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Payback by Margaret Atwood
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Payback (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Margaret Atwood

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5261819,198 (3.82)48
Member:OWSLibrary
Title:Payback
Authors:Margaret Atwood
Info:Berlin Verlag (2008), Hardcover, 220 pages
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Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth by Margaret Atwood (2008)

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Not bad, but not what I expected. It discusses 'payback' as a philosophical and moral issue, and uses Dr Faustus and Ebenezer Scrooge as leitmotives to discuss it. It's much more literary than I expected. I guess I thought it would be tackled from a much more economic point of view. ( )
  Niecierpek | Jun 18, 2013 |
Enjoyed the last chapter of this book, especially when a modern-day Scrooge is visited by the Ghosts of Earth Day Past, Present and Future. ( )
  GlenyssT | May 18, 2013 |
I have been a fan of Margaret Atwood's since reading the Handmaid's Tale my freshman year in college. I can't say I've read everything, but a fair chunk of it has crossed my desk...This is the first non-fiction work I have read by her, so it is a bit different for me. I thought it was very good, I enjoyed both the history and theology lessons. Personally, I could have done without the parable at the end however, perhaps she just culdn't resist a bit of fiction... ( )
  ScoutJ | Mar 31, 2013 |
very enjoyable. atwood has a very stupid chuckle which is kind of endearing. i don't want to live with it but okay for a bit. i enjoyed the first 4 but the last put me off. i have very little time for dickens, especially scrooge and it was a modern arrangement of scrooge. ( )
  mahallett | Jun 3, 2012 |
If you can, get the audiobook. Atwood's dry humour is even better with her reading. ( )
  whistlerclaire | Apr 29, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Atwood's project is to show how human thought has been deeply shaped by notions of debt. It will be objected that she is merely spinning out an extended metaphor suggesting analogies between debt and noneconomic phenomena that are only vaguely analogous. In fact she is advancing the contrary and more interesting claim that economic activities involving borrowing and lending are metaphorical extensions of an underlying human sense of indebtedness.
 
Payback broaches an urgent topic in a way that won't make your eyes glaze over.
added by stephmo | editMedia Culture, Megan Yarrow (Jan 8, 2009)
 
In short, Margaret Atwood’s deeply enjoyable contemplation of debt comes from the same stable as the classic Presbyterian sermon about the sinners burning in hell who call out, ‘Lord, lord, we didnae ken.’ To which God replies, ‘Ah weel, ye ken noo!’
 
Because Atwood constantly veers off in new directions she doesn't always give herself time to sink her claws deep into a topic. The result is that, although Payback is packed with information, it can seem oddly thin.
 
Payback is a stimulating, learned and stylish read from an eminent author writing from a heartfelt perspective.
 
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For Graeme and Jess,
and Matthew and Graeme the younger
Lecture One: Ancient Balances--This chapter is dedicated to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, where my interests in Egyptian coffins was awakened when I was nine; to my father, Dr. C. E. Atwood, through whom I read The Water Babies; and to all the children I babysat and watched over at summer camps and in the home -- stern teachers in the ways of tit-for-tat.
Lecture Two: Debt and Sin--This chapter is dedicated to Aileen Christianson of Scotland, to Valerie Martin of the United States, and to Alice Miunro of Canada -- experts on sin and debt, all. Also to my mother, Margaret K. Atwood, and to my aunt, Joyce Barkhouse, for the insights they have provided on living within your means.
Lecture Three: Debt as Plot--This chapter is dedicated to Miss Bessie B. Billings and Miss Florence Smedley, my English teachers at Leaside HIgh School in Toronto, where I first read The Mill and the Floss;
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Canadian nature writer Ernest Thompson Seton had an odd bill presented to him on his twenty-first birthday.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0887848109, Paperback)

In this wide-ranging history of debt Margaret Atwood investigates its many meanings through the ages, from ancient times to the current global financial meltdown. Many of us wonder: how could we have let such a collapse happen? How old or inevitable is this human pattern of debt? Imaginative, topical and insightful, Payback urges us to reconsider our ideas of ownership and debt - before it is too late.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:22 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Collected here, the Massey Lectures from legendary novelist Margaret Atwood investigate the highly topical subject of debt, exploring debt as an ancient and central motif in religion, literature, and the structure of human societies.

(summary from another edition)

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