Behind the Scenes at the Museum: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Atkinson has won legions of fans through her Jackson Brodie mystery series as well as her literary novels including the time-bending Life After Life and its sequel, A God in Ruins. I’m reprising my review of her debut novel here because I’m so happy it introduced me to this gloriously talented author. The endearing voice of Ruby Lennox won me from this novel’s first paragraph, a womb’s-eye view of her conception above a York pet shop. Backlit by characters from preceding generations, her life unfolds through hilarious and harrowing circumstances. The winner of Britain’s Whitbread award, this is an engrossing read, and one of my all-time favorite books.

— From John

Description


A deeply moving family story of happiness and heartbreak, Behind the Scenes at the Museum is bestselling author Kate Atkinson's award-winning literary debut.

National Bestseller

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year

Ruby Lennox begins narrating her life at the moment of conception, and from there takes us on a whirlwind tour of the twentieth century as seen through the eyes of an English girl determined to learn about her family and its secrets. Kate Atkinson's first novel is "a multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years" (The New York Times Book Review).

About the Author


Kate Atkinson is the author of a short-story collection, Not the End of the World, and critically acclaimed novels including Human Croquet, Case Histories and One Good Turn. She lives in Edinburgh, UK.

Praise For…


“Remarkable . . . A multigenerational tale of a spectacularly dysfunctional Yorkshire family and one of the funniest works of fiction to come out of Britain in years.” —Ben Mcintryre, The New York Times Book Review

“Scoundrels, malcontents, misfits, and cheats. Every family has them, though seldom are they handled with the winsome wit and wisecrackery that make Behind the Scenes at the Museum such a smart and funny read.” —The Washington Times

“Startlingly original . . . A poignant and beautifully wrought portrait of a young girl's growth.” —Johanna Stoberock, The Seattle Times

“Really comic, really tragic, bracingly unsentimental . . . What a triumph! What joy!” —The Boston Sunday Globe

“An effervescent, affecting delight.” —Rebecca Radner, The San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle

Product Details
ISBN: 9780312150600
ISBN-10: 0312150601
Publisher: Picador
Publication Date: November 12th, 1999
Pages: 336
Language: English