Kate Atkinson’s new novel is a box of delights. Ingenious in construction, indefatigably entertaining, it grips the reader’s imagination on the first page and never lets go. If you wish to be moved and astonished, read it. And if you want to give a dazzling present, buy it for your friends.
There aren't enough breathless adjectives to describe Life After Life: Dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound. Wildly inventive, deeply felt. Hilarious. Humane. Simply put: it's ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS I'VE READ THIS CENTURY.
Gillian Flynn,no1 New York Times author of Gone Girl, and Sharp Objects
Truly brilliant...Think of Audrey Niffenegger's The TimeTraveler's Wife or David Nicholl's One Day...[or] Martin Amis's Times Arrow, his rewinding of the Holocaust that was shortlisted for the Booker. Life After Life should have the popular success of the former and deserves to win prizes, too. It has that kind of thrill to it, of an already much-loved novelist taking a leap, and breaking through to the next level...This is a rare book that you want, Ursula-like, to start again the minute you have finished.
Helen Rumbelow, The Times
What makes Atkinson an exceptional writer – and this is her most ambitious and most gripping work to date – is that she does so with an emotional delicacy and understanding that transcend experiment or playfulness. Life After Life gives us a heroine whose fictional underpinning is permanently exposed, whose artificial status is never in doubt; and yet one who feels painfully, horribly real to us.
Alex Clark, Guardian
Merging family saga with a fluid sense of time and an extraordinarily vivid sense of history at its most human level. A dizzying and dazzling tour de force.
Amber Pearson, Daily Mail
Deliriously inventive, sharply imagined and ultimately affecting...The scenes set in Blitz-stricken London will stay with me forever...Atkinson has written something that amounts to so much more than the sum of its (very many) parts. It almost seems to imply that there are new and mysterious things to feel and say about the nature of life and death, the passing of time, fate and possibility.. . [a]magnificently tender and humane novel.
Julie Myerson, Observer
Brilliant...more than just a terrific story about the impact of one existence on another. Atkinson can knock the socks off any rival in terms of skill and style...The tour de force of the book, though, is Atkinson's recreation of the Blitz...unputdownable
Absolutely brilliant...it reminded me a bit of her first book Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which is one of my most favourite books ever.
Marian Keyes (newsletter)
Stunned with tiredness thanks to Kate Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE. Couldn't stop reading. Terrific novel, may be her best yet. So enthralling, so well written, so beautifully constructed. Really, I can't fault it. Will be one of my books of the year.
Val McDermid (Twitter)
World events, reimagined characters and second chances told with warmth, wit and consummate skill.
Fanny Blake, Woman & Home
Startlingly brilliant...endlessly rich
James Walton, Reader's Digest
Life After Life is to be applauded for its inventiveness, and for reminding us of lives vanished without trace or memory in the waste and monstrosity of war.
Atkinson, like Audrey Niffenegger before her with the similarly ambitious The Time Traveller's Wife, is a confident enough writer to bear her high concept along well above water level
Atkinson's great skill is in portraying the exquisite tapestry of [life] with warmth, humour and immense humanity.
one of the most innovative, pacy plots of any recent novel
Playful, intelligent and beguiling...Astoundingly accomplished
A profound read that finds light in the darkest times
If you enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife, you will love this inventive fantasy from the author of the Jackson Brodie series...marvel at Atkinson's skill in carrying off this absorbing feat of imagination.
Atkinson's achievement is to convince the reader that being disorientated about exactly what has happened so far is acceptable and enjoyable...deftly constructed...The innovative narrative structure of Life After Life reasserts the best there is to hope for in human existence.
Times Literary Supplement
Hilary Mantel, a rival for the Women's Prize, once said that Atkinson "delivers to the populace its jokes and its tragedies as efficiently as Dickens once delivered his, though Atkinson has a game-plan more sophisticated than Dickens's". This is Atkinson's best book to date, and she is as worthy as Mantel for the Prize.
She never ducks the sorrows of loss and human cruelty but an optimistic exuberance keeps coming through...This is, without doubt, Atkinson's best novel since her prizewinning debut Behind the Scenes at the Museum...A ferociously clever writer...a big, bold novel that is enthralling, entertaining and experimental...I would be astonished if it does not carry off at least one major prize.
Amanda Craig, New Statesman
Atkinson packs a huge emotional punch...As with Martin Amis’s Time’s Arrow and Ian McEwan’s Atonement, she explores the kaleidoscopic paradoxes of 'what if'.
Catherine Taylor, Daily Telegraph
Life After Life would be very good even if it was simply about the troubles of an early 20th century family and followed a less ambitious, more linear path. Yet it is more than that: a novel that makes you think deeply about the forks of your own life, the truth about dreams and deja vu and the grander scheme of time itself.
Tom Cox, Sunday Express
Highly readable...her description of the Blitz is a tour de force.
Mail on Sundey
Her very best...a big book that defies logic, chronology and even history in ways that underscore its author's fully untethered imagination...exceptionally captivating.
Janet Maslin, New York Times
Electric..very special indeed...extraordinary...tangible and vivid...The paths are endless, but each so affecting that we long to keep this character alive and moving forward.
Australian Women's Weekly
No writer alive makes for better company on the page—knowing, funny, and prodigally inventive… ..Literary and entertaining all at once, Atkinson is a sophisticated artist who also can keep you up well past bedtime, and that double-barreled talent is on display as never before in Life After Life.
Possibly Atkinson's biggest triumph
Atkinson imbues her family saga with a fluid sense of time and a vivid sense of history at its most human level. A dizzying and dazzling tour de force.
Mail on Sunday (Summer Reading)
Eccentric and daring...incredibly inventive, and her tricks with time,space and reality are dazzling.
Kate Saunders, The Times (Summer reading)
Brilliant...Frequently heartbreakingand entirely thrilling.
Wall Street Journal
There are a few books that are so enjoyable that you slow down when you’re reading them, trying to delay the inevitable moment of completion…a voice that is both idiosyncratic and wise, one that sees the world in a distinctive, dark, but oddly consoling way….One of the remarkable things about Life After Life is the way that formal experimentation is combined with a consistently involving plot…Atkinson’s name is conspicuously absent from the Man Booker longlist. I find myself wondering whether Austen would make the lists if she were alive today.
Sarah Crompton, Daily Telegraph
This is great
Salman Rushdie, The Times
One of those fantastical novels that tells us more about the realities of being human than most realist novels do…the most thrilling and moving experience fiction has to offer this year.
TIME (Top 10 Fiction Books of Year)
Kate Atkinson's audacious novel plays a virtuoso game with the nature of fiction...her best book to date and a worthy winner of a Costa Prize.