|Print List Price:||$17.00|
Save $7.01 (41%)
Price set by seller.
Behind the Scenes at the Museum: A Novel Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
“Remarkable . . . A multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years.” ―Ben Mcintryre, The New York Times Book Review
“Scoundrels, malcontents, misfits, and cheats. Every family has them, though seldom are they handled with the winsome wit and wisecrackery that make Behind the Scenes at the Museum such a smart and funny read.” ―The Washington Times
“Startlingly original . . . A poignant and beautifully wrought portrait of a young girl's growth.” ―Johanna Stoberock, The Seattle Times
“Really comic, really tragic, bracingly unsentimental . . . What a triumph! What joy!” ―The Boston Sunday Globe
“An effervescent, affecting delight.” ―Rebecca Radner, The San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
- File Size : 739 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 336 pages
- ASIN : B00BMKE7CE
- Publisher : St. Martin's Press; 1st Edition (April 2, 2013)
- Publication Date : April 2, 2013
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #74,348 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Yes, "Behind the Scenes at the Museum" won the Whitbread Award, and is an impressive first novel. but, it is my least favorite of Atkinson's work. Here's why. The Brodie novels are relatively tight novels in which intertwined lives are lived in orbit around private detective Jackson Brodie. Atkinson's descriptions are vivid, her characters - particularly women - well drawn, the dialogue expressive but realistic (mostly), and the relationships plausible. I liked them a lot.
"Life After Life" is something of an over-long shaggy dog story of lives relived and altered by death and changed circumstance. Think of it as a 20th century historical "butterfly effect." Again, Atkinson presents memorable characters and scenes in a plot that is ordained from the first page. Atkinson could have reached her conclusion at many different points of the book, and so it seems unnecessarily drawn out. Still, I enjoyed it.
In "Behind the Scenes at the Museum," Atkinson presents her full bag of tricks - hyper-observant children, dysfunctional families, character asides to the reader, footnote chapters detailing the lives of previous generations, impressive imagery, and a drawn-out story with a quick ending. It's as if Atkinson was participating in her very own writer's workshop, trying this, trying that, and keeping all of it. In her subsequent novels, particularly the Brodies, she has exercised more self-restraint, and those novels are better for it.
Personally there was great interest for me in the children's adolescence,especially that of Pat as I could relate to the decade and the attitudes of the times.
To paint a picture of a life from a babe in the womb to an adult ,from no understanding of her surrounding, to an adult with her own take on life and a future with her own now grown - up family takes talent;it was a clever style to adopt
My only adverse criticism is that the narrator's move from meeting her husband to her later years was somewhat truncated and lacked the detail of the earlier stages of the novel. I suppose if the author wanted to describe the realities of ordinary lives,then there was no likelihood of a spectacular ending just a progression through the humdrum of everyday life til its inevitable end.Despite Bunty's tragic losses, I did not find myself having much sympathy with her character. Perhaps I like my books to take me out of the real world just a little but the real world was painted well by the author.
Top reviews from other countries
I am at a loss with regard to the negative reviews of this book since the whole tome has a happy knack of making even the mundane and even tragic seem amusing. In her notes, the author suggests that this book is really a paean to York and if this picturesque city does feature heavily, it is fair to say that the colourful characters Kate Atkinson has drawn seem far more realistic. In many ways the lives of the characters in this book are either unfulfilled or somewhat tragic. However, I felt that they were drawn sympathetically and often in a humorous fashion, none more so that Ruby's somewhat dysfunctional parents. This author is hugely entertaining and manages to capture a host of historical events from the 20th century as diverse as the Great War and the 1966 World Cup final yet the more ordinary occasions also resonate with the last minute holiday in Whitby being a highlight in the book.
Like her other books, this novel is not particularly aimed at either men or women and I think it is something that most people would relish. For me, the beauty of this book is how seemingly insignificant issues or elements within the story resonate in the future and how parts of the story are not necessarily narrated accurately by members of particular generations. Ultimately, there are a couple of stings in the tail towards the end of the book which you might not necessarily see coming and I felt a somewhat of a loss when I had finished this book and said goodbye to the extended Lennox family.
Notwithstanding this, I recognised some of the later national historic and social events as being from of my own childhood, and this evoked some long lost memories. There are parts of this book that will remain with me. Other parts of the story came across as improbable, with continuing characters’ traits of irresponsible impulsiveness. Hence a mixed review. Some bits absolutely brilliant, some very forgetful.
Some books I re-read frequently, this one I may return to, but not for some time.
If anything this is less a novel and more a family saga, mostly centred in York and mostly centred on the lives of a mother and daughter, Bunty and Ruby. It's written as social vignettes that sometimes have links, sometimes don't. Men go away to fight in World Wars, women get redeployed to help the war effort, often dreaming of escaping with American servicemen. It's a
large family and not always easy to keep track of the peripheral characters.
While there are many recognisable anecdotes from family life the ease with which people ran away and opted out ( to Vancouver, Melbourne, Marseilles, the Amazon, the Shetlands) is extraordinary. And would anybody really catch their their father once and their mother twice adulterously in flagrante in a garden shed, on a dining table in a holiday let and on th floor of a room off a wedding reception?
In sum, it's ok but a struggle to get through at nearly 500 pages. The way I've come to this would be rather like discovering Bowie through Black Star and then digging back to find he did great stuff earlier on. And then go right to his beginnings and understand why Jean Genie and Young Americans were classic hits and Love You Til Tuesday wasn't.