35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Strange and layered book,
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This review is from: Not the End of the World (Paperback)
The more I think about Not the End of the World, the more the book seems to mean to me. Generally, the progress works the other way around. It says a lot about Atkinson as a writer how powerfully the book manages to keep a hold on my mind.
Atkinson creates a layered confection of characters both real and mythic. They live in a time just bordering the apocalypse. The world in which they live is often shallow and full of troubles, but is beautiful in contrast to the great pit of nothing waiting past the implied boundary. It is not an uplifting book, and when I finished it I was left with a feeling of bleakness. This is time out of time, and it is more frightening than hopeful.
While I do not expect a book to give up its secrets too easily, it did sometimes feel as though Atkinson were being deliberately obscure. Several of the stories had the feel of letters that you find in the street, or a conversation half heard around the corner. She was not generous with the doors into to the developing project of the book. As a reader, there were times when I would have appreciated just a wee bit more transparency.
This is the first Atkinson that I have read. It will not be the last.