Book Review: Not The End Of The World by Kate Atkinson


Not The End Of The World by Kate Atkinson
Transworld Digital (ebook), 2002
336 Pages

Author Website

Amazon (UK)

What It’s About
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.

Opening Paragraph
‘I WANT’ CHARLENE said to Trudi, ‘to buy my mother a birthday present’. (CHARLENE AND TRUDI GO SHOPPING).

What I Thought
Not the End of the World is a good collection of stories. I really enjoyed it. I’ve read a few of Atkinson’s novels and really enjoyed them but this is the first time I’ve read her short fiction.

I enjoyed all of the stories in the collection. In most collections there is usually a mix of stronger and weaker stories. Every story in Not the End of the World is really good. The ones I enjoyed the most are Charlene and Trudi Go Shopping, Tunnel of Fish, Dissonance, Sheer Big Waste of Love, The Cat Lover and Wedding Favours.

Many of the stories feature recurring characters. This was a nice touch. I found myself going back over stories to find out where I’d read the name before. I liked the subtle little links between the tales.

Not the End of the World is a strong collection of stories I’d recommend.

Stories included:

  • Charlene And Trudi Go Shopping
  • Tunnel Of Fish
  • Transparent Fiction
  • Dissonance
  • Sheer Big Waste Of Love
  • Unseen Translation
  • Evil Doppelgängers
  • The Cat Lover
  • The Bodies Vest
  • Temporal Anomaly
  • Wedding Favours
  • Pleasureland




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