WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA NOVEL AWARD AND BESTSELLING LITERARY PAPERBACK OF THE YEAR
'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
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.
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.
Engrossing...convincing and moving...I doubt that Atkinson's readers will be disappointed.
Subtly fine new novel…Ms Atkinson’s artistry…is marvellously delicate and varied…devastating.
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.
Heartbreaking...an ambitious, sensitive and beautifully written novel by one of our most gifted storytellers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From crime to historical fiction, stories of espionage to time-travel, there is a book for everyone from one of our most unique and versatile writers, whose career turns 25 this year. Here's where to start.
Kate Atkinson brings an antique silver hare, a Halifax Bomber and Beethoven’s 9th Symphony to the Penguin Studio to talk about her latest book A God In Ruins with host Richard E Grant.
A God in Ruins is the follow-up to Kate Atkinson’s Costa Novel Award-winning Life After Life. In this extract from chapter one, we join Teddy before he embarks on his final flight as a WW2 bomber, and return to Sylvie’s beloved Fox Corner, the setting for Teddy and Ursula’s childhood