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Transcription
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Transcription

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THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER BY AWARD WINNER KATE ATKINSON

'An unapologetic novel of ideas which is also wise, funny and paced like a thriller' Observer

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 for ever.

Ten years later, now a 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 this country's most exceptional writers.

'How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good' Telegraph
______________

______________

THE NO.1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER BY AWARD WINNER KATE ATKINSON

'An unapologetic novel of ideas which is also wise, funny and paced like a thriller' Observer

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 for ever.

Ten years later, now a 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 this country's most exceptional writers.

'How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good' Telegraph
______________

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About the Author-
  • Kate Atkinson is one of the world's foremost novelists. She won the Costa Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her three critically lauded and prizewinning novels set around World War II are Life After Life, 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 returns in her new novel Big Sky.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    July 2, 2018
    Atkinson’s suspenseful novel (following A God in Ruins) is enlivened by its heroine’s witty, sardonic voice as she is transformed from an innocent, unsophisticated young woman into a spy for Britain’s MI5 during WWII. Initially recruited to transcribe secretly recorded conversations between British fascist sympathizers who think they are conspiring with the Gestapo, Juliet Armstrong is one day given an infiltration assignment (and a gun), during which she discovers an important document—and just like that, she becomes an undercover agent. Her growing realization of the serious nature of what at first seems like an “espionage lark” is made more intriguing by her attraction to her enigmatic boss. Juliet finds herself running a safe house for a Russian defector until the war’s end, after which she lives in an unspecified location abroad for decades. It’s in the 1970s that agents return and insist that she get back in the game as a double agent, and she realizes there’s no exit. If Atkinson initially challenges credibility because Juliet slides too quickly from being a naive 18-year-old into a clever escape artist and cool conspirator, her transition into idealistic patriot and then ultimately jaded pawn in the espionage world is altogether believable. The novel’s central irony is that the desperation for victory in a noble cause later becomes tainted with ruthless political chicanery. The book ends on an uncertain note for Juliet, a poignant denouement for this transportive, wholly realized historical novel.

  • Times Literary Supplement "[A] superb story of wartime espionage...Hilary Mantel once said of Atkinson's ground-breaking first novel that she had a "game-plan more sophisticated than Dickens", and that skill is more than evident in this latest offering...remarkable...Transcription is a fine course in the art of deception. The sheer bravura of Atkinson's storytelling is such that you will find it impossible not to want to revisit those clues so cleverly placed, as you shake your head in disbelief at how effortlessly you have been taken in."
  • Good Housekeeping "A triumph...inventive, atmospheric and witty."
  • Irish Times "Glorious... beautiful and smart and everything you have ever loved about Kate Atkinson."
  • Mail on Sunday "Superb...Transcription is the sort of book that reminds you how profound and satisfying and moving and exhilarating good fiction can be. It's the best novel I've read all year. I can't praise it enough."
  • New Statesman "Intricate, compelling, unpredictable...a gripping spy story ...filled with the mystery, humour, and Britishness we have come to expect."
  • Literary Review "A treat - cerebral and suspenseful, playful and empathetic."
  • Reader's Digest "Kate Atkinson's fluid identity as a novelist has long marked her out as one of Britain's most interesting – and often underrated – writers...the playful always stands shoulder to shoulder with the painful, the grandiose with the grubby...Atkinson's depiction of espionage and counter-espionage on the Home Front is nimble and convincing...But there is an immensely serious book here too, waiting in the wings to reveal itself on the very last pages; a book that asks us to question the entertainment we've just gobbled up, and to reckon with what lies beneath it."
  • Sunday Express "Atkinson handles her mazy, Le Carre-style plot with complete authority. But there's a lot more to the novel than its page-turning thrills. The increasingly sceptical Juliet makes for a very appealing heroine and the darker material is interspersed with some neat comedy. Above all, Atkinson recreates the atmosphere of both wartime and post-war London with utter conviction."
  • Sunday Telegraph "Full of intrigue...sublimely suspenseful - droll,devious and deadly, beautifully serious."
  • Daily Telegraph "This is a novel about identity in which no one and nothing is exactly as they seem - a spy novel, in short... Terms such as "postmodern" and "metafiction" seem far too heavy for novels as enjoyable as Atkinson's, but from Behind the Scenes onwards she has been chipping away at the fourth wall, and mischievously drawing attention to her craft. What elevates her fiction above mere playfulness is the emotional integrity of her characters... Atkinson always puts on a damn good show."
  • Evening Standard "Never loses its sense of absurdity of human beings even in their most tragic or noble moments...How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good."
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Kate Atkinson
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