Transcription by Kate Atkinson
A Novel

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Transcription stands alongside its immediate predecessors as a fine example of Atkinson’s mature work; an unapologetic novel of ideas, which is also wise, funny and paced like a spy thriller. While it may lack the emotional sucker punch of A God in Ruins, Transcription exerts a gentler pull on the emotions...
-Guardian

Synopsis

A dramatic story of WWII espionage, betrayal, and loyalty, by the #1 bestselling author of Life After Life


In 1940, eighteen-year old Juliet Armstrong is reluctantly recruited into the world of espionage. Sent to an obscure department of MI5 tasked with monitoring the comings and goings of British Fascist sympathizers, she discovers the work to be by turns both tedious and terrifying. But after the war has ended, she presumes the events of those years have been relegated to the past forever.
Ten years later, now a radio producer at the BBC, Juliet is unexpectedly confronted by figures from her past. A different war is being fought now, on a different battleground, but Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.
Transcription is a work of rare depth and texture, a bravura modern novel of extraordinary power, wit and empathy. It is a triumphant work of fiction from one of the best writers of our time.
 

About Kate Atkinson

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Kate Atkinson lives in Edinburgh. Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was named Whitbread Book of the Year in the U.K. in 1995, and was followed by Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Not the End of the World and Case Histories.
 
Published September 25, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company. 352 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, War, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 14 2018
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Transcription
All: 4 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 1

Star Tribune

Above average
Reviewed by Ellen Akins on Sep 21 2018

But even though the narrative voice, approximating Juliet’s point of view, is hedged with parentheticals, contradicting, commenting, correcting — “Did it matter what one had believed, what one had done? (Yes!)” — it’s hard to accept the last deception the novel reveals.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Lisa Allardice on Sep 07 2018

Some readers might find it simply slight rather than clever sleight of hand, but Atkinson always puts on a damn fine show.

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Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Stephanie Merritt on Sep 04 2018

Transcription stands alongside its immediate predecessors as a fine example of Atkinson’s mature work; an unapologetic novel of ideas, which is also wise, funny and paced like a spy thriller. While it may lack the emotional sucker punch of A God in Ruins, Transcription exerts a gentler pull on the emotions...

Read Full Review of Transcription: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

NPR

Good
Reviewed by Jason Sheehan on Sep 27 2018

And through all of it, Atkinson is brilliant. Her characters are brilliant. Her command of the back-and-forth narrative, the un-fixedness of memory, the weight that guilt accrues over time and how we carry it is remarkable.

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