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Download Life after Life Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Life after Life Audiobook, by Kate Atkinson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Atkinson Narrator: Fenella Woolgar Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2013 ISBN: 9781619696976
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A palimpsest is a manuscript page from a scroll or book where the script has been scraped or washed off so that it can be used again. The word comes from Latin, and refers to a time when the Romans wrote on wax-coated tablets that could be smoothed and reused.

When Life After Life makes the observation "Time isn't circular. It's like a palimpsest," it's a notion that main character Ursula Todd knows all too well. Her life is a series of palimpsests, as it were, with death scraping the page clean for her to write her life upon again. She starts with a very short story; on a cold snowy night in 1910. Ursula is stillborn, dying before she can draw her first breath. But on that very same night, this daughter to an English banker and his wife lets out a fierce wail, starting a life that will be most unusual.

Death is not the finale for Ursula Todd as it would be for anyone else. She dies in many ways, but after each time she comes back with a fresh page, to experience life over again and to make a different set of decisions. Clearly, destiny has plans for Ursula Todd, but will she ever be able to glean what they are?

Life After Life is British author Kate Atkinson's 8th novel; her first, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, propelled her into the spotlight, winning the coveted Whitbread Book of the Year award. A critically acclaimed international best-selling author, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2011 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to literature. Born in York, she now makes her home in Edinburgh, Scotland.

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born again. She lets out a lusty wail and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can—will she?

Darkly comic, startlingly poignant, and utterly original—this is Kate Atkinson at her absolute best.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “Kate Atkinson is a marvel. There aren’t enough breathless adjectives to describe Life after Life: dazzling, witty, moving, joyful, mournful, profound. Wildly inventive, deeply felt. Hilarious. Humane. Simply put: It’s one of the best novels I’ve read this century.”

    Gillian Flynn, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • “Wise, bittersweet, funny, and unlike anything else you’ve ever read…This is her best book yet.”

    J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Fascinating...A tour de force that ponders memory and déjà vu—and puts history on a very human scale.”


  • Life after Life is an extraordinary feat of narrative ambition, an audacious genre bender, and a work of literary genius.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “Kate Atkinson’s Life after Life is no contrived séance room saga of reincarnation; it is a sage tale of living through historic hard times and learning lessons along the way.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • “[Atkinson’s] very best…A big book that defies logic, chronology, and even history in ways that underscore its author’s fully untethered imagination…[It] is full of mind games, but they are purposeful rather than emptily playful…Even without the sleight of hand, Life after Life would be an exceptionally captivating book with an engaging cast of characters.”

    New York Times

  • “In a radical departure from her Jackson Brodie mystery series, Atkinson delivers a wildly inventive novel…Alternately mournful and celebratory, deeply empathic and scathingly funny, Atkinson shows what it is like to face the horrors of war and yet still find the determination to go on, with her wholly British characters often reducing the Third Reich to ‘a fuss.’ From her deeply human characters to her comical dialogue to her meticulous plotting, Atkinson is working at the very top of her game. An audacious, thought-provoking novel from one of our most talented writers.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Woolgar’s narration, along with the production’s editing and direction, ensures that a potentially confusing story is remarkably easy to follow. Woolgar also flawlessly switches between British, American, French, and German accents, making Life after Life a truly rich experience that listeners will not soon forget.. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.”


  • “She’s found an inventive way to make both the war’s toll and the pull of alternate history, of darkness avoided or diminished, fresh.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Provocative, entertaining, and beautifully written.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Selected for the April 2013 Indie Next List
  • A Barnes & Noble Best Book, April 2013
  • Finalist for the 2013 Women's Prize for Fiction
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month, April 2013
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • An Amazon Top 100 Book of 2013
  • A 2013 Washington Post Best Audiobook
  • A 2013 Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book for Fiction
  • A #1 NPR Bestseller
  • A 2013 Entertainment Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • A 2013 Booklist Editors’ Choice for Fiction
  • A 2013 Guardian Best Book of the Year for Fiction
  • A 2014 ALA Notable Book for Adult Fiction
  • A 2013 BookPage Best Book
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books for Fiction, 2013
  • A 2013 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • A 2013 Time Magazine Best Book for Fiction
  • Winner of the 2014 Indies Choice Award for Book of the Year: Adult Fiction
  • A 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Best Book for Fiction
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick, April 2013
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About the Author
Author Kate Atkinson

Kate Atkinson’s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in 1995. Several of her works are New York Times bestsellers, including Started Early, Took My Dog and When Will There Be Good News? She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, and One Good Turn. She lives in Edinburgh.

About the Narrator

Fenella Woolgar has starred in films including Bright Young Things, Wah Wah, Vera Drake, and Scoop. On television, she played Agatha Christie in “Dr Who: The Unicorn and the Wasp,” and she also joined the cast of Case Histories for the BBC. She has earned an AudioFile Earphones Award for her audiobook narration.