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Shrines of Gaiety by Kate Atkinson
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Shrines of Gaiety

A Novel

$37.76 USD

Get for $14.99 with membership
Narrator Jason Watkins
Length 16 hours 2 minutes
Language English
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The #1 internationally bestselling, award-winning author of Life after Life transports us to the dazzling London of the Roaring Twenties in a whirlwind tale of corruption, seduction and debts that have come due.

1926, and in a country still recovering from the Great War, London has become the focus for a delirious new nightlife. In the clubs of Soho, peers of the realm rub shoulders with starlets, foreign dignitaries with gangsters and girls sell dances for a shilling a time.
The notorious queen of this glittering world is Nellie Coker, ruthless but also ambitious to advance her six children, including the enigmatic eldest, Niven, whose character has been forged in the crucible of the Somme. But success breeds enemies, and Nellie's empire faces threats from without and within. For beneath the dazzle of Soho's gaiety, there is a dark underbelly, a world in which it is all too easy to become lost.
With her unique Dickensian flair, Kate Atkinson gives us a window in a vanished world. Slyly funny, brilliantly observant and ingeniously plotted, Shrines of Gaiety showcases the myriad talents that have made Atkinson one of the most lauded writers of our time.

KATE ATKINSON won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs. Her 2013 novel, Life After Life, was shortlisted for the Women's Prize and voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. It also won the Costa Novel Award, as did her subsequent novel A God in Ruins (2015). She has written twelve ground-breaking, bestselling books and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Named one of the best books of 2022 by Indigo TIME Slate The Guardian The Washington Post Financial Times Kirkus Reviews

"I will read anything this woman writes. Kate Atkinson is simply one of the best writers working today, anywhere in the world. . . . She's a global treasure. . . . [Shrines of Gaiety] is set during Jazz Age London, in all its fizzy madness and desperation of the new, the better, the hustle. Atkinson has a magician's ability to switch a reader's mood within a few paragraphs, and as dark as her stories can get, within them always shines a beacon of humanity." —Gillian Flynn

"A sprawling picaresque. . . . Atkinson vividly conjures the post-Great War London of a century ago. . . . [A] tangible warmth suffuses her storytelling. . . . She remains a keenly sympathetic observer of human foibles, one who can sketch a character in one quicksilver sentence. . . . Light refreshment; a cocktail of fizz and melancholy, generously poured." —The New York Times

"Breathtaking. . . . A sprawling kaleidoscope of a novel—both giddy and glamorous, despite being rooted in squalor and violence. It's an impressive feat, one which Atkinson achieves with seeming effortlessness. . . . Shrines of Gaiety is truly a buffet of dark delights, all of it handled with Atkinson's light, deft touch." —Toronto Star

"A glittering period piece with a bit of mystery, Kate Atkinson's Shrines of Gaiety will keep readers captivated to the very last drop." —TIME

"Highly entertaining. . . . [Atkinson is] always more interested in scrappers than socialites—but the novel nevertheless captures the giddy atmosphere of a generation trying to dance and drink its way out of the traumas of World War I." —Slate

"[This] book's base ingredient is research-packed historical fiction, but there's also a generous measure of mystery, a dash of romance, and a barely there float of playful authorial provocation. Like the sherry flip that one of its characters orders, this concoction is rich, frothy, but safely lightweight." The New Yorker

"Kate Atkinson dazzles with Shrines of Gaiety. . . . A rollicking trip to London in the Roaring Twenties. . . . Exuberant, cinematic, immersive, elegant and witty—with a dash of darkness. . . . Shrines of Gaiety was a party I hated to see end." —Tampa Bay Times

"A sulphurous drollery animates Shrines of Gaiety. . . . Atkinson has read widely on the era, and it has certainly repaid the effort in her persuasive re-creation. . . . This book is one to savour, for the energy, for the wit, for the tenderness of characterization that make Atkinson enduringly popular." The Guardian

"As vividly filthy, populous and dangerous as anything described by Dickens, but Atkinson's writing is closer to Thackeray's. . . . Atkinson is a novelist of unrivalled immediacy, authority and skill. . . . You don't so much read it as surrender to it, and you sense—and share—the relish with which she creates such an attention-grabbing cast. It's an exhilarating ride." —Financial Times

"A book that teems with people and places, events and incidents, and is written with the garrulous enthusiasm for which its author has rightly become celebrated." —The Independent

"A heady brew of crime, romance and satire set amid the sordid glitz of London nightlife in the 1920s. . . . [This is] Atkinson on her finest form. . . . A marvel of plate-spinning narrative knowhow. . . a peak performance of consummate control." —The Observer

"A rich cast of characters, an elegantly intricate plot—this is classic Atkinson." The Guardian

"Atkinson has a plotter's mind: intricate, clever, satisfying. The kind of fine-tuned observation that can produce an enormous, vibrant cast really is quite something and I can think of few writers other than Dickens who can match it. . . . Engrossing and fun, powered by subtle skills; a book that will linger in the heart more than in the mind." Sunday Times

"Dickensian, yes, but infused with a playful knowingness that's pure Atkinson." —Mail on Sunday

"The Whitbread winner Kate Atkinson spins a seedy tale."The Times

"Seduction, betrayal and larger-than-life characters that will have you hooked until the last page." —The Sunday Telegraph

"Vibrant. . . entertaining. . . . There is an enjoyable, breezy style to the omniscient narration. . . . [A] dexterous depiction of jazz-era London. . . . [Full of] the colourful world building and the astute understanding of character that has won Atkinson such acclaim in the past." —The Irish Times

"A deliciously immersive novel full of deftly drawn characters."RED

"Full of dry wit and charm." Woman & Home

"Full of grit and atmosphere."Prima

"[A] glittering foray into London's post-WWI Soho. . . . Atkinson's incisive prose and byzantine narrative elegantly excavate the deceit, depravity and destruction of Nellie's world. She also turns this rich historical into a sophisticated cat-and-mouse tale as the various actors try to move in on Nellie's turf. Atkinson is writing at the top of her game." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Like all of Atkinson's novels, her latest defies easy categorization. It's historical fiction, but there's a sense of knowingness that feels contemporary. . . . The adjective Dickensian feels too clichéd to be meaningful, but Atkinson does excel at creating a big, bustling universe fully inhabited by vivid characters. . . . Already one of the best writers working, Atkinson just gets better and better." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Kate Atkinson is one of my absolute favourite writers. Every book from her is a treat: a surprise, and a gift." —Jenny Colgan Expand reviews