could be like this but it would all be very confusing. I still think of this book months after listening to it and when I see people in the bookshops looking at it I think..buy it, get the audible book, it's brilliant


    Any additional comments?

    One of the hardest things must be to match voice to book. This excelled in choice and Fenella added to what was already a good book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mrs
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good Listen"
    What did you like most about Life After Life?

    Kept my attention all the way and thought the story was clever and well executed.


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

    The flu epidemic and the incidents of the London bombings in the war.


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

    Issie - Fenella Woolgar is an excellent performer


    Any additional comments?

    Ordered sequel - A God in Ruins immediately

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • sian aggett
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Really enjoyable."
    If you could sum up Life After Life in three words, what would they be?

    Period Sci Fi. I really enjoyed this. I was interested in all characters, in their stories, their personalities felt rounded and real. The overall book was well paced.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The premise...especially within the its historical setting.


    Have you listened to any of Fenella Woolgar’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I havent but I liked her narration


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    What if you had the chance to get it right when all else goes wrong...


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    Scotland
    7/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding"

    This is one of my most favourite audio books, its the one on my list that I am most likely to listen too again and again. I found myself completely hooked in this engaging story and I became quite attached to the characters to the extent that I missed them when I was finished.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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