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Normal Rules Don't Apply


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About the Author

Kate Atkinson is one of the world's foremost novelists. Her most recent novel, Shrines of Gaiety, set in the aftermath of the First World War, is a Sunday Times bestseller. She won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her three critically lauded and prize-winning novels set around the Second World War are Life After Life, an acclaimed 2022 BBC TV series, A God in Ruins (both winners of the Costa Novel Award) and Transcription. Her bestselling literary crime novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie, Case Histories, One Good Turn, When Will There Be Good News? and Started Early, Took My Dog, became a BBC television series starring Jason Isaacs. Jackson Brodie later returned in the novel Big Sky. Kate Atkinson was awarded an MBE in 2011 and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


What really binds these stories is their underlying theme, which has perhaps always been Atkinson’s true subject: the nature of storytelling itself. She can be very funny, but she is highly serious about the idea that human existence is bound up with words… If you’re thinking about what fiction means, no invocation could be more thought-provoking or ironically complex
*Times Literary Supplement*

What joy! A loosely connected collection of short stories from Kate Atkinson. Life in all of its surreal, tragic and comic glory is perfectly captured within these pages.

Sublime … showcases her superb storytelling and the wit of her writing
*Good Housekeeping*

Hilarious, breathtaking, horrific, irresistible ... [Atkinson is] always in command ... Heart in mouth, I never wanted this book to end
*Sydney Morning Herald*

Atkinson has the happy knack of capturing the nature of her characters with arch aplomb
*Daily Mail*

Dazzling ... Most striking of all is the abiding sense of infectious, slightly bonkers fun.
*Reader's Digest*

A deftly interconnected short-story collection [that is] varied and inventive
*i Newspaper*

Funny, erudite and profound
*Excelle Magazine*

Here you will find lots of tricks, lots of playfulness, clever narrative engineering.
*BBC Radio 4 Front Row*

Clever... a crossword-like exercise in which the reader is always left guessing which element of each story will carry into the next. Much of the delight in Normal Rules Don't Apply comes from being surprised by who lands where.
*Financial Times*

*Business Post*

Atkinson's sly humour percolates all the way through, but there's also humanity, hope and forgiveness... As soon as you get to the end, you'll be tempted to just start at the beginning again.
*PA Media*

Funny and poignant in equal measure, you’ll want to read this captivating collection in one mystical sitting.
*Daily Express*

Fans of Atkinson will find all of her trademark qualities in these eleven loosely connected stories... rather brilliant
*Mail on Sunday*

Scintillating, surrealistic and wise-cracking short stories from the wildly inventive Atkinson brain
*SAGA magazine*

The short form has always liberated Atkinson to meddle in myth and magic, and here she melds the fabular and the mundane as the universe blinks, the sun winks out, and those in the open are levelled in a “new Pompeii”... Atkinson has the control and charm to do with fiction whatever she fancies.

Mashes up the mythical and mundane with zest and mischief
*Herald Scotland*

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