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Moral Disorder and Other Stories (2006)

by Margaret Atwood

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,321766,702 (3.62)150
Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:Atwood triumphs with these dazzling, personal stories in her first collection since Wilderness Tips.

In these ten interrelated stories Atwood traces the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it, while evoking the drama and the humour that colour common experiences ‚?? the birth of a baby, divorce and remarriage, old age and death. With settings ranging from Toronto, northern Quebec, and rural Ontario, the stories begin in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. Then the narrative goes back in time to the forties and moves chronologically forward toward the present.

In ‚??The Art of Cooking and Serving,‚?Ě the twelve-year-old narrator does her best to accommodate the arrival of a baby sister. After she boldly declares her independence, we follow the narrator into young adulthood and then through a complex relationship. In ‚??The Entities,‚?Ě the story of two women haunted by the past unfolds. The magnificent last two stories reveal the heartbreaking old age of parents but circle back again to childhood, to complete the cycle.

By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood‚??s celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. This is vintage Atwood, writing at the hei
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» See also 150 mentions

English (73)  Piratical (1)  Finnish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (76)
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
The most subtle and smooth of Atwood's books, this series of connected short stories seems semi-autobiographical and is one of my favorites of the year so far. ( )
  nogomu | Oct 19, 2023 |
It took me a while to get into this book and a long while to get through it even then. I found it a little hard to follow and although it was a collection of short stories, the majority were closely related (continuations really) of earlier stories with the same character up until the final one or two stories. That ended up confusing me - I was so used to the characters recurring that it took me a while to realize it was someone entirely new (or at least I think it wasn't related - the horse mentioned in the story had the same name as the main character in the stories prior). ( )
  Sean191 | Nov 19, 2022 |
I don't think I would have appreciated this collection as much if I'd read it when I was younger. Life has had a fair amount of time to knock me around so the struggles (and hopes!) portrayed as the narrator aged throughout the short stories resonated. Adore her prose:

But I wasn't without social resources. I didn't take off my clothes and sing in public: I acted in acceptable ways. I smiled, nodded, made conversation, and so forth. I could do a good imitation of a competent young woman.

Maybe she would grow cunning, up here on the farm. Maybe she would absorb some of the darkness, which might not be darkness at all but only knowledge. She would turn into a woman others came to for advice. She would be called in emergencies. She would roll up her sleeves and dispense with sentimentality, and do whatever blood-soaked, bad-smelling thing had to be done. She would become adept with axes. ( )
  dandelionroots | Sep 18, 2022 |
This book has been sitting on my TBR file for awhile, and I decided it was time to read it. It's not my first Margaret Atwood book, but the first I've read that portrays her minimalist writing skills. The book is a series of "snapshots in time", or vignettes that trace a life. The book opens with the heroine, Nell and her husband Tig later on in their lives. Then it switches to Nell at eleven years old. Then proceeds with eight more vignettes of her life progressing from that age to about 45 years old.By that time Nell and Tig have lived a full life with all its stumbles, missteps and, in fact some positive happenings, but truthfully the vignettes depict the tough times much more than the happy ones. The book is not a happy and joyful read, but it says so much in so few well-chosen and well-crafted words and sentences. The last two vignettes are two separate depictions of end-of-life experiences. These stories are so well-illustrated that I had to stop for awhile between them to reflect and get back my equilibrium. At my age, death and dying are a fact of life, but I must admit that I don't dwell on those or on the inevitable consequences. Atwood made me examine these topics, make an assessment and then assimilate what she says so that it makes sense to me. She is a very talented writer, and her books are a journey more than just enjoyable fiction. Glad I took the time. I have one more of her books that has been sitting for ever on my shelf - The Robber Bride, and I want to dip into that pretty quickly. ( )
1 vote Romonko | Mar 7, 2022 |
Not the most compelling Atwood‚ÄĒmaybe because these interrelated short stories seemed to offer the worst of both worlds: an expectation for the plot development of a novel that short stories can't deliver on, but some "carry-over" from one story to the next that seemed to detract from the impact of each story on its own. Nevertheless, even mediocre Atwood is better than most other authors at their best. ( )
  Charon07 | Jul 16, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 73 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Atwood, Margaretprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Denaker, SusanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Drews, KristiinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Fiction. Literature. Short Stories. HTML:Atwood triumphs with these dazzling, personal stories in her first collection since Wilderness Tips.

In these ten interrelated stories Atwood traces the course of a life and also the lives intertwined with it, while evoking the drama and the humour that colour common experiences ‚?? the birth of a baby, divorce and remarriage, old age and death. With settings ranging from Toronto, northern Quebec, and rural Ontario, the stories begin in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. Then the narrative goes back in time to the forties and moves chronologically forward toward the present.

In ‚??The Art of Cooking and Serving,‚?Ě the twelve-year-old narrator does her best to accommodate the arrival of a baby sister. After she boldly declares her independence, we follow the narrator into young adulthood and then through a complex relationship. In ‚??The Entities,‚?Ě the story of two women haunted by the past unfolds. The magnificent last two stories reveal the heartbreaking old age of parents but circle back again to childhood, to complete the cycle.

By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earthy, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder displays Atwood‚??s celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. This is vintage Atwood, writing at the hei

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