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A 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. It’s funny how some books can immediately grab hold of you and cast you under their spell This is that sort of book The book immediately transports you back to London in the 1940s and 50s The language is just spot on perfect The story revolves around a young woman who is drafted to transcribe conversations among a group of fascists that have been infiltrated by MI5 Juliet is only 18 and before she knows it has been drafted for some spying in addition to her transcription duties Atkinson displays a dry sense of humor “It seemed she had acuired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages like sex She was becoming bolder with the word if not the act For Perry it seemed to be the other way around he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks Like sex” Poor Juliet is truly naive and I had to keep reminding myself how young she was She keeps waiting for a romance the reader knows is never going to come The rest of the characters are eually well drawn The pettiness the certainty all are brought out for our inspection This is not a fast paced book by any stretch The writing is meant to be enjoyed lots of beautiful phrasing But there is a tension to the book and the ending wasn’t anything I saw coming “Juliet had the sense that she was taking part in a farce although not one that was particularly funny in fact not funny at all” But it is in its own weird way In this day and age I’m never sure if I’m seeing symbolism where it doesn’t belong But it seems fitting that Atkinson picks as her topic the problem of Fascism in England during WWII “Do not euate nationalism with patriotism” Perry warned Juliet “Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism” Or this “Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown No one was amused now “The clowns are the dangerous ones” Perry said”Make sure to read The Author’s Note What is the nature of historical fictionThere are some interesting ideas here like what constitutes the real self Or what’s worth fighting for “This England” It’s a book meant to be discussedMy thanks to netgalley and Little Brown for an advance copy of this novel Daddys Favorite Little Girl is reluctantly recruited Tristan & Jared 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. It’s funny how some books can Shutter immediately grab hold of you and cast you under their spell This 2000 Essential Korean Words - Intermediate is that sort of book The book What Was Man Created For? immediately transports you back to London Reassuring Tales in the 1940s and 50s The language Cradle and All (43 Light Street is just spot on perfect The story revolves around a young woman who DISHDAA´W “La palabra se entreteje en la comida infinita” La vida de Abigail Mendoza Ruiz is drafted to transcribe conversations among a group of fascists that have been The Sun Witch (Fyne Witches, infiltrated by MI5 Juliet Awakening Your Soul Signature is only 18 and before she knows افسون زدگی جدید it has been drafted for some spying Painters Journal in addition to her transcription duties Atkinson displays a dry sense of humor “It seemed she had acuired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages like sex She was becoming bolder with the word Rebel in High Heels if not the act For Perry Intoxicating it seemed to be the other way around he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks Like sex” Poor Juliet Tess (Calloway Corners, is truly naive and I had to keep reminding myself how young she was She keeps waiting for a romance the reader knows Cruel Fate (Cainsville, is never going to come The rest of the characters are eually well drawn The pettiness the certainty all are brought out for our Psychodynamics of Fear, Hate and Social Polarization inspection This Whiskey at Midnight is not a fast paced book by any stretch The writing Trustplaces is meant to be enjoyed lots of beautiful phrasing But there Rhythm Ride is a tension to the book and the ending wasn’t anything I saw coming “Juliet had the sense that she was taking part The Interpersonal Communication Book in a farce although not one that was particularly funny Kingdom Come in fact not funny at all” But Trinity Bound (Redwood Pack, it Sexplorations is The Wild Girls Club in The Wild Girls Club, Part 2 its own weird way In this day and age I’m never sure World of the Boxer if I’m seeing symbolism where New Owners Guide to Boxers it doesn’t belong But No Substitute for Murder (Subbing isnt for Sissies it seems fitting that Atkinson picks as her topic the problem of Fascism Riding Free in England during WWII “Do not euate nationalism with patriotism” Perry warned Juliet “Nationalism Pokemon 9 is the first step on the road to Fascism” Or this “Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown No one was amused now “The clowns are the dangerous ones” Perry said”Make sure to read The Author’s Note What That Ain’t Witchcraft (InCryptid is the nature of historical fictionThere are some Sam the Sudden interesting The Selkie Wife ideas here like what constitutes the real self Or what’s worth fighting for “This England” It’s a book meant to be discussedMy thanks to netgalley and Little Brown for an advance copy of this novel

Read & Download ☆ eBook, PDF or Kindle ePUB Ý Kate Atkinson

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 Ju. Juliet is adorably clueless The spy guys stuffy and charadesue All of them So Very British Or it could be just me stereotyping the world if so then I'm sorryThe humour appropriately dry The atmosphere noirish just a bit to add in enough grit and some patina of time that feels to have passed between the reader and the plotline originsJust what I love to read occasionally PS Mangling Russian dishes didn't improve the novel By 'Verushka' a 'vatrushka' probably was meant Took me ages to guess Why the hell couldn't the writer just call it a pie or a cheese pie or a Russian cheese pie The book gained no extra authenticity whatsoever from making it sound as if they were all eating someone called Vera Faith in an endearing formI was beginning to think that you were lost’‘But now I am found’ c‘Joy is an admirable goal’ Juliet said ‘Completely unobtainable of course’ cOlder men of a certain type were drawn to her They seemed to want to improve her in some way Juliet was almost thirty and didn’t feel she needed much improvement The war had seen to that c had been employed as an Announcer It had a capital letter ‘A woman’ everyone said as if they’d never heard a woman speak before cThe cat a ginger one – they were the worst type of cat in Juliet’s opinion – had jumped up on the desk and bitten her – uite sharply so that she couldn’t help but give a little yelp of pain It then proceeded to roll around on the desk before rubbing its face on the microphone and purring so loudly that anyone listening must have thought there was a panther loose in the studio one that was very pleased with itself for having killed a woman c forlornly earnest about even the most trivial things cJuliet supposed that any one of those things – the war philosophy Vienna – was capable of making you both forlorn and earnest and perhaps badly dressed too cDid she understand what that meant It meant that she was about to lose the only person who loved her She was seventeen and her grief for herself was almost as great as her grief for her mother her mother’s death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief It was a terrible thing and demanded embellishment cHer mother had represented a form of truth for her something that Juliet knew she had moved away from in the decade since her death cInside each pearl there was a little piece of grit That was the true self of the pearl wasn’t it The beauty of the pearl was just the poor oyster trying to protect itself From the grit From the truth cThinking had always been her downfall cBut wasn’t artistic endeavour the final refuge of the uncommitted cJuliet used to think that someone who seemed as ordinary as Godfrey Toby must be harbouring a secret – a thrilling past a dreadful tragedy – but as time had gone by she’d realized that being ordinary was his secret It was the best disguise of all really wasn’t it cI should have followed him she thought But he would have lost her He had been rather good at evasion c Wow Lovely phrase it could mean both physical and intellectual stuff‘Do you like Beethoven sir’ she asked‘Not particularly’ he said seemingly puzzled by the uestion ‘He makes for a good paperweight though’ cChoice it seemed was one of the first casualties of war c‘Juliet’ the man said contemplatively ‘As in Romeo and Juliet Very romantic’ He laughed as if this was some kind of private joke‘I believe it was actually a tragedy sir’‘Is there a difference’ cShe didn’t like that supercilious eyebrow and so she gave her unfathomable father a promotion ‘An officer’ c a Bedford bus pulled up in front of Juliet The driver opened the door and shouted over to her ‘MI5 love Hop in’ So much for secrecy she thought c‘Juliet’‘Oh bad luck I bet everyone’s always asking you where Romeo is c‘Well Pa always said I’d end up behind bars’And that was how Juliet’s career in espionage began cIt would be menials who would win this war she thought not girls in pearls cThe Four Hundred the Embassy the Berkeley the Milroy the Astoria ballroom – there was no end to the entertainment to be had during a war c I’ve a feeling I might know why Hitler went as far as he did around the Europe he spoke Swahili What was the point of that Juliet wondered Unless you were a Swahili of course cJuliet was waiting to be seduced by him By anyone really but preferably him It was turning into a rather long wait cIt seemed that she had acuired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages – like sex She was becoming bolder with the word if not the act For Perry it seemed to be the other way round – he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks Like sex сJuliet felt rather ashamed as her mind had been on what dress to wear this evening rather than bottomless pits of evil The war still seemed like a matter of inconvenience rather than a threat cShe imagined him creeping up on some poor unsuspecting hedgehog and giving it the fright of its life c‘Today is Friday Miss Armstrong’‘All day sir’‘And tomorrow is Saturday’‘It is’ she agreed Was he going to name all the days of the week she wondered cThe prospect of tea was tedious she had drunk enough with Mrs Scaife to sink HMS Hood cIt was an analphabetic jumble rather like being given an insight into the chaotic workings of a cat’s brain c‘Can I do something sir’ she asked‘You can’t help me’ he said bleakly ‘No one can’‘Are you having a spiritual crisis’ she hazarded – tenderly as seemed befitting for spiritual crises cPerry gave a wretched kind of sob and unable to think of anything else Juliet made a cup of tea and placed it silently on the carpet next to him where he remained in supplication She shut the door uietly and got on with her work It turned out that discovering a man on his knees weeping was a surprisingly effective deterrent to romantic feelings about that man cshe plucked ‘Middlesbrough’ out of thin air ‘Wonderful’ she heard someone whisper People always said they wanted the truth but really they were perfectly content with a facsimile c‘You should know it’ Hartley said ‘Why don’t you know it’‘Perhaps because I don’t actually work for you any you know You’re not even paying me just expenses And you’re obviously incompetent or I would know it’ cShe feared that she was beginning to tread the wilder shores of her imagination cShe didn’t feel she had the fortitude for all those Tudors they were so relentlessly busy – all that bedding and beheadingDid people hunt flamingos It was a bird Juliet had never given any thought to and now it seemed to be perched on every corner No not perched – they didn’t perch did they Too big probably And the legs would be too long You needed short legs for perching or you would be unbalanced especially if you had a predil

Kate Atkinson Ý 7 review

Liet finds herself once under threat A bill of reckoning is due and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without conseuence 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. ''In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies'' Winston Churchill 1950 Juliet is a BBC producer responsible for the children's zone Intelligent energetic and a talented writer she tries to make History interesting for the young ones She should know for her relationship to the Lady with the Book that chronicles the course of the human race has been extremely turbulent If we travel back in time in 1940 specifically we'll see Juliet reluctantly working for the country a spy for MI5 And now traces of her former life have returned to show our heroine that the past is a war without an endKate Atkinson leads us to one of the most eventful eras in History The nightmare of WWII is about to break out We join a suad created to capture members of the British aristocracy that dreams of a fascist future siding with Hitler Young women infiltrate their circle to prevent evil and transcriptions are used to set up a defense against a very sneaky enemy Identities must change facades must be created victims are inevitable and at times expendable But how can you go on with your life once this comes to an end Juliet has made her choices in a life that allows no emotions No friends no loved ones No one to trust no name no past Atkinson writes in a way that is direct and ''literary'' and creates a novel that becomes so much than a spy story This is a novel about a young woman who tries to obey the country's call and uses her wit without abandoning her principles or her kindness ''Still the fog had lifted overnight and now Juliet could see the beginning of buds on the trees and even above the noise of London traffic she could hear that the birds were singing their tiny hearts out getting ready for spring They are all feathers she thought'' The setting is superbly crafted The dark atmosphere of the impending war that suffocates London the rebirth of the 50s the impact of the Cold War in the capital are used to great effect and the era comes alive through the pages I loved the bookish references and the trivia of the British Theatre during the golden days of the radio plays London becomes a character in every novel set in the metropolis and Transcription is no exception It definitely matches the personality of our heroine Juliet is gloomy thoughtful and mysterious but it is the momentary instances of sunshine make her such a complex and fascinating character surrounded by an exciting cast of espionage journalism and British realityDark sarcastic gloomy compulsively readable this novel is my introduction to Kate Atkinson's work and it is certain to find itself among my favourite reads of the year '''History should always have a plot Juliet thought as she slushed and burned Morna Treadwell's deathly words How else can you make sense of it'' My reviews can also be found on


10 thoughts on “Transcription

  1. says:

    It’s funny how some books can immediately grab hold of you and cast you under their spell This is that sort of book The book immediately transports you back to London in the 1940s and 50s The language is just spot on perfect The story revolves around a young woman who is drafted to transcribe conversations among a group of fascists that have been infiltrated by MI5 Juliet is only 18 and before she knows it has been drafted for some spying in addition to her transcription duties Atkinson displays a dry sense of humor “It seemed she had acuired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages like sex She was becoming bolder with the word if not the act For Perry it seemed to be the other way around he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks Like sex” Poor Juliet is truly naive and I had to keep reminding myself how young she was She keeps waiting for a romance the reader knows is never going to come The rest of the characters are eually well drawn The pettiness the certainty all are brought out for our inspection This is not a fast paced book by any stretch The writing is meant to be enjoyed lots of beautiful phrasing But there is a tension to the book and the ending wasn’t anything I saw coming “Juliet had the sense that she was taking part in a farce although not one that was particularly funny in fact not funny at all” But it is in its own weird way In this day and age I’m never sure if I’m seeing symbolism where it doesn’t belong But it seems fitting that Atkinson picks as her topic the problem of Fascism in England during WWII “Do not euate nationalism with patriotism” Perry warned Juliet “Nationalism is the first step on the road to Fascism” Or this “Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown No one was amused now “The clowns are the dangerous ones” Perry said”Make sure to read The Author’s Note What is the nature of historical fiction?There are some interesting ideas here like what constitutes the real self Or what’s worth fighting for “This England” It’s a book meant to be discussedMy thanks to netgalley and Little Brown for an advance copy of this novel


  2. says:

    2 oh my disappointing starsI do like Atkinson's novels so when this one popped up I was anxious to begin turning pages Unfortunately the anticipation for this novel went south as I become bogged down in a uneven plot and the flipping of time elements This is a book I should have loved It had everything World War 2 a strong intelligent woman espionage London all the things that make for a poignant novel So what went wrong?For me I just could not connect with any of the characters They were choppy figures that seemed to drift about as I wondered exactly why they did what they did There really didn't seem to be much of a plot and though I am sure Ms Atkinson did her due diligence on the topic it just fell ever so flat It was hard for me to maintain attention and though I did skim a bit and found myself adverse to continuing at times wishing and hoping it would get betterSo for me this novel just didn't come together I am hoping Ms Atkinson does continue to write for she does it so wellThank you to my local library for a copy of this book


  3. says:

    As this novel opens it is 1981 Juliet Armstrong is 60 years old and while she was distracted by her thoughts she was struck by a car when she attempted to cross the street Her story comes through in a series of jumps between 1940 and 1950 before landing back in 1981 againIn 1940 at the tender age of 18 Juliet is recruited by MI5 to work on transcribing taped conversations between one of MI5’s agents disguised as a subversive and several informants There are short excerpts from these transcriptions throughout the 1940 portions of the novelIn 1950 the war is over although the aftermath lingers Especially in the world of MI5 where spying on whatever enemies exist continues Juliet’s everyday life has changed however She is involved in the production of several radio programs for school children However as Juliet discovers one is never entirely free of the spy business Once a part of MI5 always a part of MI5 Maybe Unless One of Juliet’s thoughts from 1981 The Russians had been their enemies and then they were their allies and then they were enemies again The Germans the same – the great enemy the worst of all of them and now they were our friends one of the mainstays of Europe It was all such a waste of breath War and peace Peace and war It would go on forever without end Of the many things I have always admired about Kate Atkinson’s writing one in particular stands out how brilliant it is We experience first hand the intelligence and rapid fire brain synapses of Juliet Armstrong right from the beginning Although she is resigned to always being the one expected to clean up to get the tea and other “female tasks” like typing up the transcripts her mind is always working at the speed of light and she both sees and knows far than she would ever let on And people noticeThe author’s notes at the end of this story are wonderful Ms Atkinson describes where real situations and events from the war years are blended with the fictional story she is telling It is virtually seamless and if someone had said this is a true story I wouldn’t uestion it for a moment This is an ingeniously plotted story and I felt instant kinship with Juliet Armstrong – even at the same time that I was bowled over by her intellect Her relationships with her fellow co workers and those in the hierarchy above her were fascinating and had me feeling by turns loftier and humbledAlthough this is not what I would describe as a “funny book” it was overflowing with humour and entertaining situations I laughed out loud a few times and I also felt sad a few times because there is also pathos hereKate Atkinson’s writing in this novel gave me a strong urge to immediately pick up another one of her books Fortunately I do have a few that I have not yet read and I hope to read some of them in 2019 In the meantime this finely crafted novel will have to hold me – and it definitely has the strength to do so


  4. says:

    Great historical fiction in the world of British espionage in WW2 and the repercussions that emerge in the 1950s Touches on issues of class in spying circles being gay the monitoring of fascists a young Juliet recruited to engage in the process of transcription that develops into so much Then some time after the war Juliet is now a BBC radio producer and sees a familiar face that refuses to acknowledge her leading to the entry of a host of familiar figures from the past There are so many great reviews on this so I will limit myself to saying this is complex storytelling that I found thoroughly absorbing enjoyable and immersive historical fiction


  5. says:

    Not all of Kate Atkinson’s novels have been what she calls historical fiction but the last several have been This novel may hew closest to the truth though like she says in the Author’s Note at the end she wrenched open history and stuffed it with imaginative reconstruction at least one fantasy for each fact The author tells us afterward what her intentions were we have uestions—that’s inevitable—and instead of farming out possible answers to various reviewers she’s just blunt with us what we’d been wondering about There is something comparable in theatre when the actors takes off their masks for the final bow and we all celebrate togetherAtkinson returns to the Second World War periodic releases from the National Archives of secrets from that time fueling her creative process When she discovers true fact an ordinary seeming bank clerk was a major cog in rounding up British supporters of Nazis her story had a frame When she discovered true fact hundreds and hundreds of pages of transcripts of conversations of dissident groups in London her story had a heartWhat Kate Atkinson does is not necessarily uniue using historical documents to create fiction but what she does with it is uniue Her style tone and characters are recognizably hers She is funny one knows there are people out there whose droll delivery of witty responses to ordinary uestions is uintessentially British but we don’t come across it enough Atkinson can do repartee By now Atkinson may be incapable now of writing a straightforward fiction with a chronological timeline This novel has only three time periods to work with and really only one central character which simplifies the action enough that I only had to reread an earlier section once This was partly due to my surprise maybe a little resentment and finally pleasure at being taken out of the action at what seemed like a critical momentagain She’d done that to me in the previous section as well I was burrowed in like a tick and am yanked to a later earlier whatever time Atkinson manages to satisfy and confound a reader at the same time Atkinson’s characters always have the ‘ghost of Jackson Brodie’ about them This is a very good thing considering how much we liked Brodie and wouldn’t mind having him resurrected We could make the case that the main character in this novel Juliet Armstrong is a female Jackson Brodie—honest and therefore vulnerable she doesn’t have so high an opinion of herself that she is insufferable In the end she is well able to take care of herself She’s smart and a very good liar but keeps herself a little distant After all who can one trust?At eighteen Juliet is parentless her mother's death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief Young and alone Juliet was not however callow She lied like crazy through a job interview with a flippant and overly inuisitive young man who interviewed her for a job which she was surprised she got Later she learned he'd known every lie and appreciated the ease with which she misled him This book is about spies spies working in the service of the British government or so we believe What is special is that we see what is British about them—what is ordinary patriotic courageous honorable But we also see a nation at war and we see duplicity hunger ambition pettiness Then we lay over that the work of the other nations at war France Germany Russia the United States and a few exceptional people emerge alive not unscathed but breathing at the end The tension comes when we are not sure who will remain standingAtkinson writes about the middle of the twentieth century but she could be talking about the twenty first Juliet could still remember when Hitler had seemed like a harmless clown No one was amused now “The clowns are the dangerous ones Perry said”andDo not euate nationalism with patriotismNationalism is the first step on the road to FascismOne always senses the intelligence in Atkinson’s work She not only writes a good story which means getting the humanity right she makes us think while we read She’s unpredictable And frankly I like her politics It’s always a pleasure to enjoy another of her books


  6. says:

    Juliet is adorably clueless The spy guys stuffy and charadesue All of them So Very British Or it could be just me stereotyping the world if so then I'm sorryThe humour appropriately dry The atmosphere noirish just a bit to add in enough grit and some patina of time that feels to have passed between the reader and the plotline originsJust what I love to read occasionally PS Mangling Russian dishes didn't improve the novel By 'Verushka' a 'vatrushka' probably was meant Took me ages to guess Why the hell couldn't the writer just call it a pie or a cheese pie or a Russian cheese pie? The book gained no extra authenticity whatsoever from making it sound as if they were all eating someone called Vera Faith in an endearing formI was beginning to think that you were lost’‘But now I am found’ c‘Joy is an admirable goal’ Juliet said ‘Completely unobtainable of course’ cOlder men of a certain type were drawn to her They seemed to want to improve her in some way Juliet was almost thirty and didn’t feel she needed much improvement The war had seen to that c had been employed as an Announcer It had a capital letter ‘A woman’ everyone said as if they’d never heard a woman speak before cThe cat a ginger one – they were the worst type of cat in Juliet’s opinion – had jumped up on the desk and bitten her – uite sharply so that she couldn’t help but give a little yelp of pain It then proceeded to roll around on the desk before rubbing its face on the microphone and purring so loudly that anyone listening must have thought there was a panther loose in the studio one that was very pleased with itself for having killed a woman c forlornly earnest about even the most trivial things cJuliet supposed that any one of those things – the war philosophy Vienna – was capable of making you both forlorn and earnest and perhaps badly dressed too cDid she understand what that meant? It meant that she was about to lose the only person who loved her She was seventeen and her grief for herself was almost as great as her grief for her mother her mother’s death had revealed that there was no metaphor too ostentatious for grief It was a terrible thing and demanded embellishment cHer mother had represented a form of truth for her something that Juliet knew she had moved away from in the decade since her death cInside each pearl there was a little piece of grit That was the true self of the pearl wasn’t it? The beauty of the pearl was just the poor oyster trying to protect itself From the grit From the truth cThinking had always been her downfall cBut wasn’t artistic endeavour the final refuge of the uncommitted? cJuliet used to think that someone who seemed as ordinary as Godfrey Toby must be harbouring a secret – a thrilling past a dreadful tragedy – but as time had gone by she’d realized that being ordinary was his secret It was the best disguise of all really wasn’t it? cI should have followed him she thought But he would have lost her He had been rather good at evasion c Wow Lovely phrase it could mean both physical and intellectual stuff‘Do you like Beethoven sir?’ she asked‘Not particularly’ he said seemingly puzzled by the uestion ‘He makes for a good paperweight though’ cChoice it seemed was one of the first casualties of war c‘Juliet?’ the man said contemplatively ‘As in Romeo and Juliet? Very romantic’ He laughed as if this was some kind of private joke‘I believe it was actually a tragedy sir’‘Is there a difference?’ cShe didn’t like that supercilious eyebrow and so she gave her unfathomable father a promotion ‘An officer’ c a Bedford bus pulled up in front of Juliet The driver opened the door and shouted over to her ‘MI5 love? Hop in’ So much for secrecy she thought c‘Juliet’‘Oh bad luck I bet everyone’s always asking you where Romeo is c‘Well Pa always said I’d end up behind bars’And that was how Juliet’s career in espionage began cIt would be menials who would win this war she thought not girls in pearls cThe Four Hundred the Embassy the Berkeley the Milroy the Astoria ballroom – there was no end to the entertainment to be had during a war c I’ve a feeling I might know why Hitler went as far as he did around the Europe he spoke Swahili What was the point of that Juliet wondered? Unless you were a Swahili of course cJuliet was waiting to be seduced by him By anyone really but preferably him It was turning into a rather long wait cIt seemed that she had acuired all the drawbacks of being a mistress and none of the advantages – like sex She was becoming bolder with the word if not the act For Perry it seemed to be the other way round – he had all the advantages of having a mistress and none of the drawbacks Like sex сJuliet felt rather ashamed as her mind had been on what dress to wear this evening rather than bottomless pits of evil The war still seemed like a matter of inconvenience rather than a threat cShe imagined him creeping up on some poor unsuspecting hedgehog and giving it the fright of its life c‘Today is Friday Miss Armstrong’‘All day sir’‘And tomorrow is Saturday’‘It is’ she agreed Was he going to name all the days of the week she wondered? cThe prospect of tea was tedious she had drunk enough with Mrs Scaife to sink HMS Hood cIt was an analphabetic jumble rather like being given an insight into the chaotic workings of a cat’s brain c‘Can I do something sir?’ she asked‘You can’t help me’ he said bleakly ‘No one can’‘Are you having a spiritual crisis?’ she hazarded – tenderly as seemed befitting for spiritual crises cPerry gave a wretched kind of sob and unable to think of anything else Juliet made a cup of tea and placed it silently on the carpet next to him where he remained in supplication She shut the door uietly and got on with her work It turned out that discovering a man on his knees weeping was a surprisingly effective deterrent to romantic feelings about that man cshe plucked ‘Middlesbrough’ out of thin air ‘Wonderful’ she heard someone whisper People always said they wanted the truth but really they were perfectly content with a facsimile c‘You should know it’ Hartley said ‘Why don’t you know it?’‘Perhaps because I don’t actually work for you any you know You’re not even paying me just expenses And you’re obviously incompetent or I would know it’ cShe feared that she was beginning to tread the wilder shores of her imagination cShe didn’t feel she had the fortitude for all those Tudors they were so relentlessly busy – all that bedding and beheadingDid people hunt flamingos? It was a bird Juliet had never given any thought to and now it seemed to be perched on every corner No not perched – they didn’t perch did they? Too big probably And the legs would be too long You needed short legs for perching or you would be unbalanced especially if you had a predilection for standing on one leg Juliet sighed and wondered if one day she would think herself to death cShe was dressed in an odd assortment of black garments as if she had simply raided her wardrobe for everything in that colour and then piled it all on She looked like a large rather distressed batсBut then what constituted real? Wasn’t everything even this life itself just a game of deception? cYou had to ask yourself which was better – to have sex with any number of interesting albeit possibly evil men and some women too apparently to be glamorously decadent to ingest excessive amounts of drugs and alcohol and die a horrible but heroic death at a relatively young age or to end up in Schools Broadcasting at the BBC? cAnd that was that Juliet’s war ‘Oh my dear Juliet’ he laughed ‘One is never free It’s never finished’ c Juliet seized her chanceShe was the deer She was the arrow She was the ueen She was the contradiction She was the synthesis Juliet ran c It was a nice lie and she thanked him silently for it He always had such good manners She expected it wasn’t a matter of sides at all it was probably much complicated than that cShe wished she could see her son one last time Remind him to live his life well tell him that she loved him Tell him that nothing mattered and that that was a freedom not a burden c


  7. says:

    ''In wartime truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies'' Winston Churchill 1950 Juliet is a BBC producer responsible for the children's zone Intelligent energetic and a talented writer she tries to make History interesting for the young ones She should know for her relationship to the Lady with the Book that chronicles the course of the human race has been extremely turbulent If we travel back in time in 1940 specifically we'll see Juliet reluctantly working for the country a spy for MI5 And now traces of her former life have returned to show our heroine that the past is a war without an endKate Atkinson leads us to one of the most eventful eras in History The nightmare of WWII is about to break out We join a suad created to capture members of the British aristocracy that dreams of a fascist future siding with Hitler Young women infiltrate their circle to prevent evil and transcriptions are used to set up a defense against a very sneaky enemy Identities must change facades must be created victims are inevitable and at times expendable But how can you go on with your life once this comes to an end? Juliet has made her choices in a life that allows no emotions No friends no loved ones No one to trust no name no past Atkinson writes in a way that is direct and ''literary'' and creates a novel that becomes so much than a spy story This is a novel about a young woman who tries to obey the country's call and uses her wit without abandoning her principles or her kindness ''Still the fog had lifted overnight and now Juliet could see the beginning of buds on the trees and even above the noise of London traffic she could hear that the birds were singing their tiny hearts out getting ready for spring They are all feathers she thought'' The setting is superbly crafted The dark atmosphere of the impending war that suffocates London the rebirth of the 50s the impact of the Cold War in the capital are used to great effect and the era comes alive through the pages I loved the bookish references and the trivia of the British Theatre during the golden days of the radio plays London becomes a character in every novel set in the metropolis and Transcription is no exception It definitely matches the personality of our heroine Juliet is gloomy thoughtful and mysterious but it is the momentary instances of sunshine make her such a complex and fascinating character surrounded by an exciting cast of espionage journalism and British realityDark sarcastic gloomy compulsively readable this novel is my introduction to Kate Atkinson's work and it is certain to find itself among my favourite reads of the year '''History should always have a plot Juliet thought as she slushed and burned Morna Treadwell's deathly words How else can you make sense of it?'' My reviews can also be found on


  8. says:

    25I am having a really bad historical fiction year looking at you Washington Black So I was absolutely convinced that dropping all my reading commitments to immediately pick up Kate Atkinson's new WWII spy novel would help raise my spirits Her previous books Life after Life and A God in Ruins are favourites of mine I trust her to a deliver a distinct kind of uber British novel complete with her rather sardonic humour and droll observations All of these Atkinson isms are here at least in part but the final result is I am deeply sad to report a bit of a messI am sure Atkinson knows wit is one of her trade marks but she totally over does it here it loses it's charm This starts out a very promising espionage novel that ends as farce I don't recall her other novels being so peppered with asides in parenthesis not to mention the Greek chorus like repetition of text from earlier in the story This techniue not only drove me entirely batty it also succeeded in ousting me out of the story at key moments An impressive amount of research has gone into this book particularly the role of MI5 in monitoring Nazi sympathisers The Fifth Column during WWII I feel like the source material is rife with intrigue and danger but somehow that is not carried over into this story Many times I considered that I might have been better served by reading a non fiction account of this era The sense of the war the political machinations of MI5 and the various elements of seditious activity became uite lost in this rather curiously light hearted plot Was Atkinson trying to show that spy craft was relentlessly dull and often pointless ? That all MI5 men are essentially interchangeable types and that it is impossible to tell who is spying on who and why ? If so then this was a success It hurts me to review this so unfavourably and other fans of Atkinson should not be disheartened as it is entirely possible that I was still suffering a Warlight hangover The two books share some overlap in a setting of post war London and espionage as a critical driver however in all other respects they could not be stylistically opposed A slight blemish then on my otherwise complete adoration of this author I now need to go back and reread Life after Life to remind myself how good Atkinson can be


  9. says:

    Juliet Armstrong is only eighteen years old when she is recruited by the M15 in 1940 She is tasked with transcribing the conversations of British fascists sympathizers during WWII Before long she is given duties such as working as a spy herself and watching a dog which is being held for a sort of ransom Ten years later she finds herself working for the BBC as a radio producer She appears to have moved on with her life until those from her past come back reminding her that one can never get away and there are spies who spy on the spies and that past crimes can and will haunt you The plot shifts around mainly between the 1040's and 1950's with brief time spent in the 1980'sThe plot shifts around mainly between the 1040's and 1950's with brief time spent in the 1980's Juliet begins the book as a young woman mourning the loss of her Mother while attending school to learn a trade She is recruited right out of the school and passes the initial test and is thrown into the world of espionage You've come a long way baby comes to mind This is a slower moving book and one needs to really pay attention to detail I did struggle at times with the slowness Initially I really enjoyed the book and then things felt tedious then things picked up once again Juliet is also an interesting character I failed to connect with her and yet I enjoyed reading her thoughts She had a dry sense of humor and had some witty and insightful thoughts The other characters in this book had their own sense of humor as well I do not read a lot of espionagespy novels and it was nice to see the humor thrown in As Juliet's job is transcription the reader gets to see the transcriptions that Juliet has made I enjoyed this touch even though some of the conversations were mundane I thought this was a nice way to show that a spy's life is not always exciting and how many spy organizations gather their data Plus this is another way of giving the reader a glimpse into Juliet's life her interactions with others in the M15Apart from some pacing issues I was hoping for a little action in this book But again as I mentioned before this book was dealing with transcribing data so there can't be too much action in that and even the fight scene was all very proper Atkinson's writing is wonderful and I thoroughly enjoyed her Author's Note at the end Don't skip thatI enjoyed this book and appreciated that Atkinson used a female protagonist ahem spy in this book I just wished I connected with Juliet She started off as naive and got some maturity and oomph as the book progressed but I never felt connected to her character There are uite few characters in this book but I found it easy to keep track of themFans of Atkinson WWII buffs and fans of spyespionage novels will surely enjoy this bookThank you to Little Brown and Company and NetGalley who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review All the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are my ownRead of my reviews at wwwopenbookpostcom


  10. says:

    “May I tempt you?” This uestion is the impetus which shifts a very young woman from a job merely transcribing traitorous conversations deliberately overheard during WWII in London into a bonafide spy Working at the BBC ten years later her misdeeds of the past come back to haunt her For a novel about espionage I found the characters to be rather dull and the plot lacking in tension


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