Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn
As a family, we are genetically disposed towards having accidents First and foremost, this is a challenging ambitious book, so than Life after Life The narrative is a labyrinth of twists and turns, false trails, loops and double helixes There s also an awful lot to remember because for some time it isn t obvious which details or even characters are paramount and which stuffing It covers four generations of a family from WW1 almost to the present day On the surface it s a tragi comedy, a family [...]
4.5 At the moment at which I moved from nothingness into being my mother was pretending to be asleep as she often does at such moments My father, however, is made of stern stuff and he didn t let that put him off And this, dear reader, is how we meet Ruby Lennox During her life, she often announces herself by calling out It s just Ruby , but she s often addressed as ShutupRuby She tells her family s story in the first person, and mixed with her earliest memories admittedly a lot earlier than any [...]
God, I can t even begin to express my depth of loathing for this book I forced myself through to within about 60 pages of the end, but then I just couldn t bear it any I just didn t want to know any about the vile people in this ridiculous family with all their dark, dirty, entirely predictable secrets Gaaaah I left it behind on a plane somewhere Should have attached a toxic warning label.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum is really a very good book, marred by one gimmick that frustrates me because it s so unnecessary to the story Kate Atkinson is telling For the most part, however, I enjoyed this one immensely Atkinson has a knack for turns of phrase that are amusing and piercing and unexpected, and I loved these in particular The story is meandering, and weaves back and forth in time, but it was the sort of meander I greatly enjoy Note The rest of this review has been withdrawn du [...]
I really enjoyed this read but am finding it very hard to review without it making me sound like a rambling old biddy There are so many things I liked about that are running through my head like little soundbites, but I can t seem to write anything coherent about it But I will try.Ruby Lennox is narrating the story of her life, from the moment of her conception, through childhood, adolescence and into adulthood Her narration is at times funny, at others sad and moving, but she has a very wry wit [...]
My only experience of Kate Atkinson s writing until now has been three of the four novels in her Jackson Brodie series, which starts with Case Histories Quirky is the obvious adjective to describe Atkinson s writing It has lots of dry humour and sardonic wit, intricate plotting and random connections and coincidences deliberately used to advance the narrative There s a certain flippancy in the tone which brings into sharp relief the often very serious themes with which Atkinson deals This is not [...]
Kate Atkinson s first novel won the Whitbread Book of the Year in 1995, beating such heavyweights as Salman Rushdie and his The Moor s Last Sigh Behind the Scenes at the Museum us ab ambitious book a sprawling saga which spans decades of events and covers several generations of characters.Behind the Scenes at the Museum opens with the birth of its all seeing narrator, Ruby Lennox, who begins her narration literally from conception the first chapter begins with Ruby proclaiming I exist at the exa [...]
Kate Atkinson has written a multigenerational story about a dysfunctional family It starts with the conception of the narrator, Ruby Lennox, in York in 1952 Her mother is irritable and unhappy, her father is a philanderer, and her sisters are not very likable Chapters with Ruby s story moving forward alternate with flashback chapters filling us in on the family history, going back to Ruby s great grandmother It s a family tale of loss, lack of fulfillment, and unhappiness However, Atkinson s iro [...]
Is this really the same Kate Atkinson that wrote the so so mystery novel, Case Histories What happened there This was fan freaking tastic Crazy family secrets, history, motherhood, warI loved it.
Probably like 2.5 stars I absolutely adored Life After Life, so I was very much looking forward to reading on of her previous titles, but although I enjoyed her play on time in this book referring to events in the future as well as the past while in the present as well as her beautiful writing, there were way too many characters in the story, and because of this I didn t connect with any of them I also thought the book could have been shorter Maybe my expectations were just too high after Life [...]
This book and I had a love hate relationship On one hand, I found the writing to be so beautiful and I was very entertained by Ruby s story The thing that sent this book into 3 star territory was the footnotes The footnotes were half the book and contained side stories of other people in Ruby s family, mostly her mother, grandmother and great grandmother While they could be entertaining, many of them could have used with harsh editing and a few didn t need to be there at all I was always waiting [...]
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Read as part of The Infinite Variety Reading Challenge, based on the BBC s Big Read Poll of 2003.Simply not to my style or taste and only read as part of a reading challenge I did skim it, whilst either listening to Radio 2 or watching Allo Allo, and I don t think I missed anything The thing that annoys me so much is that the title Behind the Scenes at the Museum is wonderful and evocative and imagination and makes me think of wonderful, fantastical, magical things and this book was none of thos [...]
This is a first novel, and it does show in a couple of places the early chapters struggle to maintain the plausibility of such an adult authorial voice being refracted through the experience and understanding of a child, and there s at least one plot twist towards the end of the novel which I thought it could well have done without Despite that, I really loved this book the humour of it is just right for me, balanced right on the edge of tragedy The prose achieves moments of real loveliness, wit [...]
This book was beyond tedious An excellent example of why our English teachers were always badgering us over run on sentences I never saw so many commas in my life The narrative was endless Endless details of the mundane and uninteresting And it was written in a way that told me the author was reaching to write in a unique style, and that always bugs me I will definitely be avoiding all other work by this author.
This was her first book Wow, Ian McEwan should have done so well BtS tM is a tale about Ruby, born in 1952, and her family, in particular her dysfunctional relationship with her mother Bunty and brilliantly told it is too, beginning with Ruby s own conception I exist Atkinson has a sharp and sardonic wit when it comes to family dysfunction and the novel opens with an air thick with disappointment, as Ruby relates the dire trap that Bunty s loveless marriage has become because Atkinson performs t [...]
Chapters and footnotes alternate between two eras of a Yorkshire family saga Many dark secrets and inter related people, significant objects and events Sometimes a little confusing, especially some of the men in the WW1 era Also some of the WW1 background rationing, fear of bombs doesn t ring true, but that could be my ignorance Narrated by one of the youngest memebers of the family, who, even allowing for hindsight, is ludicrously knowing and analytical about events in her early childhood.
This is very reminiscent of Stone Diaries, but it has its own unique flavor And stylistically it establishes the technique of intertwined stories that Atkinson s later novel, Case Histories, will also employ.Ruby Lennox narrates her own life from the moment of her conception She is a remarkably perceptive and knowledgeable zygote, and then she s a rather neglected little girl, and finally she s an unhappy teen ager and a woman embarking on The Rest of Her Life Each chapter describing Ruby s life [...]
I enjoyed this book much than most of the members of my book club I loved Ruby, the narrator, especially as a child, and I thought that the intricate story was very clever and hilarious The funniest parts were when Ruby was scathingly commenting about her family members, especially her sisters and parents Terribly traumatic events happen to this family but they re told in such a light and breezy manner by Ruby during and before her actual lifetime that I didn t find the book at all depressing, [...]
This is one of those books i just can t get thru The first 100 pages had so many characters, brothers, sisters, uncles, and aunts, etcToo many names and characters to keep track of The second part of the book is way interesting and funny when the character Ruby comes into play The family is very corky and very colorful However, i find myself never wanting to continue to read and finish this book I also can t wait to get to read Soldier of A Great War or Middlesex I realize that everyone seems t [...]
This is a multi generational story 4 of them , with numerous characters and frequent time shifts Good luck keeping everything and everyone straight.I am left with one burning question view spoiler Who the heck was Mr Nobody and why was he included in this book when he was completely meaningless to the story hide spoiler Did the author throw a bunch of things against the wall and this was one of the several things that stuck
Wonderfully odd way of telling 100 years in a British family s history The story opens in 1950 at the conception of Ruby Lennox and flashes back via lengthy footnotes to explain the significance of the family relics as she encounters them in her life Often the family history footnotes are longer than the activity in the present There are family secrets and York history during both World Wars I love that the parents in every generation were dreadful and unsympathetic Bad mothers most often beget [...]
I can t really review this book the way I would like to without having to add spoilers I m not really sure how much I liked this book It was slightly depressing Having enjoyed Atkinson s other books quite a bit I m glad that I didn t start with this one Although the writing is excellent and it does draw you in, I was just not completely immersed in the story I also struggled a bit to keep up with all the characters and family connections as the storyline kept going back and forth from the presen [...]
The year is 1951 and Atkinson gives us Ruby, our unconventional, imaginative narrator who greets us with the exuberant opening revelation I exist At this moment, our narrator has just been conceived, deep within her mother Bunty s womb The environs provide sustenance but little else Instead, Ruby treats us to a ring side seat to the endless rounds of discontent played out between Bunty and her husband George An unassuming observer, Ruby gives us the benefit of her droll commentary, able to relat [...]
I found this book while passing through England and I thought it would be a good read I am so glad I discovered it The story weaves its way backward and forward through time, tracing the path of several people s lives their loves, their deaths, their experiences I love that it primarily tracks the women of one family and it s fascinating to see the way in which their lives intertwine It takes place primarily in England in the early 1950s and 1960s, but the story reaches from the late 1890s to th [...]
Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets.This was one of the most intriguing books I have ever read.I love Kate Atkinson, but this is 6
This is one of the most enjoyable books I ve read all year As opening hooks go, who could resist I exist I am conceived to the chimes of midnight on the mantelpieceI m begun on the first stroke and finished on the last when my father rolls off my mother and is plunged into a dreamless sleep, thanks to the five pints of John Smith s Best Bitter her has drunk This heralds an engrossing account of dysfunctional family patterns replicated through generations and sketched in a wry, incisive chatty to [...]
Brilliant BritI enjoyed this wonderful book immensely, and would recommend it enthusiastically to all my British family and friends except that all my British friends have already read it My only hesitation in an American context is that people who have not grown up in postwar Britain as Kate Atkinson and I did might not get her dense texture of forgotten brand names and vanished social customs In this, she is pitch perfect, recalling not only the lost era of her own childhood but also the Engla [...]
Atkinson s first novel is a multi generational family tale layered on to the story from conception to adulthood of one Ruby Lennox Atkinson has since written another four novels, the last two at least of which are mystery thrillers, though this one is decidedly not More a domestic melodrama with some late, though well seeded plot twists The crimes here are all of the hearth and heart, not of the prosecutorial sort, but considerable nonetheless Some parts of this book are incredibly well written [...]
Albert didn t really believe in death The dead had just gone away somewhere and were going to come back sooner or later they were waiting in a shadowy room that no one could see the door to, and being ministered to by his mother, who was almost certainly na angel by now pag.62 Sometimes I would like to cry I close my eyes Why weren t we designed so that we can close our ears as well Perhaps because we would never open them pag 320 I have been to the world s end and back and now I know what I wou [...]