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Summary

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

What listeners say about Not the End of the World

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • 02-04-15

Fun and thought-provoking with great narration

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Delicious language, Exceptional story telling.

What did you like most about Not the End of the World?

It's unpredictability, the clever structure and subtle links between the incredibly believable story characters, the links to the classics...but most of all the fabulous language,especially in the first and last chapters.I was salivating after the list of items in the food hall.

What other book might you compare Not the End of the World to, and why?

Not sure

What does Fenella Woolgar bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

She rolls the words around in her mouth, delivering them with such precision. Loved it.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Playthings of the gods?

Any additional comments?

Just love everything I have read by Kate...Can't get enough of her work.

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant writing,brilliantly performed

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.

1 person found this helpful