Synopses & Reviews
The enchanted world of Kate Atkinson's short fiction is home to an entire constellation of unforgettable characters a dead woman who remains involved in the life of her surviving family, a man vexed by a doppelganger who lives better than he does, and a nanny who (literally) takes flight. In scenes where comedy, tragedy, and myth collide to dazzling effect, as characters come and go (and, to the reader's delight, come back!), Not the End of the World offers an endlessly entertaining display of Atkinson's ferocious intelligence and startlingly fertile imagination.
"Atkinson's exceptionally entertaining tales display the same wild inventiveness [as George Saunders']....[Her stories] feature delightfully witty people marshaling their resources to confront a world that often disappoints." Booklist
"While not as intense or as unified as Atkinson's full-length work, this is a sharp and wholly original collection." Publishers Weekly
"Moving and funny and crammed with incidental wisdom." Sunday Times (U.K.)
"[T]hese surprising tales delivered with confident and pointed prose have the power to offer up a new set of delights to challenge and inspire, if only one were to turn the book over and start again." San Francisco Chronicle
"All in all, this is a tantalizing collection, full of twists and transformations and tweaking of the mundane. Some of these evanescent stories don't bear up to rigorous analysis, but all are worth your attention." Hartford Courant
"Twelve debut stories from Whitbread winner Atkinson are unparalleled in deftness but in their depth less compelling....The pieces are nothing, though, if not capable in their details." Kirkus Reviews
"Marvelously loopy new story collection....Atkinson casts a dazzling spell." Elle
"[M]ost of the stories unfortunately rely on shocking twists and surprising oddities for their meaning. Therefore, they don't succeed in achieving a deeper, more enlightened glimpse of the human condition." Rocky Mountain News
"Atkinson's playful way with words and ambitious sense of structure evoke...giants Thomas Pynchon and Abbott and Costello. She delights so thoroughly in the power and possibilities of writing, and in the fun of language, that it's difficult not to join her." New York Post
More than 100,000 paperback copies of Behind the Scenes at the Museum were sold in the U.S. in the wake of the Whitbread Award. Kate Atkinson's particularly wicked brand of humor and faultless sense of human emotion make Not the End of the World a sure winner.
Arthur is a precocious eight-year-old boy whose mother is a B-list celebrity more concerned with her bank account than with her son's development. Then an enigmatic young nanny introduces him to a world he never knew existed.
About the Author
Kate Atkinson's first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread First Novel Award and was then chosen as the overall 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year. She is the author of two other critically acclaimed novels, Human Croquet and Emotionally Weird, and her most recent novel, Case Histories.
Table of Contents
I Charlene and Trudi Go Shopping 1
II Tunnel of Fish 24
III Transparent Fiction 41
IV Dissonance 61
V Sheer Big Waste of Love 85
VI Unseen Translation 111
VII Evil Doppelgangers 133
VIII The Cat Lover 159
IX The Bodies Vest 175
X Temporal Anomaly 193
XI Wedding Favors 213
XII Pleasureland 233
Illustration Credits 246