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Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret…

Stone Mattress: Nine Tales (2014)

by Margaret Atwood

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While I really enjoyed "I dream of Zenia with bright red teeth" none of the other stories really jumped out at me. I guess I expected more from Margaret Atwood. It is a competent collection, well written, I just had no strong feelings what so ever about any of them. ( )
  SadieRuin | Aug 19, 2017 |
I love the language style Margaret Atwood writes in. It reminds me of a modern Virginia Wolfe sometimes. ( )
  Sarahliz2182 | Jul 1, 2017 |
I love the language style Margaret Atwood writes in. It reminds me of a modern Virginia Wolfe sometimes. ( )
  Sarahliz2182 | Jul 1, 2017 |
i only got through 4 stories. i just didn't want to spend time with the brooding and miserable characters. ( )
  mfabriz | Jun 26, 2017 |
In these 9 wicked tales, the first three are intertwined between Constance, a once budding writer who unpremeditatedly created a sci-fic empire/cult, and Gavin, a full-of-himself poet who slept with every admiring young lady and graduate student passing by him, with the first being Constance. These three were the best, but the other six were mighty good too. A common theme was aging, in some cases, death. Looking backwards, the view is always more clear, rather it be first love or first painful experience.

The 3 that are linked and best:
1. ‘Alphinland’ – Named after the sci-fic world that Constance created, I cheered for her triumphant caring for herself through an ice storm after the death of her husband. Her elderly ways remained me of my own probable weaknesses but gave me hope too. Hell, I’d probably be talking to myself then too.

2. ‘Revenant’ – Gavin is Constance’s first love, whom he cheated on with Marjorie and his pattern continues, currently with wife, Reynolds, 30 years his junior. By design, the reader will dislike Gavin, possibly hate. There’s a deliciousness in how the tale unfolds, of present and past, of Gavin’s proclaimed love for the one who got away – Constance, and of Reynolds who is no pushover and volleys back at Gavin.

3. ‘Dark Lady’ – Constance, Marjorie, Reynolds reunite at Gavin’s funeral. There’s pettiness, hurt feelings, truth revealing, the usual. But it’s the words, all 3 tales, the words are at once titillating yet bold. All three are bond by threads of the Gavin web that one can only hope to breakaway safely.

Titled Tale – ‘Stone Mattress’ shows a deeply cut pain can dramatically alter the course of a person’s life. But even after revenge is achieved, emptiness comes hand-in-hand with peace.

‘Touching the Dusties’ – Wow, the idea is just horrifying. I won’t say any more and let you read it.

Overall, this is a worthy read – raw, blunt, sexual, and plenty of lessons, such as “Money does talk, but it has a limited vocabulary.” Snap! ( )
  varwenea | Feb 27, 2017 |
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The freezing rain sifts down, handfuls of shining rice thrown by some unseen celebrant.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385539126, Hardcover)

A collection of highly imaginative short pieces that speak to our times with deadly accuracy. Vintage Atwood creativity, intelligence, and humor: think Alias Grace.

Margaret Atwood turns to short fiction for the first time since her 2006 collection, Moral Disorder, with nine tales of acute psychological insight and turbulent relationships bringing to mind her award-winning 1996 novel, Alias Grace. A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband in "Alphinland," the first of three loosely linked stories about the romantic geometries of a group of writers and artists. In "The Freeze-Dried Bridegroom," a man who bids on an auctioned storage space has a surprise. In "Lusus Naturae," a woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. In "Torching the Dusties," an elderly lady with Charles Bonnet syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. And in "Stone Mattress," a long-ago crime is avenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion-year-old stromatolite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:18 -0400)

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