Redhead2013 asked:

why do people think this is a good book. it isn't. belong to three substantial book clubs and this book is not a good book

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Lucy Your writing style and punctuation give an indication that the book may simply be too intelligent for you.
Chad I wish we could flag your question for removal, Redhead2013, as it is entirely juvenile ("me no likey!" *stomps feet*) and adds nothing substantive whatsoever to the Goodreads page for Life After Life.

It's absolutely fine that you didn't appreciate this novel. Different people have different tastes. I'm sure there is at least one book you consider a five-star favorite that I found to be worthless dreck. That's okay. We don't all have to like the same things.

Why don't you consider writing an actual review of Life After Life, elaborating on the reason you didn't enjoy it, instead of making yourself look like an adolescent by inappropriately posting a "question" that is nothing more than a substance-free two-line one-star review (which Goodreads sorting algorithm would have screened out from the main page, had it been written, as it should have been, as your review)?

Why don't you consider reading any one of the literally hundreds of four- or five-star reviews from people who liked Life After Life?

I hope this answered your question.
Dawn I cannot tell you why people like this book because I disliked it immensely. I am not unintelligent, the premise did not confuse me. I like other time- slip books and cope well with large numbers of characters. I just found the book tedious and pointless. I did not feel any of the issues and themes raised were adequately explored and it read more like a series of plot outlines than a cohesive book. I don't normally comment on other people's reviews - I have already posted my own review - but I felt that many of the comments were personal attacks on you and it made me cross. So there you go. I didn't like it either.
Mary Ann The great thing about books is that even though each reader reads the exact same words, those words are interpreted and felt differently by each reader. And it doesn't matter, really. It doesn't matter if any other person likes it or not. You take the leap and see what happens. The unfortunate thing is that those of us who read don't always discuss in a manner that is respectful of each person's experience whether the book is liked or not.
Peggy I understood the book, and it was not "too intelligent" for me as Lucy unkindly noted. I didn't think it was all that great either. Parts of it were incredibly good and her writing is always exceptionally good. I believe the concept was to imagine the "what ifs" we think back on. BTW, I like your e.e. cummings style of writing. :-)
Laura Personal preferences I guess, personally I loved this book and was immersed in it from cover to cover and still think about it 6months after reading it.
Ellen I agree with you, Redhead. I didn't like it either. I felt like it never went forward. Instead we keep reliving Ursula's life over and over again. Of course this was the idea and theme of the novel. Not to my liking. Don't let some of these people get to you.
Ellen Redhead, I completely agree with you. The family saga at the heart of the book would have been able to stand on its own, but the author chose to attempt a new gimmick--multiple lives--which did not succeed: first, the characters in the book, including Ursula, are shallowly drawn--This may be surprising since there are so many starts and stops, but I think it is precisely the series of truncated narratives that prevents gaining familiarity with the characters. Compare our understanding of Ursula to the way we know Emma or other Jane Austen characters, who dwell in a coherent narrative. Second, the theme of death and rebirth is alluded to, but not nuanced, as it might be with further exploration of Eastern vs. Western philosophy. Third, unfortunately, the book has many of the stereotypical themes found in much of today's fiction--child and spousal abuse, psychiatry, the evil of Hitler and the Nazi party. Yes, these things exist, but are too often taken to be the ultimate source of meaning. The book contains much evocative description but as a whole is overrated.
Julia Underwood This book is similar to 'The Time Traveller's Wife' in that you have to pay attention. Personally, I loved it and thought the interweaving of family history and real events was skillfully done. I have always loved Kate Atkinson's books since 'Behind the Scenes...', which is one of my all time favourites. I love the way she portrays tragedy with hints of comedic pathos. I no longer belong to a book club as I got fed up with having to read books that I didn't much like - such tyranny! Choose your own books and come to your own conclusions is my tip.
Anders Sjölander It's an amazing book, no matter how many book clubs you belong to.
Ann Brogan Perhaps you are a child or even an alien going by the dreadful punctuation and elliptic style of your question.
Haven't you ever experienced something in your life that you wished you could do differently, if you only had the chance? Or ever wondered what would have happened had Adolf Hitler been killed in WWI? Or if Anne Boleyn had married Henry Percy instead of Henry VIII? This is what is explored in this wonderfully innovative and compelling novel. You are to be pitied if you cannot understand why it isn't good.
Paul Travis If one tries to read this book as a straightforward storybook, then it could be seen as annoying I suppose, perhaps it's not for the 'light novel' reader. The key to it is to just read it and be constantly surprised, relieved, excited, as the different scenarios pan out. I understand that all opinions are subjective, but for me, this and its companion novel, A God in Ruins, are on a shelf above the average literary output, beautifully written and almost epic in concept.
Lynda This was a wonderful book. You didn't like it.
Alethea I don't know if I could have read the book but I listened to it on CD and the narrator was so wonderful, right accent for Ursula's social situation, that I grew to love the book, mostly for its complexity, by the time I was an hour or so into it.
Hussain It is your own opinion. What you think Is different from our thinking. And anyone who wants to be rude has entirely no need to, since redhead has his opinions and you all have yours...!
Allan Jasa I agree. This book is boring, the prose is terrible and the characters don't seem fully formed. It has its moments, but it wasn't enough for me to pick it up again. Ugh. What a waste.
Ashley Granger So because you belong to three "substantial" (which means what, exactly??) book clubs, your opinion is the only one that matters? What a dumb question. You didn't like it. Other people did. Just because you didn't, doesn't mean they're wrong because they did.
Kimberly This is a fabulously detailed book that examines the fabric of life and the blank spaces that lie between the threads. Those who love historical fiction are in luck, but if you are a reader who is looking to be swept up into a current or contemporary story, this will not interest you. If you are a reader who demands quality over quantity, beauty over beast, you will fall in love. Those who enjoy finding humor where many others fail to see it--get ready for a gem.
Brenda V Your opinion does not diminish mine. I find it incredible you are so egotistical to think that it should.
Denise I haven't read anything by Kate Atkinson that I have not enjoyed immensely. I love the way she does poignant with a light touch.
What is a 'substantial' book club?.....
Jennifer Gagliardi I think 'complexity' is the key word here. It is! I'm getting through it but only because I don't want to quit at this point. But it is not a book that "I can't put down!" It's not my genre, but I'm reading it for a new book club on FB and I don't want to be a quiter. I'll be happy when it's done though. Too much going back and forth in time and I keep waiting for her to die since I thought that was what she was going to do throughout the whole book. Yes, very complex indeed!
Christine I read this book on holiday and, I have to say, I loved it. I couldn't put it down. The way Kate Atkinson writes about the characters in the book is, in my opinion, just brilliant. I found it very confusing, especially towards the end, by which time we had lived through many versions of Ursula's life, and I had to check back through the book to see where I had read things before. But that didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book. It seems to me that, as many others have said previously, we all have different tastes in books and that is fine. There will be many books that other people loved and I hated, and that does not make me right and them wrong, or vice versa. Honest opinions help both the author and other readers. Blank criticism helps no one.
Carol Snyder To answer your question: I like it because I think the premise of being able to re-live your life is clever. I enjoyed the way it played out for her throughout the story and remained curious about what else she would change. The style of writing appealed to me. The pleasant English countryside and the war-torn urban landscape were left vivid in my mind even days later. The unfolding of Ursula's understanding of her ability was a good idea. With each life you needed to think a bit and piece the puzzle of her path back together. As far as story, I related to the family dynamic that she examined and thought she gave a new and interesting perspective on WW II. I respect the amount of work and clever choices Kate Atkinson made throughout the book. I'm also an avid reader. It's a very good book. It's not 5 star for me, but certainly not a bad book. I've read plenty of those and this is not one of them.
Cathy Sargent I also agree that the narrator of the audio was wonderful and I grew to absolutely love this book!
Spurnlad No reasons then? I loved it.
Benjamin Farr This book is terrible. How it won any awards is absolutely beyond me. Trash.
Sean Stop being a book snob. A cyber billing because you don't like something.
Sharlene That happens sometimes! Just different ideas as to what makes a book good, I guess.
Aaron OK then. Forgive me for choosing not to take your word for it. Good luck with those three "substantial" book clubs.
Andi Different people like different things. If you want to know why people think it's a good book, read their reviews.
Carol I enjoyed the book. The story line was complex, but maybe too convoluted for some readers. We all enjoy different "reads" for different reasons.
Kerrie McLoughlin Redhead2013, could you explain more about why you didn't like it?
Dale @Redhead2013 I agree with you completely . This is a terrible rambling book that I loved at first. Then Germany, at that point I was lost. Too many loose ends and impossible to keep track of who, what , where and when. And I’m an avid reader of historical fiction , this one just frustrated me and put me to sleep.
Mary Bidinost Lucy...response to Redhead2013 ..hahahaha
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