Kate Atkinson and style envy

I haven’t even read all of Kate Atkinson’s novels, just the Jackson Brodie series and a couple of the others (Behind the Scenes at the Museum and Human Croquet) but she’s a writer I frequently point to and say ‘that, that’s what I’m after’.

Like Stephen King or Terry Pratchett (both of whom I’ve long admired) Kate Atkinson makes it look easy and tantalisingly attainable. She has a natural, almost conversational style even when she’s sounding like Literature (with a capital L). She makes you care about the characters not because of their grand tragedy (though many of them do have tragic circumstances) but by details, little glimpses into their mildly disappointing childhood or a wholly inappropriate first love.

With her tightly connected web and echoes of actions reverberating throughout the book, she manages to make even the most odd circumstances seem somehow plausible. I know some people find the coincidences and neat connections in her novels contrived but I like the way it makes it feel almost like a fairytale. Which sounds contradictory, given I’ve just praised her seemingly down to earth style, but she has a way of taking something ordinary, presenting it as magical, and thus emphasising its ordinariness. If only I could work out how she does it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.