Friday, 8 January 2016

FICTION REVIEW: A God in Ruins - Kate Atkinson

Release Date: 31/12/16
Publisher:  Black Swan


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.Those who loved the bestselling Life After Life will recognise Teddy as Ursula Todd’s adored younger brother – but for those who have not read it, A God in Ruins stands fully on its own. Few will dispute that it proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the most exceptional novelists of our age.


This is a book that’s hard to talk about in detail with those who haven’t read it without it sounding boring. It’s a book that works for me as a reader as I loved the way that Kate brings the principle character Teddy Todd to life. He feels real and having lived through his wartime experience you can understand a number of his life choices. Add to this the way that Kate jumps backwards and forward with his timeline allows you glimpses at Teddy at a number of ages and how his choices affect him later in life.

All round, it’s a book that I fell in love with, and would love to spend some time chatting with Teddy in a local establishment to hear his side of things as for me, he is quintessentially British. Add to the mix one hell of a twist and all round whilst it may not sound like your sort of book, it’ll be one that you’ll be pleased you took the time out to savour.

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