A God in Ruins

A God in Ruins : Costa Novel Award Winner 2015

3.93 (52,567 ratings by Goodreads)
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'Atkinson's finest work, and confirmation that her genre-defying writing continues to surprise and dazzle' Observer

A God in Ruins relates the life of Teddy Todd - would-be poet, heroic World War II bomber pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.

This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war - that great fall of Man from grace - and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.

'A dazzling read...ends on one of the most devastating twists in recent fiction' DAILY TELEGRAPH
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Product details

  • Paperback | 576 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 34mm | 388g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0552776645
  • 9780552776646
  • 81,231

Review Text

Kate Atkinson just keeps getting better…A God in Ruins is a stunner…I laughed out loud…this bleak and beautiful book…Atkinson’s genre-bending novels have garnered critical praise, but nothing on the order of a Rushdie, or even an Ian McEwan. A God in Ruins should change that.
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Review quote

Triumphant...such a dazzling read...Atkinson gives Teddy's wartime experiences the full treatment in a series of thrilling set pieces. Even more impressive,though, is her ability to invest the more everday events with a similar grandeur...almost as innovative as Atkinson's technique in Life After Life - a possibly more authentic as an expression of how it feels to be alive...it ends on one of the most devastating twists in recent fiction...it adds a further level of overwhelming poignancy to an already extraordinarily affecting book. * Daily Telegraph * There are glimpses of Sebastian Faulks' Birdsong and Ian McEwan's Atonement...But most poignantly, this is a sweeping, all-consuming novel that finds its way into your bloodstream and writes off your Sunday afternoon...truly extraordinary. * Stylist * Engrossing...convincing and moving...I doubt that Atkinson's readers will be disappointed. * Sunday Times * Subtly fine new novel...Ms Atkinson's artistry...is marvellously delicate and varied...devastating. * New York Times * This book is particularly lovely and melancholy...one of those writers that really can make you weep on one page and laugh on the next... She just has such a vast humanity for her characters. * NPR * Heartbreaking...an ambitious, sensitive and beautifully written novel by one of our most gifted storytellers. * Daily Express * The tender exploration of themes of family, love and loss contribute to the impact of this story that, like Life After Life, is beautifully written, stunningly constructed, and will linger long in the memory. Superb. * Sunday Mirror * As ever, Kate Atkinson is adept at ferreting her way into the minds of unlovely characters until you feel you know and understand them...While this is a tale of a life spared, the tone is one of elegy. * Daily Mail * Magnificent...In A God in Ruins, she's written not only a companion to her earlier book, but a novel that takes its place in the line of powerful works about young men and war, stretching from Stephen Crane's Red Badge of Courage to Kevin Powers' The Yellow Birds and Ben Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. * Washington Post * Kate Atkinson just keeps getting better...A God in Ruins is a stunner...I laughed out loud...this bleak and beautiful book...Atkinson's genre-bending novels have garnered critical praise, but nothing on the order of a Rushdie, or even an Ian McEwan. A God in Ruins should change that. * Chicago Tribune * A sprawling, unapologetically ambitious saga that tells the story of postwar Britain through the microcosm of a single family, and you remember what a big, old-school novel can do...especially impressive. * New York Times Book Review * Atkinson follows up her Costa Award-winning Life After Life with a dazzling novel about the genteel Todd family... The narrative is less slippery, but no less compelling. * People * A riveting exploration of the complexities of family life * Psychologies * Kate Atkinson's understanding of how we work is off the scale * Sainsbury's Magazine * If you were blown away by Life After Life, you'll be dazzled by this companion piece...an extraordinary tour de force. * Woman and Home *
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About 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 are Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News? Started Early, Took My Dog and Big Sky. The Jackson Brodie novels became a BBC television series starring Jason Isaacs.
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Rating details

52,567 ratings
3.93 out of 5 stars
5 33% (17,215)
4 39% (20,430)
3 20% (10,489)
2 6% (3,055)
1 3% (1,378)
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