A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
Named one of Publishers Weekly's Most Anticipated Books of Spring 2015
A New York Times Bestseller
Shortlisted for the 2015 Costa Novel Award
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
A TIME Best Book of the Year
A Telegraph Best Book of 2015
A Washington Post Best Fiction Book of 2015
"This book is particularly lovely and melancholy. . . . [Atkinson] is 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, this incredible empathy. . . . I don't think I could ever write like Kate."
―Gillian Flynn, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Gone Girl
"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's The Yellow Birds and Ben Fountain's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. . . . Atkinson's nonlinear storyline enhances the poignancy of time passing. . . . [she] elegantly executes these chronological loop-de-loops, leaving a reader to marvel at that most banal of epiphanies: how fast life goes by." ―Washington Post
"Two years ago I fell in book love with Kate Atkinson's Life After Life. . . . [A God in Ruins] might be even better. Life After Life was a masterful book so you can imagine what Atkinson's done now." ―Elaine Lui, co-host on The Social and author of Listen to the Squawking Chicken
"Triumphant. . . . such a dazzling read. . . . possibly more authentic as an expression of how it feels to be alive [than Life After Life]. . . . [an] extraordinarily affecting book." ―The Telegraph (UK)
"This is a gorgeous novel. . . . Atkinson [has a] marvellously vinegary sense of humour. . . . [and] extraordinary grace and control over the story. . . . It is unsettling and exhilarating, and reminds the reader that while the past lives with us at every moment, the future does, too, in every decision made or unmade. . . . Splendid."
-The Globe and Mail
"Only as the book unfolds is each character . . . fully revealed. Ms. Atkinson's artistry in making this happen is marvelously delicate and varied. . . . The main attraction is Teddy, and the way his glorious, hard-won decency withstands so many tests of time. Everything about his boyhood innocence is reshaped by his wartime ordeals, which are rendered with terrifying authenticity. . . . Just know that every salient detail in A God in Ruins . . . is here for a fateful reason."
―Janet Maslin, The New York Times
"Kate Atkinson's A God in Ruins, a sprawling, unapologetically ambitious saga that tells the story of postwar Britain through the microcosm of a single family, [reminds you] what a big, old-school novel can do. . . . It's a masterly and frequently exhilarating performance by a novelist who seems utterly undaunted by the imposing challenges she's set for herself. . . . Atkinson's a sly and witty observer, with a gift for finding the perfect detail."
―Tom Perrotta, The New York Times Book Review
"Clarion prose that is graphic in detail and possessed of a singular melancholy. . . . Every one of Atkinson's characters will, at one moment or another, break readers' hearts."
-Booklist, starred review
"Like Life after Life, A God in Ruins contains grand themes about life and death and the fall of mankind. But it never sags under the weight of a moral lesson. Atkinson, who is also the author of the riveting Jackson Brodie detective series, is a practised hand at page-turners and sly humour." ―Chatelaine
"Gobsmacked-and in a good way-is the first word that comes to mind, rapidly followed by masterpiece. The minute I finished A God in Ruins . . . I started it again. The second time around it was even better, more interesting, more revealing. The details Atkinson has woven throughout this novel are incredibly intricate and crafted with expertise by an author who just gets better and better with each book. . . . A stunning achievement."
"Atkinson constantly keeps us guessing. . . . A grown-up, elegant fairy tale, at least of a kind, with a humane vision of people in all their complicated splendor."
-Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"This companion to Atkinson's bestseller Life After Life should have fans waiting in line outside the bookstore."
-The Washington Post
"[A]s in Life After Life, Atkinson isn't just telling a story: she's deconstructing, taking apart the notion of how we believe stories are told. Using narrative tricks that range from the subtlest sleight of hand to direct address, she makes us feel the power of storytelling not as an intellectual conceit, but as a punch in the gut."
―Publishers Weekly, starred review
"An understated gracefulness . . . endows these pages with an assured, easeful sweep. . . . with her excellent new book, Atkinson reveals just how admirable . . . an ordinary man's life can be, and what heroism lies in living as decently as possible through times that are far from decent."
―Financial Times (UK)
"With A God in Ruins, [Kate Atkinson], once again, proves herself to be a writer of considerable talent. Her command of structure is extraordinary, as is the way she weaves echoes of one character's actions through the subsequent decades and generations. . . . She also shows off a brilliantly brittle sense of humour that on several occasions made me laugh out loud. . . . A God in Ruins stands as a magnificent achievement."
―The Independent (UK)
"Engrossing. Atkinson's jaunty, conversational prose, with its bracketed gags and its garnish of classic lyric poetry, is never dull, and the central plot is convincing and moving. . . . I doubt that Atkinson's readers will be disappointed."
―The Sunday Times (UK)
"A novel so sublime I would nominate it to represent all books in the Art Olympics. The afterword deserves a literary prize all to itself. It is, as is claimed on the sumptuous proof, even better than Life After Life." -The Bookseller (UK)
"A God in Ruins has cautiously been dubbed a 'companion piece,' even though the book stands, often stunningly, on its own. . . . Atkinson writes the way LeBron dunks or Stephen Hawking theorizes; she can't help being brilliant, whether she's describing a sloshed bachelorette party or a midnight bomb raid over Bergen." ―Entertainment Weekly
"The bombing raids are the heart of the new novel and the best thing in it, the scrupulous research and the technicalities absorbed inside the vivid realisation of the appalling, exacting, exhilarating moment-by-moment experience." -The Guardian (UK)
"Atkinson follows up her Costa Award-winning Life After Life with a dazzling novel about the genteel Todd family. . . . Compelling."
"Ms. Atkinson rises beautifully to the challenge of dramatizing the raids, capturing the virtually suicidal nature of these operations in muscular, unsentimental prose." ―The Wall Street Journal
"Atkinson's prose is as bright as gunfire. . . . I can't think of any writer to match her ability to grasp a period in the past. No, not even you, Booker-winning Hilary Mantel."
―The Times (UK)
"Atkinson is horribly funny. . . . every page has some vividly original phrase. . . . But the tour de force is her treatment of Teddy's experience as a bomber pilot. . . . She is deeply sympathetic to the emotional force generated in the crews, their rituals, superstitions and tender mercies to each other. It's a really affecting memorial to the huge numbers of bomber crew who died-more than half-but not in the least sentimental. . . . This book will stick like one of your own memories or dreams."
―Evening Standard (UK)
From the Hardcover edition.