What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?
On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.
Does Ursula's apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can - will she?
Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original - this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.
©2011 Kate Atkinson (P)2013 Hachette Audio
A decent story
Narrator was fine.
I listened in vain hoping it would improve, but the plot device became boring rather than intriguing. The ending was awful.
Waste of time
Patti C Fulmer
Not my favorite but certainly an interesting format choice.
Yes, I think I would enjoy the movie more than the book .
I normally like these kinds of books, metaphysical retellings of past lives etc. I loved The Fifteen Live of Harry August, but this book go tedious really quickly. It seemed to me like the author had a good idea, and it was well-written, but it was confusing, haphazard, and generally irritating. I didn't see the point of a retelling of lives seemingly changing random facts, especially since the main character kinda sorta knew that something mighta possibly have happened before. Ending was definitely odd to say the least. I'm not saying I'd never read another thign Kate Atkinson has written, but this one really didn't do it for me. The performance by the narrator was good, but it didn't help make me love the book itself.
This book was on a lot of most read lists so I picked it up. If you liked 100 Years of Solitude you might enjoy it, but I didn't.
I'm a country potter, gardener, flute player and tin tinker living with my husband, an electrical engineer & cabinet maker.
This is one of those books that presents itself as people in such a way that when it's over, one feels lonely and it takes a micro second every now and then to remember that the loneliness is for an imaginary person, not someone once touched and talked with. Maybe that is in part because some real people left me at the time I read this book but it is alsom and muchm due to the skillful writing.
I never re-read books or re-listen to them EXCEPT for Bill Bryson and Kate Atkinson. I just may give this one another listen.
Izzy! I love a crazy Auntie.
She had a great ability to evoke many different characters.
Ursula was such a compelling character.
If you liked Behind the Scenes at the Museum, you will especially love this one.
I am a huge Kate Atkinson fan. I love her writing, her characters and her stories. But this book, halting after faltering so many times, made me finally give up. I'm not sure the performance was as bad as the book, but I couldn't get through either.
I expected that one would come to understand why and/or how this poor woman had to keep re-living her life. That just never happened. I also expected that with each chance to do it over again she would have taken completely different paths - rather, she just made little nuanced changes to her life that still ended in her repeatedly dying. Lastly, and perhaps unrealistically, that something would occur such that she would stay dead eventually.
The sense that the book didn't end, and the author created no sense that it ever would.
Ursula's father was kind, but I loved the character of the Cook. She struck me as not a particularly good cook, and a grumpy old woman, yet there was something in her that loved this family.
Imagination - the entire time, I found myself wondering what different path I would take given multiple times to try. Although, Ursula has really bad luck, because she just keeps on running into fatality.
Despite all of this, the prose was beautifully written and the story was interesting until I realized that it would never have a satisfactory conclusion and I would be left with a sense of having not "finished" the story.
What an astonishing writer Ms. Atkinson is. Paired with a marvelous and pitch perfect reader too. Found myself "rewinding the tape" - sometimes more than once - just to relish the prose and the performance. Three cheers!
No, once I have listened/read a story don't typically re-read. I know the ending!
It was truthfully a little difficult to get into this story - maybe 50-70 pages. But once I figured out what the author was doing, I was hooked. A sign of a great story is that I think about it during the day at work, eager to resume reading/listening at the next opportunity. T
No - I've never listened to a book read by Fenella. I listen to a lot of books and this is the very first time I looked up the name of a reader so I could listen to another performance by the same person. She was simply TERRIFIC!
Ursala - again and again she was my favorite.
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