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Ratings and Reviews (6 163 star ratings
6 reviews

Overall rating

4.2 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Stars
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Sadly boring and missing intrigue

    An utter disappointment for me. Where Life After Life was interesting, unique and creative view on World War II; helped along with some reincarnation; A God in Ruins is just plain boring. The writing is superb as Atkinson is known for. That alone is why I give this two stars and not one. Teddy's story is just not that interesting. How many bombing raids can you have recollected before you just don't care anymore? Three max. More than 3 is far too many for non war bomber aficionados. I want to say I loved this book but I just didn't. It felt like a chore to read and whatever "little ending twist" anyone tries to feed you is not really a twist and frankly, I expected something like it as a companion to Life after Life. Besides the bombing runs being boring there is one other huge mistake made in the writing. Every chapter was a story that had been previously teased. While you jump back and forth (quite nicely) in the timeline, it means that you know what happens. You know that so-and-so dies, or who Teddy marries, etc. Because of this there was just no excitement for me. :( However it won't stop me from picking up an Atkinson's book in the future as her writing style is spectacular; when it's an interesting topic that isn't repeating itself. For anyone who thinks I'm insensitive to WWII vets based on this review; you would be very incorrect. I have utmost respect for their sacrifices, bravery and conviction. Finding certain recollections or parts of history dull doesn't in any way take away from its significance.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    It seems to fit the book

    Kate jumped around to much in her story, back and forth from the war and back to modern times, one character to another and back again.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    A god in ruins

    Fascinating read. Complex but loved going along for the ride of the story and with the characters. Looking forward to reading other books by this author.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    An excellent read.

    I loved this book. I read it for my book club, and, as our meeting is tonight, I'm sure the discussion will be lively. I loved the character of Teddy, and most of the people who were in his life. His daughter was quite annoying, but he handled her with respect, even though she really did not deserve it. At least Bertie called her on her attitude and mean ways. There were some very funny lines where I laughed out loud. I was stunned by the ending, but that is typical Kate Atkinson--she always surprises you. I have not read Life After Life yet, but will do so, soon.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    An Immersive and Wonderful Book!

    “A man is a god in ruins. When men are innocent, life shall be longer, and shall pass into the immortal, as gently as we awake from dreams.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature This is Teddy’s story. It begins in 1923 when he is a young boy and ends in 2012, more or less. Time and place move rapidly between various decades and places, and one thing that stood out for me is that the verbiage and how people related to each other was so true to the time and place we found ourselves in. World War II figures largely in this story, both in Teddy’s actual experiences as a pilot flying a bomber with the air force during the war, and also his heroic grappling with the “afterward”. Many people in his life were simply unable to comprehend how terrifying the “afterward” appears when your sole reason for being is to face death boldly and nobly day after day for years. Or maybe lack of comprehension is a necessary survival technique for those left behind. While the war is, in some ways, central to who Teddy is, there is so much more that we are introduced to: his family and friends (each with unique voices and characters), the places he lived and visited, his relationships with various beloved pets, and his love of nature which we are gifted with seeing through his eyes. This is just to name a few. And the naming is so inadequate. This is a book that defeats labels and really must be experienced. I was drawn into this story rapidly and spent a couple of short nights due to not being willing (or able) to set the book aside. Please read it despite the likelihood of losing sleep – it is an amazing journey that is well worth it.

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