Not the End of the World is 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.
©2002 Kate Atkinson (P)2015 Random House Audiobooks
Over 1000 titles since July 2005. Fairly eclectic tastes: award-winning literature, page-turning pulp plus non-fiction. I don't sight-read.
It was great to catch up with these stories, first published over 10 years ago, especially as they are beautifully narrated by Fenella Woolgar. All are witty, some are wildly inventive, some more mundane at least on the surface and I reckon there are connections between the stories that I missed at first listen. No problem, I will enjoy listening a second time in due course.
While the initial story seemed disappointing,somewhat unformed,the series quickly became more compelling,made more piquant by the interlacing of themes and characters,with the final story together with the first, bookending the whole collection and neatly contextualising the whole.
Kate Atkinson's characteristic use of literary allusions and quotations and themes, add a verve and resonance to the whole performance.
And the reading is just superb, nuanced vivid.
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