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Not the End of the World (2002)

by Kate Atkinson

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1,0063318,077 (3.78)48
What is the real world? Does it exist, or is it merely a means of keeping another reality at bay? Not the End of the Worldis Kate Atkinson's first collection of short stories. Playful and profound, they explore the world we think we know whilst offering a vision of another world which lurks just beneath the surface of our consciousness, a world where the myths we have banished from our lives are startlingly present and where imagination has the power to transform reality. From Charlene and Trudi, obsessively making lists while bombs explode softly in the streets outside, to gormless Eddie, maniacal cataloguer of fish, and Meredith Zane who may just have discovered the secret to eternal life, each of these stories shows that when the worlds of material existence and imagination collide, anything is possible.… (more)
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» See also 48 mentions

English (31)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (33)
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Kate Atkinson writes novels in which everything ties together in the oddest manner possible, so it should not surprise me that she can write a collection of short stories that appear to have nothing at all in common, and yet wind around each other in the strangest and best possible ways. This isn't even a collection, this is more a novel in unrelated parts, and to date may be my favorite of her books, which is really saying something, as I'm pretty sure Behind the Scenes at the Museum is one of the best books ever. ( )
1 vote tanaise | Jul 17, 2022 |
I registered a book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/12548979

I read this quite some time ago and forgot to note my thoughts here. I love Atkinson and I remember liking these short stories but I honestly do not recall them individually any more. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
A series of loosely interconnected short stories, most of which are wonderfully whimsical. ( )
  JBD1 | May 21, 2018 |
I liked the interconnectedness of the stories and the combination of the mundane and the mythic. ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Aug 14, 2017 |
Not being able to wait for Kate Atkinson's next book, I found this wonderful collection of short stories published in 2002. It has to be the find of my year. This is mythology as it applies to modern life. Filled with loosely connected stories that are absolute jewels, it's the kind of book that makes the reader want to start over again at the beginning as soon as the last page has been read. This brilliant collection gets the full five stars! ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Aug 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
I cannot remember the last time a book of short stories left me so fizzing with admiration. Atkinson tap-dances her way across the page, her prose as playful as a puppy, full of wit and invention, packed with pathos and pop culture. I can think of very few writers who can make the ordinary (Buffy, Barbie, a tenement flat) collide with the extraordinary (cats as big as tigers, children conceived at the bottom of the sea) to such beguiling effect.
added by Nevov | editThe Guardian, Rachel Cooke (Nov 10, 2002)
 
I sing of Artemis, whose shafts are of gold... the pure maiden shooter of stags, who delights in archery . That's a Homeric hymn, quoted by Kate Atkinson to illustrate a literary point. I will sing of Atkinson, whose arrows are as bright: barbed, piercing and precise, fired with analogous delight.

In this themed collection, Atkinson has chosen to be a playful as well as erudite goddess of the pen. Her tales are largely set in modern Scotland, but she compels the reader to adopt the awed perspective of an ancient Greek. Real life trundles on, but only look twice and you can see the fingerprints of the gods plastered over every "accident" of fate (and we're not talking here about the avuncular Christian type of god but about lustful, arrogant immortals who love to play with mortal lives and spray their seed in human wombs).

All of these stories show myth and reality bulging into each other, the solid modern wall between them replaced by a ragged curtain of damp Scottish mist.
 
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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For Diane Pearson
Thanks to:
Laura Denby and Dr John Menzie for the teleomeres, Helen Clyde for a lot of things, Russell Equi for cars and bikes and roads, Eve-Atkinson Wordlen for the weddings, Sally Wray for the support, Ali Smith for the understanding
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'I want', Charlene said to Trudi, 'to buy my mother a birthday present.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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What is the real world? Does it exist, or is it merely a means of keeping another reality at bay? Not the End of the Worldis Kate Atkinson's first collection of short stories. Playful and profound, they explore the world we think we know whilst offering a vision of another world which lurks just beneath the surface of our consciousness, a world where the myths we have banished from our lives are startlingly present and where imagination has the power to transform reality. From Charlene and Trudi, obsessively making lists while bombs explode softly in the streets outside, to gormless Eddie, maniacal cataloguer of fish, and Meredith Zane who may just have discovered the secret to eternal life, each of these stories shows that when the worlds of material existence and imagination collide, anything is possible.

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