Ci vorrebbe il GPS per seguire tutte le incursioni nel passato e nel futuro di Ruby Lennox, che incontriamo già onniscente nel momento stesso in cui viene concepita, un po' come Tristram Shandy - non a caso citato più avanti nel libro.
Ora, non siamo in presenza di un capolavoro straordinario come quello di Sterne, che resterà sempre a mio parere personale uno dei libri più belli che mi possa capitare di leggere, e tuttavia Kate Atkinson non se la cava affatto male. La scrittura leggera e piena di grazia e umorismo le consente di veleggiare sulle disgrazie più terribili senza lasciarsi trascinare a fondo. E anche la quantità impressionante di personaggi che riesce a tirar fuori dal cilindro, anche se si fa davvero fatica a ricordare di preciso chi sono e di chi sono figli/genitori/nonni/zii, assolvono al loro compito di popolare quel mare di spilli che Ruby Lennox scopre quando arriva in fondo al mondo.
Questo è il suo libro d'esordio, ma la Atkinson già mostra benissimo le qualità che spiccano ancora più nette e mature in Vita dopo Vita. Non ho ancora finito con te, Kate Atkinson, ci rivedremo presto.
Not funny at all. I can see why it's considered "dark" but it definitely did not make me laugh. I guess I don't have that kind of humour in me. In any case, I truly enjoyed it. I wish there was a family tree on the back of the front cover. It'd have helped me figure out who was who at the beginning. I picked it up thinking it was another Brodie novel (had not read anything about it previously) and it was pretty obvious from the first sentence it wasn't . Still, since I like Kate Atkinson's style I kept it and carried on reading: very neat descriptions of character (and those can be funny, I guess); the unusual point of view of a narrator who's narrating from an almost "out of body" point of view. A narrator that's a character within the story and yet has an omnipresent knowledge of all in it. The whole bit of life in sequence made me think of Atkinson's Life After Life, which I also enjoyed. And it marvelled me to think of a mind (Atkinson's, of course) able to create all those links past and present and not lose track. An enjoyable story not to be read lightly. Grab a nice cup of tea, find a cosy sea at home by the window and let Ruby introduce you to her family and the history of England between WW1 and the nineteen nineties....Continua
I found the book fairly complex, packed with lots of different characters and interesting developments. Once started, I couldn’t put it down. Comprehensive background material including a well-researched family tree is also readily available on the Internet. The only flaw I found was on the very last page where Ruby explains that she took up translation work for a living. Having been married to an Italian for a few years, she happily translates English technical books into Italian. As a professional translator she ought to translate into her mother tongue, i.e. from Italian into English, as the other way round would go against the professional code of conduct – unless of course Italian was her language of habitual use, which it is clearly not. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the book, which I would highly recommend. I now look forward to discussing “Behind the Scenes at the Museum” further…...Continua