THE MAGNIFICENT NEW NOVEL BY BESTSELLING AWARD-WINNING KATE ATKINSON
‘Think of it as an adventure, Perry had said right at the beginning of all this.And it had seemed like one. A bit of a lark, she had thought. A Girl's Own adventure.’
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 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 for ever.
Ten years later, now a 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 Juliet finds herself once more under threat. A bill of reckoning is due, and she finally begins to realize that there is no action without consequence.
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 this country’s most exceptional writers.
"Transcription stands alongside its immediate predecessors as a fine example of Kate Atkinson's mature work, an unapologetic novel of ideas which is also wise, funny and paced like a thriller." (Stephanie Merritt Observer)
"Kate Atkinson is a wonderful writer. I want to write like her when I grow up. Transcription shows she's at the peak of her powers. Full of beautiful, delicate, sharp sentences and characterisations. A spy novel that dismantles the whole genre. A class act, as ever." (Matt Haig)
"Never loses its sense of absurdity of human beings even in their most tragic or noble moments...How vehemently most novelists will wish to produce a masterpiece as good." (Jake Kerridge Daily Telegraph)
"Atkinson handles her mazy, Le Carre-style plot with complete authority. But there’s a lot more to the novel than its page-turning thrills. The increasingly sceptical Juliet makes for a very appealing heroine and the darker material is interspersed with some neat comedy. Above all, Atkinson recreates the atmosphere of both wartime and post-war London with utter conviction." (James Walton Reader's Digest)
"On a graph plotting the literary qualities versus saleability of contemporary British novelists, Kate Atkinson would surely occupy the highest point where the two meet...There are plenty of twists and turns in this terrific page-turner, some shocking moments, and a narrator whom the author encourages us to love." (Claire Harman Evening Standard)
"I loved Kate Atkinson's Transcription - you don't know if it's farce about spies, or a spy story about farce." (Hanya Yanagihara)
"A new Kate Atkinson novel is always a reason to rejoice and Transcription was everything I was hoping for and more…The truly surprising denouement makes for one of the best conclusions of a novel I’ve ever read.I immediately wanted to read it all over again." (Red)
"A treat - cerebral and suspenseful, playful and empathetic." (Mail on Sunday)
"A triumph...inventive, atmospheric and witty." (Good Housekeeping)