Monday, 6 December 2010

Book of the Week and Bibliography - Kate Atkinson, Started Early, Took My Dog

Kate Atkinson made a considerable splash with her first novel, Behind the Scenes in the Museum, which won the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and probably remains her best known (and most valuable) book. However, after publishing several more novels best characterised as literary fiction, she has turned to distinctly superior crime novels in recent years, to considerable critical acclaim. Her Jackson Brodie novels will be televised in a BBC series early in 2011, which is likely to bring increased attention to her books. Started Early, Took my Dog is a stand alone crime novel published earlier this year to very positive reviews, and is my current Book of the Week. I have just picked up a signed copy at Hatchards for below cost price, which is a very good deal. It may also be a good time to pick up copies of the Jackson Brodie crime novels.

“A day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse, until she makes a purchase she hadn't bargained for. One moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy's humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn. Witnesses to Tracy's Faustian exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie who has returned to his home county in search of someone else's roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished. Kate Atkinson dovetails and counterpoints her plots with Dickensian brilliance in a tale peopled with unlikely heroes and villains . Started Early, Took My Dog is freighted with wit, wisdom and a fierce moral intelligence. It confirms Kate Atkinson’s position as one of the great writers of our time.”


Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Doubleday, 1995. Currently £100-150 in dustwrapper. Watch out for the very similar Book People/Doubleday edition, which is essentially a book club edition of very little value.

Human Croquet, Doubleday, 1997. Hardcover in dustwrapper available at £5-10.

Abandonment, Nick Hern Books, 2000. A play, paperback only. Plenty of copies available, but unclear whether these are firsts or reprints.

Emotionally Weird, Doubleday, 2000. Hardcover in dustwrapper available at £5-10.

Not the End of the World, Doubleday, 2002. Short stories; hardcover in dustwrapper for £10-15.

Case Histories, Doubleday, 2004. First of the Jackson Brodie Crime Novels. Hardcover in dustwrapper available at £10-20.

One Good Turn, Doubleday, 2006. Hardcover in dustwrapper, £15-25.

When Will There Be Good News? Doubleday, 2008. Hardcover in dustwrapper, £15 -20.

Started Early, Took my Dog, Doubleday, 2010. Hardcover in dustwrapper, £15-20.

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