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Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
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Sep 27, 2022 | ISBN 9780593634103 | 960 Minutes

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Praise

“[Atkinson] takes on London in the 1920s, masterfully capturing both its shimmer and its seediness…It’s a deliciously fun, absorbing read.”
Time

“Atkinson vividly conjures the post-Great War London of a century ago…Tangible warmth suffuses her storytelling…A cocktail of fizz and melancholy, generously poured.”
The New York Times Book Review

“There is the perfect balance throughout of sweetness and heartbreak. And, as always, there is the unmistakable zest of Ms. Atkinson’s dry wit…Ms. Atkinson has perfected the comicwizardry that keeps us both airborne and immersed in her mosaic-like narratives.”
The Wall Street Journal

“A wondrously intricate piece of narrative clockwork…The Jazz Age London of Shrines of Gaiety is nearly as merciless as Dickens’ Victorian metropolis and even more rife with crime and intrigue…Irresistibly pleasurable.”
Slate

“An homage to the mannered realism of Dickens and Forster…Comedy, tragedy, genre, realism, postmodernism: Atkinson breaks through again and again as she evolves on the page.”
Oprah Daily

“Exuberant…Kate Atkinson’s new novel confirms her reputation as a masterful entertainer.”
The Economist

“Like all of Atkinson’s novels, her latest defies easy categorization. It’s historical fiction, but there’s a sense of knowingness that feels contemporary…The adjective Dickensianfeels too clichéd to be meaningful, but Atkinson does excel at creating a big, bustling universe fully inhabited by vivid characters…Already one of the best writers working, Atkinson just gets better and better.”
Kirkus (starred review)

“[A] glittering foray into London’s post-WWI Soho…Atkinson’s incisive prose and byzantine narrative elegantly excavate the deceit, depravity, and destruction of Nellie’s world. She also turns this rich historical into a sophisticated cat-and-mouse tale as the various actors try to move in on Nellie’s turf. Atkinson is writing at the top of her game.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“[A] riveting re-creation of life in 1920s London…Atkinson’s palpable fondness for her characters helps her to imbue even themost minor of them with texture and depth, and she brings the same attention to detail to her portrait of the highs and lows of Jazz Age London. Another triumph from one of our finest novelists.”
Booklist (starred review)

“There’s a certain joy in opening a Kate Atkinson novel—a feeling that every element matters and that each surprise will ultimately make perfect sense…Atkinson’s characters and their choices, curiosities and corruptions keep the story unfolding, making the resolution worth every second.”
BookPage (starred review)

“Exquisite…Atkinson at her inimitable best.”
Vogue (UK)

“Brilliant.”
—Richard Osman, The Times

“A rich cast of characters, an elegantly intricate plot—this is classic Atkinson.”
The Guardian

“Kate Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority and skill…This book is sharp, witty and fiendishly plotted. You don’t so much read it as surrender to it, and you sense—and share—the relish with which she creates such an attention-grabbing cast. It’s an exhilarating ride.”
—Financial Times

“A heady brew of crime, romance and satire set amid the sordid glitz of London nightlife in the 1920s…This is Atkinson on her finest form…A marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow, a peak performance of consummate control.”
The Observer

“The novel grabs the reader from the outset. It paints a picture of the capital’s glittering nightlife and its seedier underside so vivid, that it is almost possible to smell the stale cigarette smoke and taste the alcohol…The story of Nellie and her family, and the characters they associate with, builds to a satisfying ending as the strands of their lives are deftly woven together.”
The Independent

“Dickensian, yes, infused with a playful knowingness that’s pure Atkinson.”
Mail on Sunday
 
“Seduction, betrayal, and larger-than-life characters that will have you hooked until the last page.”
Sunday Telegraph

“Atkinson has a tremendous gift for bringing the past to life but wearing her research lightly. With charismatic characters, witty dialogue and a compelling plot, she captures the reckless atmosphere of a city still coming to terms with the horrors of the First World War. It’s an absorbing read and a novel to savour.”
Daily Express

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