Michael's Reviews > Started Early, Took My Dog

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
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's review
Jul 31, 2012

it was amazing
Read in July, 2012

As elegant as a Bach fugue and wise and fun at the same time. The lives of three strangers intersect briefly in Leeds in Yorkshire and then wander down separate but converging trajectories as tragic events from their lives 35 years ago drive propel them on paths of attempted resolution of their losses.

The three main characters are a retired woman cop working in mall security, an elderly actress with growing dementia, and a detective looking for the birth mother of a woman in New Zealand. Luckily, the latter is Jackson Brodie, the hero of the series, this being the fourth. He is licking his wounds from a former wife who fleeced him and disappeared, and his loneliness is manifest by continually hearing two previous wives talking in his head and by boldly taking a dog from an abusive owner.

When his apparently simple case stimulates a number of people to devious and violent reactions, he is not in any mood to quit until he gets to the bottom of it. Lots of great dialog, interior monologue, and zinging cultural references make for a lively narrative. Recurring metaphors from Emily Dickenson, the Schroedinger’s Cat paradox from quantum physics, and the message of delayed consequences in the ditty beginning “For the want of a nail the shoe was lost, …” helps keeps the reader engaged with the illusion that some deeper meaning is at play. Or maybe they helps reveal that the illusion of connections of past and present is something this delightful author likes to play with.
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04/01/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Do I need to read the other books first, or could I start here?

Michael Shelli wrote: "Do I need to read the other books first, or could I start here?"
I see little advantage to reading them in order. As they seemed to get better with each one, starting with this one makes sense.

message 3: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Ok great....this one is a Kindle daily deal!

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