April 1st, 2014


Life After Life: Kate Atkinson

I think of Atkinson as a young writer (not sure why- maybe because she's so playful) but actually she's only a few months younger than I am- and that's an age at which if a person is planning to produce a masterpiece they'd better get on with it. I've liked her earlier books but this, I think, is the one.

It's a disconcerting novel.  Our heroine keeps dying- and every time she does she comes back to experience the bloody history of the bloody 20th century from a slightly different angle.  In several lives she's blitzed in London; in one she's blitzed in Berlin. In the very first chapter she shoots Hitler in a Munich coffee house.  Want to find out why? Well, on 11 February 1910....

Atkinson describes the construction of the book as "slightly fractal".

Go on, read it.