Customer Reviews for

Life After Life

Average Rating 3.5
( 375 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(168)

4 Star

(64)

3 Star

(50)

2 Star

(38)

1 Star

(55)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

78 out of 90 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 46 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 May 1, 2013

    It just wasnt enough...

    This was a selection for our book club, and I have to say it isn't one I would have picked myself, nor would I read it again. The premise is very intriguing and the history and writing are well done. The explanation of the "deja vu" and how Ursula moves past a previous obstacle each time she starts over were very well done. However, about halfway through, the story just became mundane, and while a lot of it lended to the history of the time period Ursula lived in, I felt that the more important parts of the plot were lost in boring daily detail. It also became a little jumbled at the end, and i'm not quite sure i really understand what happened or why it happened in the end after all. If you just want ot give something different a try, a chance to read outside the box, give it a shot. But dont expect a riveting story.

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    New release

    Got cheaper on amazon

    10 out of 75 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Not much about multiple lives

    Very long book mostly about the main character's family life and dealing with WWII. Will be a big disappointment if you expect a lot of the plot to be about Ursula's multiple lives.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2013

    Ugh

    I love to read but this was a hard read. I got confused thinking I'd missed pages and that wasnt the case. I'm not sure if I'm disappointed in the book or my reading skills, which by the way I have never had to question before. Ugh, I wish I liked it more.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    Not Atkinson's best.

    I am a huge fan of much of Atkinson's work and was really looking forward to this book - the premise is really excellent, but it just didn't work for me. Thought it would be a character returning to live life in progressively modern settings... building on experience etc. Instead it was one lifetime... sometimes cut short due to a haphazard occurrence, at other times cut short by stupidity/error gone out of control. Parts were very interesting and well done showing tremendous insight. Other parts were just sluggish.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 23, 2013

    Repetitive. Oh, then it repeats again. Just not interesting enou

    Repetitive. Oh, then it repeats again. Just not interesting enough in it's "revisions". Do not recommend.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    Not a favorite

    So difficult to follow. When I finished the book, I felt like I needed to reread it just to understand it better. This was a selection for our book club. Several members gave up reading it. I think the concept of the book is interesting but it just didn't execute it smoothly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2013

    Question...?

    Does this book have a lot about European History in it or is it a book just about simply Life after Life?

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    A Good Read

    I enjoyed this book and at first I thought it had a very novel plot, (no pun intended). After awhile it did get tedious and bog down in places. At the end I thought the author had just found a clever way to use every draft of the novel she had as a novel in itself. The characters were compelling though and while I liked some plots better then others and some were more believable than others it was in general a good read. I sure learned a lot about European history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Life goes on and on and on

    Interesting read that pulls you in and finally lets you understand why scenes keep repeating. Sad, confusing, but ultimately satisfying .

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Reading it now

    It's a big book - Took 150 pages to get into the real story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2013

    Mistyfur

    Sat alone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2013

    SnakeWhip and co.

    Not sure when we will be back, but we will. Don't forget about us!!!

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  • Posted June 14, 2013

    Disappointing

    I enjoyed this book and loved the main character. However, I felt the ending was a little disappointing. The whole time jumping idea in a story line was done so much better in Time Traveler's Wife.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2013

    Interesting but-----

    Difficult to follow for first 100 or so pages. Had great pitential

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Paris

    Sure. Ill Advertise at my rp at 'highschool'))

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    Not exactly what I expected

    I found this a hard read to follow until almost the end when I finally got the hang of what the author was doing. The beginning was confusing. But overall, glad I finished it. The second half of the book was much better than the first.....just hang in there.

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  • Posted May 15, 2013

    WOW! This book will make you question reality!

    Extremely well written, extremely complicated. I found myself going back to previous sections to figure out what I had missed. I'm still not sure if Ursula came back and back and back into different lives, or if there is more than one Ursula living parallel lives in parallel universes. This book is not for everyone; in fact, I told a friend to skip it because I knew she wouldn't like it. I'm not sure I would read it if given the chance a second time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2013

    Confusing

    I found it very confusing as to where she was headed at any one time. After finishing the reading I have decided to reread some of it in the future in order to see how it affects my feeling of this style of story telling. I found some stories of interest as I am as person that was alive and reading during some of the episodes. Language is of interest but, leaves one to wonder as to what makes the style less confusing during the read. It seems that it could stand a little explanation of the style. I will reread portions of it later.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2013

    I didn't get it...

    I thought the writing was good, but I am still unclear on what the take-away message was.
    And the ending was weird for me.
    But it was interesting.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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