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Life After Life (2013)

de Kate Atkinson

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: Todd Family (1)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaConverses / Mencions
8,2775921,047 (3.96)2 / 969
"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. "--… (més)
  1. 307
    The Time Traveler's Wife de Audrey Niffenegger (Yells, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These moving and thought-provoking novels portray characters whose lives are continually disrupted by time shifts -- in Life after Life, the protagonist repeatedly dies and comes back to life, while in The Time Traveler's Wife, the protagonist time-travels involuntarily.… (més)
  2. 110
    Replay de Ken Grimwood (fspyck, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Life after Life and Replay feature characters who live multiple lives against their wills; the complications of dying and coming back to life form the core of each novel and create moving, sometimes funny, always thought-provoking situations.… (més)
  3. 112
    Cloud Atlas: A Novel de David Mitchell (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both have unusual narrative structures and explore the theme of reincarnation.
  4. 124
    Case Histories de Kate Atkinson (JenMDB)
  5. 60
    A God in Ruins de Kate Atkinson (Laura400)
  6. 50
    Station Eleven de Emily St. John Mandel (sturlington)
    sturlington: These are both interesting contemporary works of speculative fiction that play with time and structure.
  7. 40
    La ronda de nit de Sarah Waters (rstaedter)
    rstaedter: A different concept, but nonetheless also brilliantly written and with the Blitz as backdrop.
  8. 40
    The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August de Claire North (fairyfeller, pan0ramix)
    fairyfeller: Explores the same concept of one person living the same over and over.
  9. 31
    The Post-Birthday World de Lionel Shriver (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both books examine decisions and moments that change the course of a life.
  10. 64
    Blackout de Connie Willis (VenusofUrbino)
  11. 21
    Human Croquet de Kate Atkinson (shaunie, KayCliff)
  12. 10
    A Tale for the Time Being de Ruth Ozeki (bibliothequaire)
  13. 22
    Code Name Verity de Elizabeth Wein (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are about the unusual ways in which women may impact the tides of war
  14. 00
    Secrets of a Charmed Life de Susan Meissner (Usuari anònim)
    Usuari anònim: Similar time in history. A story of 2 sisters during the Second World War.
  15. 00
    The Children's Book de A.S. Byatt (kiwiflowa)
  16. 00
    Recursion de Blake Crouch (rstaedter)
    rstaedter: Any explanation would be a spoiler for Crouch's novel.
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» Mira també 969 mencions

Anglès (575)  Neerlandès (3)  Italià (2)  Castellà (1)  Francès (1)  Noruec (1)  Finès (1)  Alemany (1)  Totes les llengües (585)
Es mostren 1-5 de 585 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Fun book and the writing was good. For a book about somebody repeating the same lifetime again and again it was surprisingly not science-fiction-y at all. ( )
  RaynaPolsky | May 15, 2024 |
Enjoyed it as I have all of Kate Atkinson's books. The unusual technique of losing the heroine each chapter was not a problem for me and I was just as eager to continue with her revised life and alternate events. The characters leaped off the page and took up easy residence in my imagination no matter their resolution. The writing was excellent. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
I loved the premise of this book, and was engaged and involved from the very first page. At every point in our lives, as heroine Ursula Todd discovers, chance, choice, the choices of others or happenstance govern the path our life follows. Kate Atkinson explores those possibilities, re-telling aspects of Ursula's story time after time as different paths are taken.

The book works well in developing this idea, and it works well as a family saga too, telling the story of her sister, her three brothers, her parents and aunt, who to a lesser extent have their paths re-cast too.

My only quibble came after 400 pages, when I found there were still 200 to go. I felt Atkinson had said much of what she needed to say, and that little was gained by extending the narrative. Her descriptions of blitz-damaged London were evocative and involving, whereas the latter part of the book, set in Germany, worked less well for me.

This is an original book, witty and thought-provoking. I'd recommend it even more heartily if it were just a little shorter. ( )
  Margaret09 | Apr 15, 2024 |
I’ve read most of Kate Atkinson’s books, but I didn’t rush out to buy this one, as the reviews all focussed on the “branching narrative” thing and made it sound as if it would be rather gimmicky. It is gimmicky, of course, but now I finally get around to reading it (the book club picked it for this month) I have to admit that Atkinson is a good enough writer to get away with being gimmicky. It’s a very professionally assembled historical novel that gives us — multiple — convincing pictures of what it might have been like to grow up as the daughter of a middle-class Home Counties family in the first half of the 20th century.

We move pretty seamlessly from a Forster-ish view of the Todd family in its idyllic outer-suburban retreat ca. 1910 to a Stephen Spender view of the London Blitz (plus additional graphic horror that no-one writing at the time would have put in, but which we need because most of us nowadays haven’t actually lived through that kind of experience ourselves). Along the way, Atkinson gets us to think about things like the position of domestic servants, violence against women, and the limitation of educational and career opportunities for girls, all without ever seeming to be pressing any obviously anachronistic buttons. (Atkinson is from a similar background and generation to me, and her knowledge about England in the first half of the century must come from much the same kind of sources as mine, so it’s perhaps not surprising that it all rings so true…)

I’m not sure if the “multiple lives” thing actually adds much, but perhaps it does allow Atkinson to play with a wider range of ideas and settings than might comfortably have fitted into a simple linear narrative. And it does raise some interesting ideas about the arbitrariness of the kind of small events that dictate how our lives will turn out, even if we ignore all the slightly silly reincarnation and déjà-vu and “what if I went back to assassinate Hitler?” stuff. ( )
  thorold | Mar 15, 2024 |
This was not your typical time travel/time loop novel. Ursula doesn't wake up after every death remembering everything that had happened before. Instead, she gets glimmers of past lives - times when her life didn't end so well, choices that didn't go as planned. The specter of WWII underpins most of the story - Ursula lives through the bombing of London and the loss of her brother to war. Some of her lives are personally tragic, and others are tragic in a more situational sense. I was overwhelmed with just how devastating the war was to England (and indeed, not just WWII but the after effects of WW I). ( )
  tjsjohanna | Feb 19, 2024 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 585 (següent | mostra-les totes)
I absolutley loved Life After Life. It's so brilliant and existential, and I really responded to all of the 'what ifs' and 'if onlys' that she plays with.
afegit per Sylak | editaStylist [Issue 338], Emily Blunt (Oct 12, 2016)
 
Atkinson’s juggling a lot at once — and nimbly succeeds in keeping the novel from becoming confusing.
 
For the other extraordinary thing is that, despite the horrors, this is a warm and humane book. This is partly because the felt sense of life is so powerful and immediate. Whatever the setting, it has been thoroughly imagined. Most of the characters are agreeable. They speak well and often wittily. When, like Ursula’s eldest brother, Maurice, they are not likeable, they are treated in the spirit of comedy. The humour is rich. Once you have adapted yourself to the novel’s daring structure and accepted its premise that life is full of unexplored possibilities, the individual passages offer a succession of delights. A family saga? Yes, but a wonderful and rewarding variation on a familiar form.
 
This is, without doubt, Atkinson’s best novel since her prizewinning debut, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and a serious step forwards to realising her ambition to write a contemporary version of Laurence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy. A ferociously clever writer, she has recast her interest in mothers and daughters and the seemingly unimportant, quotidian details of life to produce a big, bold novel that is enthralling, entertaining and experimental. It is not perfect – the second half of the book, for example, could have done with one less dead end – but I would be astonished if it does not carry off at least one major prize.
 
Aficionados of Kate Atkinson's novels – this is the eighth – will tell you that she writes two sorts: the "literary" kind, exemplified by her Whitbread Prize-winning debut Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and the Jackson Brodie crime thrillers. In reality, the distinction is superfluous. Atkinson is a literary writer who likes experimenting with different forms, and her books appeal to a huge audience, full stop. However, for those still keen on these discriminations, Life After Life is one of the "literary" ones. As with the Brodies, Atkinson steers with a light touch, despite the grimness of the subject matter...The novels of Kate Atkinson habitually shuffle past and present, but Life After Life takes the shuffling to such extremes that the reader has to hold on to his hat. It's more than a storytelling device. Ursula and her therapist discuss theories of time. He tells her that it is circular, but she claims that it's a palimpsest. The writer has a further purpose. Elsewhere, Atkinson is quoted as saying: "I'm very interested in the moral path, doing the right thing." It's impossible not to be sympathetic toward Ursula, who yearns to save the people she loves and has been blessed – or cursed – with the ability to do it.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (2 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kate Atkinsonautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Woolgar, FenellaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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What if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: "This life as you now live and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more"... Would you not throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse the demon who spoke thus? Or have you once experienced a tremendous moment when you would have answered him: "You are a god and never have I heard anything so divine." 

Nietzsche, The Gay Science
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"It's as if," he said to Ursula, "you walk into a room and your life ends but you keep on living."
"All those names," Teddy said, gazing at the Cenotaph. "All those lives. And now again. I think there is something wrong with the human race. It undermines everything one would like to believe in, don't you think?"

"No point in thinking," she said briskly, "you just have to get on with life." (She really was turning into Miss Woolf.) "We only have one after all, we should try and do our best. We can never get it right, but we must try." (The transformation was complete.)

"What if we had a chance to do it again and again," Teddy said, "until we finally did get it right? Wouldn't that be wonderful?"
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"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. "--

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Mitjana: (3.96)
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