A God in Ruins

  • by Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by Alex Jennings
  • 16 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The stunning companion to Kate Atkinson's number-one best seller Life After Life, "one of the best novels I've read this century" (Gillian Flynn).
"He had been reconciled to death during the war and then suddenly the war was over and there was a next day and a next day. Part of him never adjusted to having a future."
Kate Atkinson's dazzling Life After Life explored the possibility of infinite chances and the power of choices, following Ursula Todd as she lived through the turbulent events of the last century over and over again.
A God in Ruins tells the dramatic story of the 20th century through Ursula's beloved younger brother, Teddy - would-be poet, heroic pilot, husband, father, and grandfather - as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.
An ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times, A God in Ruins proves once again that Kate Atkinson is one of the finest novelists of our age.


What the Critics Say

"[N]arrator Alex Jennings is a master. From the opening lines, his impeccable British accent establishes the scene and captures the persona of the main character, Teddy, and the rest of the diverse cast. Jennings's clear diction and pace advance the action through richly detailed accounts of Teddy's adventures as a WWII bomber pilot as well as quieter dramas of his daily life and family relationships." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Masterful follow-up to "Life After Life"

What made the experience of listening to A God in Ruins the most enjoyable?

Atkinson is a literary writer of the highest caliber, a magician with words and story. When I heard there was a follow-up to her supremely artful and wondrous "Life After Life," I RAN to Audible. A GOD IN RUINS is yet another feast for lovers of carefully culled words, and deeply developed characters. My only complaint is that, at 16 hours, it STILL wasn't long enough for me.

What other book might you compare A God in Ruins to and why?

Obviously, it is Atkinson's LIFE AFTER LIFE, where we first fell in love with Teddy Todd, now the protagonist of A GOD IN RUINS. But I also put this book in a the same category as Anthony Doer's ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, as well as any of Pat Barker's brilliant WWI books, and also Louisa Young's MY DEAR, I WANTED TO TELL YOU, and LOVE AND TREASURE. I might even add to that UNBROKEN.

What does Alex Jennings bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

You can tell that Kate Atkinson puts great and careful thought into each word she chooses to put on the page. Alex Jennings does honor to the author by beautifully voicing each character--and not getting in the way.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did. I listened in a two-day period. All the while thinking, "Don't listen. Stay away. Let it last."I'm taking a week off and then starting it over. Unlike a fine wine that is gone once it's been consumed, I can thankfully listen to A GOD IN RUINS over and over.

Any additional comments?

I really loved the fact that at the end of this book, Atkinson actually discusses how she came to do a follow-up to LIFE AFTER LIFE, and then why she put it into the format she did. She explained her desire to write a book specifically about the British bombing raids of WWII. If you have not read LIFE AFTER LIFE, you might still enjoy this book. But if you read this book first, I am almost positive you'll want to then go back and read LIFE AFTER LIFE.I am so grateful to have read this touching, introspective, thought provoking look at the moral dilemmas of those fighting "the good war." I wish I could give it ten stars.

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- Annie M. "Say something about yourself!"

Mysterious Past--Mysterious Future

A completely compelling follow up/companion piece to Atkinson's Life After Life. I don't want to risk spoiling the story so I won't ramble on here. My only suggestion is to read both books in order and don't leave too long between the listens. I disagree with the publisher in that A God in Ruins, to me, is not a free standing novel--it absolutely needs Life After Life. Atkinson does not disappoint. A beautiful book. I loved it.
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- Sara "Avid Reader"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-05-2015
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio