Kate Atkinson's 'Life After Life' explored the possibility of infinite chances, as Ursula Todd lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. In 'A God in Ruins', Atkinson turns her focus on Ursula's beloved younger brother Teddy - would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have
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"Triumphant...such a dazzling read...Atkinson gives Teddy's wartime experiences the full treatment in a series ofthrillingset pieces. Even moreimpressive,though, is her ability to invest the more everday events with a similargrandeur...almost asinnovativeas Atkinson's technique in Life After Life - a possibly moreauthenticas an expression of how it feels to be alive...it ends onone of the most devastating twists in recent fiction...it adds a further level ofoverwhelming poignancyto an alreadyextraordinarily affectingbook."
Daily Telegraph||"This is a novel about war and the shadow it casts even over generations who have never known it, but it is also a novel about fiction...this is a novel that cares deeply about its characters and about the purpose of fiction in making sense of our collective past. A God in Ruins, together with its predecessor, isAtkinson's finest work, and confirmation that her genre-defying writing continues to surpise and dazzle."
Observer||"With A God in Ruins she, once again, proves herself to bea writer of considerable talent. Her command of structure isextraordinary...She writes withterrific compassionfor her characters...also shows offa brilliantly brittle sense of humourthat on several occasionsmade me laugh out loud...to my mind, A God in Ruins stands as anequally magnificent achievement."
Independent on Sunday||"Horribly funny...every page has some vividlyoriginal phrase...But thetour de forceis her treatment of Teddy's experience as a bomber pilot, recreated as memorably as the Blitz scenes in Life After Life... nothing can quite account for the imaginative leaps she has made...nailbiting...a really affecting memorialto the huge numbers of bomber crew who died."
Standard||"Better than most fiction you'll read this year...Atkinson's prose is as bright as gunfire in the Second World War sections...I can't think of any writer to match her ability to grasp a period in the past. No, not even you, Booker-winning Hilary Mantel."
'Kate Atkinson's finest work, and confirmation that her genre-defying writing continues to surpise and dazzle'Observer
A God in Ruinsrelates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the twentieth century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war - that great fall of Man from grace - and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction.
Those who loved the bestsellingLife After Lifewill recognise Teddy as Ursula Todd's adored younger brother - but for those who have not read it,A God in Ruinsstands fully on its own. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.
'Better than most fiction you'll read this year'The Times