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Kate Atkinson recommendations

(39 Posts)
MargotMoon Sun 01-Oct-17 10:35:34

Over the years I keep seeing people recommend Kate Atkinson very enthusiastically. I've always had it in my head that I read 'Behind the Scenes at a Museum' and thought it was just OK but I've just now read the blurb and am fairly certain (crap memory though) that haven't.

So now I'm thinking I should give her a go and wondering where to start - with that one? Or something else? And can anyone summarise what style of writer she is?

Kuriusoranj Sun 01-Oct-17 10:54:26

Life After Life is awesomely good, in my opinion. It's absolutely one of my favourite books - by turns funny and genuinely wracked-with-sobs heartbreaking. I'm trying repeatedly to get into the sequel, but it's not speaking to me in the same way yet, although an awful lot of people seem to think it's better.

The Jackson Brodie stories are good too - try Case Histories and if you like that, you'll like them. And if you haven't read Behind the Scenes at the Museum, you really should give that a go.

She's a superb writer, for the most part - I'd describe her stuff as grounded in reality but with a little bit of a skew. She reminds me of Margaret Attwood in some ways, although thematically wildly different.

Walkacrossthesand Sun 01-Oct-17 11:10:33

Life after life bowled me over too, but like kurius I didn't enjoy the sequel (God in ruins) as much.

Wormulonian Sun 01-Oct-17 12:41:06

My favourite is Behind the Scenes. The Jackson Brodie novels are entirely different in style - more lightweight and could almost be by a different writer but have more humour.

SatsukiKusakabe Sun 01-Oct-17 17:14:09

I liked Life After Life and God in Ruins to a lesser extent, but Behind the Scenes at the Museum is really special (in terms of the structure and inspiration) and came out first so start with that. She writes excellent prose, witty and sharp.

SatsukiKusakabe Sun 01-Oct-17 17:15:39

God in Ruins is in a lot of ways a more accessible read, but it isn't as good as LAL imo.

sheepflower Sun 01-Oct-17 17:20:40

She an amazing writer. I really liked Behind the scenes at the museum. I love her writing style. Also I liked A God in ruins but not the ending so much. I haven't read any of her others yet but will soon.

Queenofthedrivensnow Sun 01-Oct-17 19:52:21

Behind the scenes is very upsetting in places. My best friend and I have said 'arms of jesus' as a euphemism for death for years as a direct reference to that book.

I loved the Jackson Brodie novels.

Life after life is a bit hard going emotionally too. I'm also struggling with god in ruins

strawberrypenguin Sun 01-Oct-17 19:55:06

Another vote for Life after Life being amazing!

Gottalovesummer Sun 01-Oct-17 19:58:07

Loved behind the scenes and human croquet. Have reread both several times

Life after life is one of my favourite books ever. It stayed with me for ages after I finished it.

She's just an amazing storyteller.

MsAwesomeDragon Sun 01-Oct-17 20:03:29

I'm adding to the recommendations for life after life. My mil found it really hard going and gave me her copy when she gave up on it after only a few chapters. I loved it. I've read God in ruins but it didn't grab me in the same way, I finished it and it was good but not as good as life after life.

I haven't read any more of hers but I think I may have to look for her in the library.

MargotMoon Sun 01-Oct-17 22:37:11

Wow, loads of recommendations for Life After Life and Behind the Scenes then! Will try the library first, hopefully they'll have one or both.

MsAwesomeDragon Sun 01-Oct-17 22:38:44

I've just downloaded behind the scenes on audiobook from my library. I hope it's as good as you all day it is.

msatlantis Sun 01-Oct-17 22:40:21

I loved the Jackson Brodie novels. Gripping.

JoyceDivision Sun 01-Oct-17 22:48:03

I liked Kate Atkinson, until one of her later books (can't remember which)in an early chapter had a throwaway line of someone haveing a link to Dewsbury "..where the women sell their children" or something very similar.

It was after the S Matthews case, and it was a cheap,crappy line tossed out to refer to modern events and making a crap sweeping generalisation.

I feel the Jackson Brodie books started to be written like a TV series, think she was hoping to get more serialised.

Think Margaret Atwood is a lot better!

SatsukiKusakabe Mon 02-Oct-17 09:38:10

KA had a character refer to Dewsbury in disparaging terms back in BTSATM so I think it was a call back to that, with an update, so not necessarily throwaway. I couldn't read her crime books - the first one began with a crime that was too closely based on a real kidnapping that I remembered from the news at the time and I wasn't comfortable with it at all so understand where you are coming from.

Kuriusoranj Mon 02-Oct-17 12:27:22

Funny so many of us have the same issues with A God in Ruins.

Someone upthread mentioned audio books - if you like those at all then the audio book for Life After Life is hands-down my favourite of all time. You would think that such a complex narrative would suffer in this format, but actually in my opinion it is enhanced. It's read by Fenella Woolgar and I've deliberately searched out other things she's narrated since I first heard it.

Fex Wed 04-Oct-17 16:03:22

I am half way through Life after Life having given upon it once before after a few pages. Loving it.
My only regret is having it in paperback rather than kindle as I find so many exquisite lines I want to highlight. I may do it anyway it was only £1 from the charity shop

susannahmoodie Wed 04-Oct-17 18:03:11

Agree re the audiobook of Life after Life. It transformed my commute into my fave part of the day. But I also loved the audiobook of A God in Ruins.

What else was good narrated by fenella woolgar?

I love all of KA's stuff to be honest. I heard her speak once, she was formidably intelligent.

Fex Wed 04-Oct-17 19:11:26

we must remember these people when we are safely in the future
Spine tingling quote.

CoolCarrie Thu 05-Oct-17 10:23:10

Jackson Brodie books have been filmed as Case Histories with Jason Issac as Jackson and they were excellent, as are the books. Definitely lighter than her novels. I loved Life After Life, haven't read God In Ruins yet.

stopfuckingshoutingatme Thu 05-Oct-17 22:12:08

Every single one ! I truly love them all for different reasons

I am re reading them all this month grin

The Jackson Brodie ones are more contemporary but yet have their dark and loving moments. I so wanted Louise and JAcksona to get it on

LIfe after life is just staggering

Human croquet and Behind the scenes are real slow burners reading them as an older reader after 15 years was interesting

I love her

elkiedee Fri 06-Oct-17 22:22:50

I need to go back and reread her earlier books, as I read them quite a long time ago.

I also preferred Life after Life to A God in Ruins - my problem with the latter was the daughter character. Not just that she was unlikeable. If the author of the novel had been male, I would have wonderered why he dislikes women so much. As I grew up in Woodcraft Folk and now have kids in WF in London, and I had a bad experience with Brownies, I also didn't like the rather negative treatment of the Woodcraft Folk in the book. Obviously that's a specific issue which would probably only affect a few readers, though!

stopfuckingshoutingatme Fri 06-Oct-17 22:32:34

In think teddy liked the woodcraft folk though ? She has so many wonderful female characters generally but the daughter theme was so real

I also loved how Louise seemed so hard but looked after her women in WETBGN

I am biased though grin

Cel982 Fri 06-Oct-17 22:37:05

It's all wonderful, she's one of my favourite writers. Human Croquet hasn't been mentioned much but is really excellent too, very weepy in parts (as they all are).

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