Regular price: $28.50

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.0 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,525
  • 4 Stars
    1,054
  • 3 Stars
    659
  • 2 Stars
    217
  • 1 Stars
    143

Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,946
  • 4 Stars
    827
  • 3 Stars
    316
  • 2 Stars
    80
  • 1 Stars
    67

Story

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,352
  • 4 Stars
    904
  • 3 Stars
    581
  • 2 Stars
    245
  • 1 Stars
    164
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Beautifully performed, thought provoking read

From heartbreaking to fascinating to redemptive, Ursula's story made me think and think some more about how the little choices we (and the people around us) make every day plot the course of our lives. It made me contemplate how every single life is made up of good and bad and better and worse days and moments. It made me think about the moments in my life when I have felt like I have memories that don't exist from this life but that helped guide my path nonetheless. Beautiful and thought provoking, sometimes exciting and interesting, sometimes slow and repetitive, sometimes disturbing and heartbreaking--all the things my life is (minus all the wonderfully British stuff) wrapped up in this lovely read. P. S. I also especially loved all the interspersed poetry and philosophy that took me back to my college days.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Life After Life

Life After Life is a story of reincarnation. The lead character relives her life over and over, many times - the same life with different paths taken. In one, she lives but seconds, in others much longer, with joys and grief - but primarily angst. Example: In an early life, she dies from strangulation from the umbilical cord - in another life - many chapters later, mom is prepared with scissors. In one life she’s raped, in another life she suspects the event and avoids rape. In one life she marries an-asshole-wife-beating-jackass, in another life she meets the stranger in the same way but runs from him. That’s sort of stuff, pretty much, with one world history altering event. Hint: WWII-Germany. The author uses deja vù or sixth sense understanding rather than past life memories or discussion of reincarnation specifics.

Liked: Narration. Fenella Woolgar is very listenable, a pleasure. I’ll try to find other works she’s read.

Disliked: Everything else. The story is extremely hard to follow. If you’re like me, you’ll re-listen to a passage or chapter to get it straight, to understand the story or where the author is headed. This book is rewind hell - and I still didn’t get it, ergo stopped trying. Although I’m far from an expert in the theory of reincarnation, I don’t believe the fundamentals include reliving the same life and making different choices. I may be all wet there, but I think you are reincarnated to an entirely different life. Plus, the lead doesn’t always “die” - but you’ll learn she actually did because the next chapter opens with the fact that it is snowing. Really. If you’re looking for a book that delves into the conundrums of reincarnation and resulting ramifications from a scientific view, this is not the book - it doesn’t go there.

Tried to listen, but gave up and will be requesting a refund from Audible. Eyes kept glazing over through 95% of the first 21 chapters, didn’t listen to the remainder. The audiobook is just over 15 hours, but even listening to only 2/3rds of this I know I listened at least 20 hours (rewinds). I am truly baffled by all the stellar reviews - the main reason I purchased. Beats me.

Not recommended. Written by Kate Atkinson, narrated by Fenella Woolgar, 15.5 of listening in unabridged audiobook format. Released in April of 2013 by Hachette Audio.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not my cup of tea.

Although an easy listen, the back-and-forth nature of the text wasn't my favorite. Felt like it could go on forever, then ended rather abruptly. Not high on my recommendations list.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Pointless plot

The main idea of the reincarnation of the main character is pointless .... you can have the same story without it

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Difficult to get excited about

This book just drags on and on... and I wonder the point. Honestly I tried really hard to finish it, but couldn't bring myself to listen to the last 3 hours.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Hard to follow

Listening to this story made it hard to follow. It may have been easier to understand if it were read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Kept waiting for something to hold it together

Numerous different story lines, nothing but death to hold them together. No over arching redemptive action to explain the purpose? I held out hope to the end but felt very let down making it to the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Extremely Confusing Story

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

I really really tried to like this book but I can't even finish it. The narration is flawless but I just couldn't figure out what was going on.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Graphic

The story turned out to be an interesting concept. It is about the same person reliving her life in different situations or having made different decisions. It was indeed thought provoking. But the descriptions of different horrible situations were too graphic for me.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I just never "got it"

read the entire book because I really thought it would make sense. It didn't!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful