Customer Reviews for

Life After Life

Average Rating 3.5
( 407 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(187)

4 Star

(67)

3 Star

(53)

2 Star

(43)

1 Star

(57)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

78 out of 91 people found this review helpful.

When I first read the synopsis of Kate Atkinson's Life After Lif

When I first read the synopsis of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, I immediately wondered how Ursula Todd would come back to life. Would it be like Captain Jack Harkness in the television series Torchwood, where moments after death she'd revive with a huge gasp for air?...
When I first read the synopsis of Kate Atkinson's Life After Life, I immediately wondered how Ursula Todd would come back to life. Would it be like Captain Jack Harkness in the television series Torchwood, where moments after death she'd revive with a huge gasp for air? Would it be more like the movie Groundhog Day, with all the frustration that came with not being able to escape the loop? Would she be aware of what was happening? Would other people be aware of it happening to her? No matter how many possibilities I envisioned, I was still surprised by the way Kate Atkinson crafted this plot point. It is handled with ingenuity and originality; never cheesy, never trite. I'm purposely being vague here, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone. But I think every time I feel déjà vu in the future, I'll be reminded of this novel...

Much of the story took place in London during the bombings (the "Blitz") of WWII. These pages were terrifying and heart-wrenching. I would start to feel overwhelmed and think, "Is this ever going to stop?" I'd want to put the book down for a while, and then feel guilty. I'd been reading over the course of only two days, and could take a break whenever I wanted. London had 57 nights in a row of bombings. Atkinson gives readers an incredibly vivid portrayal of war, a poignant and multifaceted look at its enormity and how distressing - and wearying - it is for all involved.

Life After Life is beautifully written and reads like a classic. Wonderfully complex, it's a story you could read over and over and always make new connections.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any other compensation for this review.     

posted by lovelybookshelf on April 2, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

22 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

Long, boring, and depressing. You'd think after so many pages (a

Long, boring, and depressing. You'd think after so many pages (and lives) she'd get at least one right. I want the time I spent of my life on this book back.

posted by Anonymous on April 6, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2013

    Long, boring, and depressing. You'd think after so many pages (a

    Long, boring, and depressing. You'd think after so many pages (and lives) she'd get at least one right. I want the time I spent of my life on this book back.

    22 out of 47 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2013

    ridiculous and boring

    I am sorry that I purchased this book

    18 out of 68 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2013

    A Borefest to the nth degree!

    Imagine plodding through a Christmas card from a distant relative or friend with a 2 page insert of all the mundane things that have been happening in the life of their family. Now imagine over 400 pages of this and the family is not even real – it’s fictional. That’s what this book reads like. The premise is great – the execution of it is another matter entirely. Each chapter is filled with mundane details of the routine activities of daily living of the protagonist and her family – kids playing in the yard, people eating, blah, blah, blah. You have to get to the last paragraph of each chapter before anything interesting happens, and that is the part where Ursula dies. It would have been nice if she could have spared us the agony and just stayed dead in the first paragraph of the book and end it there. As it is, you find yourself reading because of the interesting premise of the story, only to be continually frustrated as the Christmas card tabulation never seems to end. I have to confess, I value my time and was not going to get snookered into wasting anymore of it than I had to, so I gave up after 50 or so pages. But in my opinion, if the author can’t say something interesting by this point, then he has failed the reader, and with so many books to be read out there, the reader should move on to the next one. I could have saved some time and money by paying more attention to some of the negative reviews. They were spot on. Unless you’re a big fan of Christmas cards, save yourself the trouble and find another book. This one is a snoozer.

    15 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    This has to be the most boring book I have ever read. It sounde

    This has to be the most boring book I have ever read. It sounded sort of interesting when I bought it, having been persuaded by all the good reviews. It has no particular suspense involved except that after the first few chapters you start waiting for Ursala to die. At page 88 I quit reading because I just didn't care anymore whether she lived or died. The author gave me no reason to identify with her or to care about her. She (nor any of the other characters) were ever real people to me. I am very sorry I bought this book.

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2013

    Don't waste your money

    I was a big fan of this author BUT this book is a waste of time and money. VERY DISAPPOINTED

    8 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Phew! Was I glad that book finally ended. It is one of the most

    Phew! Was I glad that book finally ended. It is one of the most tedious books I've ever read. Utterly exhausting. Barely got through it. Wish I would have stopped several pages in like some of these other readers. 

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2013

    It was long and boring. I did not connect with any of the chara

    It was long and boring. I did not connect with any of the characters and couldn't wait for the end. I actually put the book down around page 350 and have no intention of finishing it.

    4 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2013

    Confusing

    Interesting concept. I enjoyed her childhood. I found the war long and convoluted. I lost track of how old she was and which life she was living. And what was the point of the end.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    It is an interesting concept to write a book about reincarnation

    It is an interesting concept to write a book about reincarnation, yet I found this book to be very confusing. Having the same person live multiple lives in the same time period is somewhat unrealistic for a true view of reincarnation. Perhaps I missunderstood the synopsis prior to purchasing this book. I stopped reading after the first 150 pages.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    One Trick Pony

    A messy, uninteresting book populated with dull characters that relies on an uninspired gimmick to (not very successfully) engage the reader's attention.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    I give it a c-.

    I was not real impressed with this book. It was hard to keep track of the characters. First they were alive and in the next chapter they were gone. It was hard to keep up with the plot of the book.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Not my kinda book

    I know everyone else loved this book, but not me. Sorry

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2014

    Good for regifting....

    Thin dialogue with a plot that does some kind of dynamic drifting…

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2013

    Lousy

    I almost never put a novel down. This one seem just a silly
    English composition exercise.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2013

    Ugh

    First and last book I've read from this author.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2013

    Interesting premise and I really enjoyed it until about the half

    Interesting premise and I really enjoyed it until about the halfway mark. Then it just got tedious.  It would seem that some editing of the middle section would have been helpful. I did finish it but found the ending confusing and depressing at the same time. I would suggest spending your time reading something else.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Hated this book!   I'm sorry I wasted my time and money!

    Hated this book!   I'm sorry I wasted my time and money!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2013

    Not for me

    Looked like it would be interesting read. But it was just not for me. No satisfaction in most of "endings". Very tiresome read.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    British stinker!

    I was prepared for the plot but nothing threads together easily. Wasted 3 days reading in Aruba, waiting for story line to get better and find a rhythm: but zero!

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    Zzzzzz

    Awful. I kept waiting for something exciting to happen, it finally did when I gave up on this snooze-fest after 50 pages and started playing Angry Birds instead.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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