Audible Premium Plus

$14.95 a month

1 audiobook of your choice.
Stream or download thousands of included titles.
$14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Buy for $20.99

Buy for $20.99

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

A deeply moving family story of happiness and heartbreak, Behind the Scenes at the Museum is best-selling author Kate Atkinson's award-winning literary debut.  

National Best seller

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year

Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the 20th century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets. 

Kate Atkinson's first novel is "a multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years" (The New York Times Book Review).

©1995 Kate Atkinson (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about Behind the Scenes at the Museum

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    130
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    25
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    3
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    151
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    7
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    1
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    116
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Kate Atkinson multi-generational story

An imperfect mother, who was herself the daughter and granddaughter of imperfect mothers who made bad choices- a large functional yet dysfunctional family across two world wars and into the present. The horror of war, particularly WWI, are made clear through many stories. A great book! I highly recommend it!

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Js
  • 09-12-19

Brilliantly written, amazingly read

This work weaves the threads, the waves, the shocks to the fabrics of lifetimes... layered, poetic, lyrical, magical and true. Searing, lyrical, poetic, there is masterful enveloping gorgeousness here. i've not enough breaths or precision of verbiage to express. will read/listen again & again. the audible is beyond phenomenal. Thanks so much for this work 🙏🏼❣️

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding narration!

I deeply enjoyed this book. Sad, funny, smart. The narrator is so gifted! Highly recommend.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Easily one of the best I’ve wcer read

Atkinson always delights, and this is no different. Just a wonderful family story about love, relationships and how we develop them.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

A bit choppy

This novel darts around in time which makes for considerable confusion in remembering which family members belong to whom. I loved the reflective prose and even got to appreciate the reader’s accent after a while. As with many novels the last chapter was a hurried tying up of loose ends which detracted from the overall novel’s pace.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just fabulous

Kate Atkinson is a miracle. Her use of language is second to none. The narration is perfect too.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

women rule this family saga

It makes sense that narrator Ruby's scorn for her mother, Bunty starts in the womb because this is a novel about how women run the show through the generations. Though she will never make Mother of the Year, Bunty at least endures her daughter's relentlessly scorn-filled memories with fortitude and at least a little dignity intact. Further, because she is the narrator's connection to her grandmother, aunts, great-aunts, and great-grandmother, her presence provides crucial continuity for this tale of generations of working class women in Yorkshire and one in which men are the bit players--good to start the occasional unwed pregnancy, romance someone away from her life made miserable by another, die prematurely, die in war, die at sea, or, in Bunty's case, to stay until death but make her undone with his philandering. Though she suffers greatly from her daughter's opinion, she is paid the ultimate compliment of becoming the book's most memorable presence.