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  • Published: 27 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804990803
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $22.99

Normal Rules Don't Apply




From the Number One bestselling author of Shrines of Gaiety and Life After Life, a gemlike collection of unforgettable short stories in which nothing is quite what it seems...

THE SUNDAY TIMES TOP TEN BESTSELLER

The first story collection from Kate Atkinson in twenty years, Normal Rules Don't Apply is a dazzling array of eleven interconnected tales from the bestselling author of Shrines of Gaiety and Life After Life

In this first full collection since Not the End of the World, we meet a queen who makes a bargain she cannot keep; a secretary who watches over the life she has just left; a man whose luck changes when a horse speaks to him.

With clockwork intricacy, inventiveness and sharp social observation, Kate Atkinson conjures a feast for the imagination, a constantly changing multiverse in which nothing is quite as it seems.

‘What really binds these stories is their underlying theme, which has perhaps always been Atkinson’s true subject: the nature of storytelling itself’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Life in all of its surreal, tragic and comic glory is perfectly captured within these pages’ Red

‘Sublime’ Good Housekeeping

‘Dazzling’ Reader's Digest

____________

Praise for Kate Atkinson:

'Inexhaustibly ingenious' HILARY MANTEL

'Simply one of the best writers working today, anywhere in the world' GILLIAN FLYNN

'A brilliant and profoundly original writer' RACHEL CUSK

'Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority, and skill' FINANCIAL TIMES

'One of the country's most innovative, exciting and intelligent authors.' SCOTSMAN

  • Published: 27 August 2024
  • ISBN: 9781804990803
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 240
  • RRP: $22.99

About the author

Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson is one of the world’s foremost novelists. She won the Costa Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her three critically lauded and prizewinning novels set around World War II are Life After Life, A God in Ruins (both winners of the Costa Novel Award), and Transcription. She was appointed MBE for services to literature in 2011.

Her bestselling literary crime novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie, Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News? and Started Early, Took My Dog became a BBC television series starring Jason Isaacs. Jackson Brodie returns in her new novel Big Sky.

Also by Kate Atkinson

See all

Praise for Normal Rules Don't Apply

A deftly interconnected short-story collection [that is] varied and inventive

i Newspaper

Dazzling ... Most striking of all is the abiding sense of infectious, slightly bonkers fun.

Reader's Digest

Funny, erudite and profound

Excelle Magazine

Here you will find lots of tricks, lots of playfulness, clever narrative engineering.

BBC Radio 4 Front Row

What really binds these stories is their underlying theme, which has perhaps always been Atkinson’s true subject: the nature of storytelling itself. She can be very funny, but she is highly serious about the idea that human existence is bound up with words… If you’re thinking about what fiction means, no invocation could be more thought-provoking or ironically complex

Times Literary Supplement

Hilarious, breathtaking, horrific, irresistible ... [Atkinson is] always in command ... Heart in mouth, I never wanted this book to end

Sydney Morning Herald

Sublime … showcases her superb storytelling and the wit of her writing

Good Housekeeping

What joy! A loosely connected collection of short stories from Kate Atkinson. Life in all of its surreal, tragic and comic glory is perfectly captured within these pages.

Red

Atkinson has the happy knack of capturing the nature of her characters with arch aplomb

Daily Mail

Clever... a crossword-like exercise in which the reader is always left guessing which element of each story will carry into the next. Much of the delight in Normal Rules Don't Apply comes from being surprised by who lands where.

Financial Times

Intriguing

Business Post

Atkinson's sly humour percolates all the way through, but there's also humanity, hope and forgiveness... As soon as you get to the end, you'll be tempted to just start at the beginning again.

PA Media

Funny and poignant in equal measure, you’ll want to read this captivating collection in one mystical sitting.

Daily Express

Fans of Atkinson will find all of her trademark qualities in these eleven loosely connected stories... rather brilliant

Mail on Sunday

Scintillating, surrealistic and wise-cracking short stories from the wildly inventive Atkinson brain

SAGA magazine

The short form has always liberated Atkinson to meddle in myth and magic, and here she melds the fabular and the mundane as the universe blinks, the sun winks out, and those in the open are levelled in a "new Pompeii"... Atkinson has the control and charm to do with fiction whatever she fancies.

Guardian

Mashes up the mythical and mundane with zest and mischief

Herald Scotland

All kinds of stories are inside these tales – fairy stories, creation myths, fantasy, Bible stories, tabloid headlines, soaps, movies and crime. Atkinson’s sly humour percolates all the way through, but there’s also humanity, hope and forgiveness... The simplicity of the short story form belies the book’s multi-layered approach. As soon as you get to the end, you’ll be tempted to just start at the beginning again to see the nuances you missed first time round, and tease out the threads that run between each tale.

Independent