Not the End of the World

Not the End of the World

by Kate Atkinson
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Overview

Not the End of the World by Kate Atkinson

Arthur is a precocious eight-year-old boy whose mother is a B-list celebrity more concerned with the state of her bank account than with her son's development. Then an enigmatic young nanny named Missy introduces him to a world he never knew existed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316072649
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 05/30/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 334,839
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Kate Atkinson has won several prizes for her short fiction. Her first novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum was chosen as the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. Her other novels are Human Croquet and Emotionally Weird. She lives in Edinburgh.

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Not the End of the World 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This collection of short stories is unlike any set of stories I have read. With the exception of the first and last stories, every story starts out 'normal' enough, with contemporary characters in London and Edinburgh struggling with real life issues. But then comes the mythic turn in each story, which for me always came as a delight. I found I could not put down the book after I read the first story. I knew I had stumbled onto something special. I realized as I read through the stories that they are more connected than one would think at first, so I recommend reading them in the order they are in the book. I also realized that I needed to review my familiarity with Greek myths. So I pulled out my old childhood collection of Greek myths and reread the myths of the Greek gods and goddesses and various humans who interact with the gods. After my mythology review I reread the stories and enjoyed even more the wonder of the author's writing. She seamlessly melds the ordinary with the extraordinary (the myths). While I became intrigued with the 'game' of figuring which mythic characters were being represented, the fact is, the stories stand as remarkable and enjoyable without a detailed analysis. My favorite television series of all time is 'Northern Exposure.' One of the things I loved about NE was that the stories could take unexpected magical twists. And, as in the case of Atkinson's stories, the twists are not gratuitous-- they enrich the meaning of the character's struggles and relationships. I have read the collection four times now. After having gotten over the novelty of Atkinson's marvelous style and the mythical connections, I now appreciate her depth of insight into human relationships. I moved from being amazed by these stories, to being enamored, intrigued, and, finally, to being truly moved.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Not The End Of The World is a book of twelve short stories by British author, Kate Atkinson. The stories capture (mostly) ordinary people in their everyday lives, with occasional snapshots of extraordinary moments. Each of the stories can be read as a stand-alone, but they have connections: characters appear in each other’s tales, with some characters making multiple appearances; places (Edinburgh, Crete), events (a fatal vehicle accident on the M9), TV programs (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Green Acres, Star Trek: Voyager), animals (a man-sized cat), magazine articles (Ten Things To Consider Before You Say I Do) and items (wedding favours) all recur.  Two stories feature Charlene and Trudi in a world where there has been some sort of societal breakdown, and these bookend the rest of the stories. The first story is a little strange, but readers who persist will be rewarded with some tales of the outstanding calibre to which fans of Atkinson’s work are accustomed; the last story has a clever twist that reflects back onto the preceding ten stories.  Atkinson has an exceptional talent for portraying people, and her descriptive prose is a joy to read: “She swung open the wrought-iron gate and walked briskly up the path, her heels striking like flints off the slabs of York stone”. The observations of young boys are particularly well voiced: “Addison had once heard a neighbour refer to his mother as ‘highly strung’ and although he had no idea what that meant he knew it sounded like an uncomfortable thing to be” and “’Georgie was … flighty,’ Mrs Anderson said, searching for an enigmatic word, so that Vincent imagined his mother as a ball of feathers wafted on a kindly wind” illustrate this. Another brilliant Atkinson offering. 4.5 stars
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