A God in Ruins Prime – Mariahilff.de

In Life After Life 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 th century For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have


10 thoughts on “A God in Ruins

  1. karen karen says:

    man, this book chills, i tell you, everywhere chills this is a companion book to Life After Life, and technically, it is teddy s story teddy, you will recall from life, is ursula s little brother if you have not read Life After Life what the crap is wrong with you go read meet us back here when you re done i say technically, because although teddy is definitely the center of this book, we are still treated to the stories and perspectives of some of our other friends from life, as man, this book chills, i tell you, everywhere chills this is a companion book to Life After Life, and technically, it is teddy s story teddy, you will recall from life, is ursula s little brother if you have not read Life After Life what the crap is wrong with you go read meet us back here when you re done i say technically, because although teddy is definitely the center of this book, we are still treated to the stories and perspectives of some of our other friends from life, as well as some new additions sylvie, izzie, nancy, hugh, sunny, viola, bertie and just a dash of ursula who does not spend this book dying on every other page, lucky girl the two things about life that resonated with me long after i closed the book had nothing to do with its structural playfulness, which seems to be the thing about the book that most people wanna talk about and it should be talked about because it was risky and well handled but for me, that wasor less cosmetic the things that shattered me were her writing about war and her glorification of english stoicism and while this book doesn t have the same structure as life, it most definitely has these two focal points.and they are just as good here as they were in life i m not big into wartime narratives, but atkinson has a gift she takes the english experience during world war two and just dissects the crap out of it whether it be in long chapters about teddy s experiences as a fighter pilot sometimes TOO long, which is my sole complaint about this book, but that complaint is tied to my own tastes which balked at the very detailed descriptions of planes which are no doubt fascinating to people with an interest in military history , or in smaller stories about the way the war changed people their sexual permissiveness, social restructuring, and my second that stiff upper lip if you re reading this review, you probably know me, and know my tastes and a lot of what i enjoy, from steinbeck to hardy to grit lit are stories of endurance and adaptability in unforgiving circumstances the triumph of the human spirit and man s struggle against forces of nature and hardship yada and this entire book is resting on the sturdy foundation of stoic forbearance on doing what needs to be done on making do and not making a fuss.a perfect example of this It was when she had come down from the walls at Monkgate Bar and was waiting to cross the road at the traffic lights that a black curtain suddenly descended and covered her left eye If she had gone completely blind she would have called for help, but the loss of only one eye didn t seem cause enough to involve complete strangers.i mean, COME ON that is stellar.and alsoinstead he had stayed and plodded on, because something told him that this was the life that had to be lived out He preferred solitary pursuits, and being a member of a group seemed rather dutiful, but he could do dutiful and somebody had to or the world would fall apart.and the book is just FILLED with that, same as in life and it is also filled with stories, stories, stories, each one a soulhurting gem three words do.mi.nic.i said that the book wasn t as structurally playful as life, but it does do a couple of things we bounce around back and forth in time and voice prewar, wartime, postwar, post post war, with an overarching omniscient narrator casually inserting facts and fates that will happen in the future, which may or may not be fleshed out in later chapters details will occur, and then recur in a different context, with different import we will revisit meaningful objects through the eyes of several characters, who may not know what they are looking at oh, and there s this one other thing about which you will hear nothing from me except that it sreader jarring than anything that happens in life don t read too many reviews of this book i have been careful, but others may not be go in cold and prepare to be blown away again by this woman s phenomenal storytelling abilities and her ability to write characters for whom you will care very deeply and fear for, because we are at war, and you can be killed while sunbathing on a roof please, , ms atkinson jimmy izzie maurice anyone.this is only a four star from me because it is not quite as good as Life After Life, which is like saying camembert is not quite as good as brie it s practically a meaningless distinction, as i would eat either of those anytime, anywhere for all intents and purposes, this is a five star book.come to my blog


  2. Will Byrnes Will Byrnes says:

    A man is a god in ruins When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we wake from dreams Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Thus opens Kate Atkinson s companion work to her much acclaimed Life After Life While the earlier work focused on The Blitz, Germany s prolonged bombing of London and other English cities during World War II, this one looks at the Allied bombing campaign against Germany, first against strategic resources and later targeting c A man is a god in ruins When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we wake from dreams Ralph Waldo Emerson Nature Thus opens Kate Atkinson s companion work to her much acclaimed Life After Life While the earlier work focused on The Blitz, Germany s prolonged bombing of London and other English cities during World War II, this one looks at the Allied bombing campaign against Germany, first against strategic resources and later targeting civilians As the Todd family was employed as our eyes on the earlier stages of the war, so, again, it is the Todds through whose eyes we experience war and its effects, just not the same Todds Ursula, the star of Life After Life, is a bit player here The focus this time is Ursula s beloved younger brother Ted Not merely the good hearted, kind natured boy of the prior book, Ted is all grown up and a pilot, flying many bombing missions over the continent Life After Life was an adventure of imagining alternate possible outcomes from specific acts and trying each of them out, playing the same hand different ways There is no fantasy element in this book, or at least not nearly to the same degree But that does not mean that Atkinson has settled into a sequential narrative form There are very non sequential stops up and down the 20th century and even into the 21st From 1925 when Teddy is still a kid, enduring the third degree from his writer aunt, to 1944 when he takes off on his last mission From the immediate post war era to 1993 when he is packed off to a senior residence From his early married life in 1951 to events in 2012.The Halifax from the Daily MailAnd, as with Life After Life, Atkinson offers us multiple viewpoints While we primarily see events through Ted, we also see the world from the perspective of his daughter and grandchildren, from his aunt Izzie Mysteries in one view are sometimes clarified in another The time tracks, heard together, make a symphony This event, in this time, impacts that result in another, which generates a further outcome in a third Solo instruments joined to make a glorious sound It is not just the military struggle, and its collateral affect that Atkinson examines She has a keen eye for change The sexual revolution in permissiveness and acceptance that accompanies war, the development of sylvan fields into cookie cutter housing tracts, the counter culture, or at least one manifestation of it, holding up images of diverse eras side by side.Avian imagery permeates The most poignant, for me, is when young Ted rues the loss to generations to come from his aunt having consumed a single skylark, a potent symbol for the lives extinguished in war, the lost possibilities, reminding us of Spring and Fall by GM Hopkins It wasn t just the one lark that had been silenced by Izzie It was the generations of birds that would have come after it and now would never be born All those beautiful songs that would never be sung Later in life he learned the word exponential , and later still the word fractal , but for now it was a flock that grew larger and larger as it disappeared into a future that would never be A budgy with a clipped wing stands in for one character s feeling of imprisonment There are plenty of ups and downs to accompany the feathered ones As Ted is a pilot, he heads up into the air and down again as many times At a Beethoven concert the elevation brought on by pure beauty is palpable Kate Atkinson from the TelegraphAnother element that carries through is a consideration of nature, and our connection to it Ted personifies this impulse, sensitive to beauty in the natural world since childhood He writes a nature column for a local newspaper as an adult Through his sad eyes we see the loss of much that was precious through the development of the post war era, and rue, with him the decline in appreciation Ted, in his nature column, bemoans the near extinction of the water vole Atkinson says, in the author s note that follows the text of the novel in the copy I read, that she is writing about the Fall of Man from Grace. There are, throughout the novel, as she notes, a lot of references to Utopia, Eden, to an Arcadian past, to Paradise Lost and Pilgrim s ProgressTed s daughter lives with her kids and their father for a time, for example, at a commune called Adam s Acre He felt relief when the overcrowded train finally pulled slowly away from the platform, glad to be leaving the dirty wreckage of London There was a war on After all and he was supposed to be fighting it He discovered the little wrinkled apple From Fox Corner in his pocket and ate it in two bites It tasted sour when he had expected it to be sweet He returns to Fox Corner for a visit late in life, but it is now closed to him.A lot of attention is paid to marriage and relationships, particularly to coping when the match looks perfect on the surface, pre ordained even, but lacks the passion of great love Wedlock that seems, whether in its inception or subsequent practice,lock than wed And alongside that is a look at parenting Many of the parental sorts here are no better to their progeny than the powers that be were to their young soldiers Parents do not come off all that well overall, as was the case in Life After Life Ted s daughter Viola is an extremely poor excuse for a parent, selfish from birth and traumatized by a loss in her youth, she offers Ted none of the parental rewards his years of sacrifice should have earned him Why did you have children Bertie asked, later in their lives Was it just the biological imperative to breed That s why everyone has children, Viola said, they just dress it up as somethingsentimental Atkinson dips into poetrythan a few times, sprinkling her attention around GM Hopkins of course, with his vision of the eternal in the natural, is an obvious choice for relating to Ted s appreciation for and wonder at the beauty of nature Keats, Blake, Wordsworth, Shakespeare andThere is even a passage late in the book that joins lines from seven poems from six poets Have your search engines warmed and ready I think that all novels are not only fiction but they are about fiction too Every time a writer throws themselves at the first line of a novel they are embarking on an experiment An adventure Atkinson, having set aside the fun What if of Life After Life, contains herself until the end when she offers commentary on authorial prerogatives, imagining different outcomes for her characters, imagining lives that might have been, the god of her created domain.So, a lot on the mechanisms, but is A God in Ruins worth reading Absolutely Ted is a very engaging character and, even though his stiff upper lip may get in the way from time to time, he is a decent sort, a good man, easy to care about Atkinson lets us peek past some of the outer armor on some of the less appealing characters to see what made them the way they are, and leaves you thinking that if you had known that information earlier you might have beensympathetic to this one or that And offers a chance to consider how you might have acted faced with those circumstances There is one particularly large reveal near the end that explains a lot about one character in particular Yes, engaging, moving You will learn a bit about the massive bombing of Germany that was going on during the war, and a bit about how the war affected life on the homefront Atkinson shows us changes in English life from the war to now, changes in her people, and over the course of her narrative she changes how we see them A God in Ruins could easily be seen as An Author in Triumph Most writers would be happy to have written one masterpiece With A God in Ruins Kate Atkinson has written a second If you don t read this book you may not be cast out of Eden, but you probably should be.Posted 1 8 16Published date 5 5 2015 hc 1 12 16 TP EXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal and FB pagesVideo of a Halifax bomber ignition and liftoff Kate Atkinson Tells Book Club How She Crafts Characters At All Life Stages from NPRReaders group guideA wiki on Kibbo Kift, a scouting alternative group noted in the bookMy review of Todd Family 1, Life After Life


  3. Violet wells Violet wells says:

    The second novel about a Bomber Command pilot I ve read in the space of as many months and both A God in Ruins and The Way Back to Florence have turned out to be fabulous enthralling if very different novels The pilot is in this novel is Teddy, brother of Ursula in Life After Life The novel spans his long life and offsets and hones it with the lives of his daughter and his two grandchildren As ever with Atkinson there are layers of artifice in this novel on one level, her novels are general The second novel about a Bomber Command pilot I ve read in the space of as many months and both A God in Ruins and The Way Back to Florence have turned out to be fabulous enthralling if very different novels The pilot is in this novel is Teddy, brother of Ursula in Life After Life The novel spans his long life and offsets and hones it with the lives of his daughter and his two grandchildren As ever with Atkinson there are layers of artifice in this novel on one level, her novels are generally about fiction itself but unlike Life after Life whose tricks I found gimmicky the artifice here is subtle and as such has greater artistry Once again we have a family saga spanning four generations with a central figurehead acting as a kind of cypher through which the history is decrypted And once again Atkinson s brilliant command of structure is in evidence She deftly shifts the narrative from one decade to another and back again without sacrificing the dramatic tension A God in Ruins exudes a similar nostalgia for the pre war past as Brideshead Revisited Atkinson clearly feels a great deal of affection for the old world modesty and self effacement of Teddy brilliantly offset by the bullying egotism and blinkered narcissism of his gloriously obnoxious daughter Viola one of the best literary villains of past few years The war is depicted as a time of simple and stolen pleasures, of camaraderie and even excitement Atkinson gives her characters very glamorous wartime occupations Teddy s wife Nancy is a codebreaker at Bletchley Park, a sister is an ATA pilot and a friend a female SOE agent post war, all the way to today, is depicted as a muddle of self indulgence and misguided pursuits of utopia Fox s Wood, Teddy s childhood home, is the utopia of the novel everything eventually seems to lead back there as if all that followed, most obviously the war, was a fatal cosmic error in navigation The war had been a great chasm and there could be no going back to the other side, to the people they were before Atkinson has a habit of being very hard on her female characters, especially on her mothers Rarely do they like their children, let alone love them Viola is her most monstrous mother to date And as such provides most of the book s best humour At times we re left asking ourselves if the sacrifice of all those young men was worth it if it spawned monsters like Viola She also pokes fun at many contemporary pursuits care homes, marketing jargon, courses in self discovery, dietary fads and includes some self satire when Viola becomes a successful novelist Right, I m on the Eurostar to Paris and we re about to enter the tunnel so I ve leave it at that


  4. Jill Jill says:

    In Kate Atkinson s time bending novel, Life After Life, the author toyed with time and created several different timelines and narratives for her main character, Ursula Todd Now, in this companion piece, the focus is on Teddy, Ursula s brother, and his life as an RAF Halifax pilot and under the radar hero.Atkinson holds the magical power to shape time to fit her story and this one moves seamlessly from Teddy s last treacherous flights fewer than half of RAF pilots actually survived World War I In Kate Atkinson s time bending novel, Life After Life, the author toyed with time and created several different timelines and narratives for her main character, Ursula Todd Now, in this companion piece, the focus is on Teddy, Ursula s brother, and his life as an RAF Halifax pilot and under the radar hero.Atkinson holds the magical power to shape time to fit her story and this one moves seamlessly from Teddy s last treacherous flights fewer than half of RAF pilots actually survived World War II to the 20th and 21st century, where Teddy is a husband, father, and grandfather We get to meet his daughter Viola, who blames him for her mother s premature departure and makes a mess out of her own life and subsequently, the lives of her two children.But the key to this story lies in his title, which comes from Ralph Waldo Emerson A man is a god in ruins When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams Wartime is, the author argues, man s greatest fall from grace and so she walks a fine tightrope revealing the amazing heroism and self sacrifice of the men such as Teddy and his crew yet showcasing how in her own words whether our war on savagery did not, in the end, become itself savage as we attacked the very people the old, the young, women that civilization is supposed to defend When Ursula asks Teddy, and how do you define innocence anyway , attention must be paid.The postwar scenario occupies every bit as large a part as the war narrative Viola never does understand the forces that shaped her father or the fabric of the man he became As a result, she cannot be called innocent and her own life is often in self defined ruins.Anyone who suspects that this book is less well, inventive than its predecessor will be suitably satisfied with Kate Atkinson s sleight of hand A God In Ruins is also the philosophical sibling of the earlier book everything in life can change quickly in a heartbeat and life is littlethan a single breath That breath is particularly precarious during wartime All the birds who were never born, all the songs that were never sung and so can only exist in imagination The bottom line again in the author s words is that War is savage For everyone Innocent or guilty It dehumanizes us and in too many cases, it takes away our story And THAT Is the brilliance that lies behind this work


  5. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    I guess I just loved everything about this book except the cover but I won t knock any stars off for that Kate Atkinson writes like a dream The early parts of this book are slow but the prose is so good the slowness does not matter And it needs to be read carefully anyway because at times the story flits backwards and forwards and the reader needs to be alert in order to keep track I enjoyed the fact that the book is set in the same world as Life After Life but focuses on Teddy instead of Ur I guess I just loved everything about this book except the cover but I won t knock any stars off for that Kate Atkinson writes like a dream The early parts of this book are slow but the prose is so good the slowness does not matter And it needs to be read carefully anyway because at times the story flits backwards and forwards and the reader needs to be alert in order to keep track I enjoyed the fact that the book is set in the same world as Life After Life but focuses on Teddy instead of Ursula She pops in and out but this is Teddy s story and Teddy s life There is a wealth of historical detail about World War 2 and the part played by fighter pilots which would not usually be my cup of tea However the author tells it so well and brings it all to life in such a way that you can imagine being up there in that tiny plane or worse, crash landing in the North Sea Teddy is a wonderful character who grows from boyhood to old man during the story and becomes someone you really care for And then the ending absolutely stunned me I did not see that coming and I will be thinking about it and replaying it for days Thank you very much Kate Atkinson and what on earth are you going to write next


  6. Steve Steve says:

    I hope this doesn t sound conceited, but you might crow, too, if you had just written one BILLION reviews I have the magic of combinatorics to thank There are nine different fill in the blank sections in this review that allow ten separate candidates each which in the end will embody the text That makes 10 to the 9th power 1,000,000,000 possible outcomes If you want your own individualized version, take the digits of your Social Security Number or any other 9 digit sequence of your choosin I hope this doesn t sound conceited, but you might crow, too, if you had just written one BILLION reviews I have the magic of combinatorics to thank There are nine different fill in the blank sections in this review that allow ten separate candidates each which in the end will embody the text That makes 10 to the 9th power 1,000,000,000 possible outcomes If you want your own individualized version, take the digits of your Social Security Number or any other 9 digit sequence of your choosing, and reveal the corresponding numerical choice under the spoiler tag at each juncture.First of all, let me apologize to my friends here who may have thought I was 0 view spoiler dead hide spoiler 1 view spoiler in a coma hide spoiler 2 view spoiler genuinely gone from Goodreads hide spoiler 3 view spoiler taking a principled stand hide spoiler 4 view spoiler stuck in my own April Fool s Day prank hide spoiler 5 view spoiler suffering from early onset Alzheimer s hide spoiler 6 view spoiler tapped out entirely hide spoiler 7 view spoiler finally mature enough to stop writing gimmicky reviews hide spoiler 8 view spoiler calling evenattention to myself with a joke on my own joke about leaving hide spoiler 9 view spoiler so full of myself thinking that anyone would care hide spoiler My inactivity was due instead to 0 view spoiler laziness hide spoiler 1 view spoiler a scarcity of free time hide spoiler 2 view spoiler adjusting to a new schedule after a suburb to city move hide spoiler 3 view spoiler big city distractions hide spoiler 4 view spoiler my nonstop telepathic efforts to help the Cubs hide spoiler 5 view spoiler too much TV hide spoiler 6 view spoiler creative juices fermenting caustically hide spoiler 7 view spoiler an easily reinforced habit of sitting idle, not reviewing hide spoiler 8 view spoiler a disconcerting spell of illiteracy hide spoiler 9 view spoiler the thought after a while that a long absence can be justified only by a whiz bang review, delaying my return evenas none came hide spoiler This book is a companion to Atkinson s celebrated Life After Life, one I liked a lot for the 0 view spoiler do overs in the main character s life that allow us to play what if hide spoiler 1 view spoiler beautiful, yet unobtrusive writing hide spoiler 2 view spoiler nonlinearity of the narrative hide spoiler 3 view spoiler history lessons, both cultural and Krieg related hide spoiler 4 view spoiler density of the plot hide spoiler 5 view spoiler collective stiffness of upper lips hide spoiler 6 view spoiler the main character, Ursula insightful, empathetic, philosophical and poetic hide spoiler 7 view spoiler clich d, but interesting chance in one of the do overs to undo Hitler hide spoiler 8 view spoiler ability to defy quantum physics even at its weirdest and still make it work hide spoiler 9 view spoiler template of repeated trials over similar circumstances leading to better decisions and an older soul hide spoiler Ursula, the often recreated character in Life After Life had a younger brother, Teddy, who was the focus here Teddy was an RAF pilot who was also defined by his 0 view spoiler leadership as an officer hide spoiler 1 view spoiler well deserved respect, granted by his crew hide spoiler 2 view spoiler love of the outdoors hide spoiler 3 view spoiler quiet life after the war hide spoiler 4 view spoiler vow to be kind above all else hide spoiler 5 view spoiler affection for his family hide spoiler 6 view spoiler happiness to help raise his grandchildren hide spoiler 7 view spoiler sense of duty hide spoiler 8 view spoiler golden boy status, but with just enough tarnish to make him real hide spoiler 9 view spoiler dignity as he aged hide spoiler Unlike Life After Life, Ursula and her many iterations were not a big part of this story The lens this time focuses squarely on Teddy and those closest to him, extending from boyhood to the Care Home, with temporal zigzags throughout Among the other P.O.V characters, several were fleshed out quite fully For instance, we saw with Teddy s 0 view spoiler daughter Viola, someone drawn as a near caricature of bad behavior hide spoiler 1 view spoiler daughter Viola, an unattractive degree of self interest and entitlement hide spoiler 2 view spoiler daughter Viola, someone endowed with so little empathy they should have taken her kids from her hide spoiler 3 view spoiler daughter Viola, a counter cultural warrior,to cause arguments than to celebrate any free loving hippie ethos hide spoiler 4 view spoiler daughter Viola, one who became a successful writer, giving Atkinson a chance to goof on her own profession, and show that even a train wreck of a human being can do it hide spoiler 5 view spoiler brilliant wife Nancy, a code breaker at Bletchley Park as Teddy was flying planes over Germany hide spoiler 6 view spoiler stoic wife Nancy who showed outward responses to a grave illness very much at odds with her inner ones hide spoiler 7 view spoiler grandson Sunny, whose boyish high energy was not tolerated, much less encouraged, by anyone other than Grandpa Ted hide spoiler 8 view spoiler granddaughter Bertie, living proof that laudable traits can skip a generation hide spoiler 9 view spoiler Halifax bomber crew, a motley assemblage that seemed all thereal for its kaleidoscopic breakdowns by home, history and temperament hide spoiler Beyond the exceptional character development, I really liked 0 view spoiler the sly humor, somewhat resigned, but spot on observations about our institutions and ways hide spoiler 1 view spoiler the detail in describing the bombing missions hide spoiler 2 view spoiler the Todd family refrain needs must uttered whenever an unpleasant task falls upon one of them to perform responsibly hide spoiler 3 view spoiler a few throat tightening scenes where valiant behavior or a particular kindness in the face of dire circumstances may play out hide spoiler 4 view spoiler the way moral questions were framed, particularly the doubts raised by bombing campaigns that went from strategic targets to wider swaths of the population hide spoiler 5 view spoiler the flight imagery the rising, the falling, the ties with the human spirit, and the bird like mix of freedom and fragility hide spoiler 6 view spoiler the often deep, often short term nature of war time connections hide spoiler 7 view spoiler the backwards, forwards structuring that kept the pace lively hide spoiler 8 view spoiler the kind of ending that packs a real punch hide spoiler 9 view spoiler the chance to say, Whoa I did not see that coming hide spoiler I ve now read enough Kate Atkinson to know she s 0 view spoiler the bomb Oh wait, that s not such a good word in this case hide spoiler 1 view spoiler a real writer hide spoiler 2 view spoiler quite a good researcher Her accounts of the bombing runs had historical precedence in every case hide spoiler 3 view spoiler a wonderful story teller taut and creative hide spoiler 4 view spoiler not to be disparaged as a mere genre writer said with an air of haughty disdain despite the popularity of her Jackson Brodie books hide spoiler 5 view spoiler a bit of a post modernist She said in her Author s Note, I think that all novels are not only fiction but they are about fiction too hide spoiler 6 view spoiler clever in a meta fictive way, as this quote from the book may suggest The purpose of Art, his mother, Sylvie, said instructed even is to convey the truth of a thing, not to be the truth itself hide spoiler 7 view spoiler good with metaphors and foreshadowing When, as a boy, Aunt Izzie was eating a skylark, Teddy thought of the generations that might have followed that now will not All the birds who were never born, all the songs that were never sung and so can only exist in imagination hide spoiler 8 view spoiler always shown on the back cover wearing a scarf as every woman from Scotland should hide spoiler 9 view spoiler exactly what the cover blurb says a writer at the height of her powers hide spoiler I m rating this somewhere in the vicinity of 0 view spoiler 4.40 hide spoiler 1 view spoiler 4.41 hide spoiler 2 view spoiler 4.42 hide spoiler 3 view spoiler 4.43 hide spoiler 4 view spoiler 4.44 hide spoiler 5 view spoiler 4.45 hide spoiler 6 view spoiler 4.46 hide spoiler 7 view spoiler 4.47 hide spoiler 8 view spoiler 4.48 hide spoiler 9 view spoiler 4.49 hide spoiler stars The only thing I m counting off for is that it occasionally felt just a bit long If I m honest, though, that may reflecton me than the book With my old commute I d get hour long chunks of reading time Until I tweak my routine to find those chunks again, my status as a Goodreader will be threatened Despite my delay in finishing, the book truly was a pleasure Atkinson proved her ascendance again.Let s see if I know what you re thinking after a sample of one billion reviews 0 view spoiler Dude, your math is less magical than you think hide spoiler 1 view spoiler Uh, this is Good reads, not Goodrandomshit hide spoiler 2 view spoiler Did you choose this format because it s easier not to edit and hone like you would with a proper review hide spoiler 3 view spoiler I suppose Atkinson herself might appreciate the random paths and the multiplicity of possible outcomes hide spoiler 4 view spoiler Much as you might like, this doesn t make you a unicorn hide spoiler 5 view spoiler People like me and Carl Sagan are impressed at nothing less than a trillion hide spoiler 6 view spoiler Might I suggest a much longer break from this site next time hide spoiler 7 view spoiler Steve, for a taste of your own medicine, I ve come up with combinations of seven letter strings for you to consider 26 to the 7th power being over 8 billion possibilities The one in particular to focus on is TWADDLE hide spoiler 8 view spoiler I wouldn t start thinking you ll get a like for every combination hide spoiler 9 view spoiler Is this gimmickry meant to mask the fact that you re a reviewer at the depth of your powers hide spoiler


  7. Elyse Walters Elyse Walters says:

    This is another case where I took a chance to read an author s book having not been a fan of a previous book.If you read my review of Life After Life , you ll see, I wasn t ga ga over that book I didn t jump for joy when this first book came out either PASS were my first thoughts Overtime I heard and read a few things about this companion novel to have me re consider enough to enter a Goodreads give a way No, I didn t winbut my local thrift box had a like new copy for This is another case where I took a chance to read an author s book having not been a fan of a previous book.If you read my review of Life After Life , you ll see, I wasn t ga ga over that book I didn t jump for joy when this first book came out either PASS were my first thoughts Overtime I heard and read a few things about this companion novel to have me re consider enough to enter a Goodreads give a way No, I didn t winbut my local thrift box had a like new copy for a dollar the universe was speaking.PlusI had remembered months before, Goodreads member, Violet Wells, said a couple of things in her review that had me up to seriously considering giving Kate Atkinson another try I never said Atkinson wasn t a good writerit was just that the story in Life After Life drove me bananas Nails on a chalkboard experience with me still stuck with the scene about Ursula sex the doctors office and not knowing where babies come from I never recovered from that situation Moving into A God in Ruins..WOW awesome reading surprise I m sincerely surprised by how fantastic this was Heartbreakingreal. so much to talk about Emotions FELT For meit s all about TEDDY the cycle of a life Teddy as a child Teddy during the war Teddy after the war.Teddy is doing the storytelling The best kind too An adult mantelling us his life story I fell in love with him as a child Funny dialogue conversations in the beginning with he and his aunt Izzy I was laughing out loud but soon things shifted and I felt sad for this growing young boy Even before he was a full teen, it was easy to see this boy s integrity his sense of purpose in life His dreams were not just for his own adult life but his desires for his children he was only 11 years old That feeling never left me, his young self , as we see him as a young man who is passionate for flying bombers WE GET IT Even if you don t like the nitty gritty details of war there was something very moving about how war was described through Teddy.Teddy is an enduring character At the beginning he seems a little aloofwith a dry even key personality I soon realized while he did not express exuberant emotion, I was feeling tons for him The YING the YANG It was a pretty ugly relationship between Teddy and his daughter Viola As a parent..there are so many ways to look at this tragedy..Does it help to be angry at Viola for being a such a selfish self centered creature Her children are beautiful But unfortunately and fortunatelywe see them through the eyes of Teddy Viola wasn t dishing out an ounce of touchy feely love energy In the end A God in Ruins can make you want to crawl back into bed for a day and pull the covers over you I ached The depth and richness from the storytelling has added new breath to mine I could cry just thinking of this story WONDERFUL p.s This makes 3 books in a row where they each Have been phenomenal Bases are loaded hope I can keep this train running.The Yoga of Max s Discontent, by Karan Bajan.The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson


  8. Katie Katie says:

    Perhaps the element of this novel that most moved me was the arrogant dismissive way the young often view older generations, especially children with regards to their parents This is highlighted in the relationship between the obnoxiously brilliant Viola and her father Teddy Teddy is was a Bomber Command pilot during WW2 Almost nightly he goes through the harrowing experience of flying over Nazi Germany the repressed guilt of dropping bombs on innocent civilians the awareness that his dea Perhaps the element of this novel that most moved me was the arrogant dismissive way the young often view older generations, especially children with regards to their parents This is highlighted in the relationship between the obnoxiously brilliant Viola and her father Teddy Teddy is was a Bomber Command pilot during WW2 Almost nightly he goes through the harrowing experience of flying over Nazi Germany the repressed guilt of dropping bombs on innocent civilians the awareness that his death is always a whisker away and that an entire city below is willing it his friends are killed on a monthly basis Yet the superbly self centred Viola, on a constant self sequestering quest to find a kind of hippy utopia, has no interest in her father s history, his inner life She looks down on him as someone less enlightened, less intimate with the important goals of experience Late in the novel, when Viola has become a writer and her father is suffering from dementia she regrets not asking him about his wartime experiences, not because she s interested, but because she realises it would be good material for a book Her cynical self interest knows no bounds


  9. Sharon Bolton Sharon Bolton says:

    Despite the owl, which continued to hoot its unholy lullaby, he fell almost immediately into the deep and innocent sleep of the hopeful First the confession I didn t really like Life After Life Oh, I admit, it was a very clever idea, beautifully written, but for me, something was missing It was all a bit random and, at times, I may as well be honest a wee bit annoying Something of a mixed blessing, then, to be sent an ARC of the companion piece , A God In Ruins It s a beautiful, limit Despite the owl, which continued to hoot its unholy lullaby, he fell almost immediately into the deep and innocent sleep of the hopeful First the confession I didn t really like Life After Life Oh, I admit, it was a very clever idea, beautifully written, but for me, something was missing It was all a bit random and, at times, I may as well be honest a wee bit annoying Something of a mixed blessing, then, to be sent an ARC of the companion piece , A God In Ruins It s a beautiful, limited edition proof that will look great on the shelf, but did I really want to put myself throughof the same Well, I did, thank goodness, because A God In Ruins is one of the most extraordinary books I ve ever read It is the story of Ursula Todd s younger brother, Teddy, who becomes a fighter pilot in World War 2, is one of the relative few to survive and who goes on to marry, have a daughter and a couple of grandchildren, and live to a ripe old age So what Yes, I know, I d be tempted to say the same if the book was sold to me in that way It s difficult to explain quite why this is such an exquisite read, because there s precious little in the way of plot, but it is testament to the sheer brilliance of Atkinson s writing, that she can keep her reader so engaged without too much happening Every incident, every character, is drawn with exquisite, sparkling colour, not a single detail seems superfluous and her dark, bitchy sense of humour weaves through the narrative like a glossy black ribbon The timeline jumps about a bit The story is written from multiple points of view that occasionally leap up and take the reader by surprise, but otherwise I couldn t fault this book Well, maybe I could, just a tiny bit, because as I neared the end, I found myself thinking It s a lovely book, but I m not sure what the point of it is, other than the interest to be found even in very ordinary, common place lives In fairness, I d have been happy to leave it at that, I was enjoying the read so much And then, oh my lord, the point The point of the book hit me like a blow from a sledgehammer It made me cry It made me feel like a complete fool It left me in awe of Atkinson s brilliance It made me want to read Life After Life again I cannot say , just by mentioning that there is something to come I may have already spoiled the surprise to some extent, and for that I apologise, but without referring to the point it would be almost impossible to explain why I think this great, glorious heartbreak of a book will come to be considered one of the defining novels of our time PS I did re read Life After Life I get it now The rest of the world was right and I was wrong


  10. Teresa Teresa says:

    Shortly before I finished this book last night, I read of the death of Nicholas Winton, aka Britain s Schindler, at the age of 106 He lived through the same time period, with a few years difference on either side, as Atkinson s fictional Teddy, the favorite sibling of Ursula from Life After Life While I was immediately captured by the latter book, this companion novel took a while for me to get into as I wondered where it was going The ultimate destination is a spoiler and I ll address my is Shortly before I finished this book last night, I read of the death of Nicholas Winton, aka Britain s Schindler, at the age of 106 He lived through the same time period, with a few years difference on either side, as Atkinson s fictional Teddy, the favorite sibling of Ursula from Life After Life While I was immediately captured by the latter book, this companion novel took a while for me to get into as I wondered where it was going The ultimate destination is a spoiler and I ll address my issue with that in a spoiler comment below for anyone who s curious.Atkinson s prose style is as engaging as ever though she must hate semicolons see my review of One Good Turn she s a great storyteller and she clearly loves her characters, even the most unlovable one The characters come by their personalities honestly as their backgrounds reveal, something that s not done slowly Once Atkinson has you wondering about something, it s explained rather quickly, through a different time period and a different point of view.I would ve liked the book to have ended ten pages sooner As I read the last sentence of my ending, my mind immediately went to the ending of D.M Thomas s The White Hotel same theme but Thomas rendering had muchof an impact on me Following Atkinson s ending and I understand why she chose it is an Author s Note I don t usually mind these notes, but this detailed one both explained too much and seemed superfluous I wonder if criticism to Life After Life prompted it.I am of two minds about this book and not sure how to rate it I enjoyed it for the most part and I agree with the theme, but the ending was deflating