A God in Ruins

by Kate Atkinson | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0552776645 Global Overview for this book
Registered by darkhorse4460 of Bletchingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on 11/14/2018
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by darkhorse4460 from Bletchingdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 14, 2018
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.

I'm not writing a full review as it is some time since I read the book and it is no longer quite so fresh in my mind. I can say that this is not a plot driven novel, it is a non linear life story, a web of memories and connections. It moves around from past to present, from the drama of Teddy's wartime experience, back to his childhood and on to the banality of his post war life and the difficult relationships with his family. It is beautifully written and the characters well imagined, as I would expect from KA. It has its poignant and its funny moments, vivid recurring imagery and subtle references to other works of literature that deal with humanity's fall from grace and the terrible dilemmas of war.

I didn't enjoy it as much as LIfe After Life, but it is still up there with the best!

Journal Entry 2 by darkhorse4460 at Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, November 15, 2018

Released 3 yrs ago (11/17/2018 UTC) at Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom


Going to BC meet at the Kings Arms, Oxford

Journal Entry 3 by Katweeble at Towcester, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Saturday, November 17, 2018
Added to mount tbr

Journal Entry 4 by Katweeble at Towcester, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Sunday, September 8, 2019
This follows on from Teddy's sister Ursula's story from life after life. Teddy does not repeatedly die and restart his life, but the story is told in a non linear form which took some getting used to. Very much like someone telling you about their life and going off at tangents. The chapters are dated, but will often go off on a more recent memory triggered by what is happening, and then say 'but that comes later'.
I really liked the main character who expects to die flying Hurricane bombers in the 2nd world war and so struggles a little bit to believe he still has a life afterwards. The book gets across the effects that war has on the people who go through it, and the impact on their life afterwards.

Journal Entry 5 by sandyundead at Bydgoszcz, Kujawsko-Pomorskie Poland on Saturday, March 13, 2021
This was a generally very believable evocation of war and the mental turmoil it can cause to those involved in it. I enjoyed the narrative structure and the fact that you experienced the story from lots of viewpoints, but found some of the plot points quite contrived, especially near the end of the book.

My mum posted it to me after she read it. I'll pass it on to other teachers at the school where I work.

I haven't read Life After Life, but would definitely be interested.

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