Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride is inspired by "The Robber Bridegroom", a wonderfully grisly tale from the Brothers Grimm in which an evil groom lures three maidens into his lair and devours them, one by one. But in her version, Atwood brilliantly recasts the monster as Zenia, a villainess of demonic proportions, and sets her loose in the lives of three friends: Tony, Charis, and Roz. All three "have lost men, spirit, money, and time to their old college acquaintance, Zenia. At various times, and in various emotional disguises, Zenia has insinuated her way into their lives and practically demolished them.
To Tony, who almost lost her husband and jeopardized her academic career, Zenia is "a lurking enemy commando". To Roz, who did lose her husband and almost her magazine, Zenia is "a cold and treacherous bitch". To Charis, who lost a boyfriend, quarts of vegetable juice, and some pet chickens, Zenia is a kind of zombie, maybe "soulless" (Lorrie Moore, New York Times Book Review). In love and war, illusion and deceit, Zenia's subterranean malevolence takes us deep into her enemies' pasts.
©2011 Margaret Atwood (P)2011 Random House
"Moving amid these three women, touching up their portraits with one perfect detail after another, conjuring Zenia from their memories and tears, Atwood is in her glory. What a treasure she is, and what a fine new book she has written" (Newsweek)
Margaret Atwood is my favorite author, and I was not disappointed with this book. I found the story interesting and unique, with great character development. I loved the voice and style of the narrator--she was perfect for the voices of all three main characters.
A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.
It started off strong but ended with a well-written whimper. The prose was strong, the characters were interesting, but in the end it just seemed a little too predictable a tad too structured. By the concluding sentence, it almost felt as if Atwood was bored with her own novel.
great story and fascinating characters
Xenia, who was mysterious and impacted the lives of all in this story
convincing depiction of different characters
I went outside of my comfort zone with this book. It was turned into a Lifetime movie, definitely not my thing. But it was so much fun! I really cared about the characters and could not wait to hear more as their individual mysteries unraveled.
All three protagonists were wonderful in their own way.
I have not heard Ms. Dunne read before, but I really enjoyed her. I forgot I was listening to a single person, but she wasn't over the top. Pretty flawless.
Absolutely, I was antisocial during this story. I had my ear phones in all the time.
Brighter, less gullible protagonists, and a better plot. The main characters I couldn't have cared less about. They made me want to shake them sillly, or slap some sense into them. And, I slogged through the 20-plus hours to see what the point was, only to find none.
Definitely. I have always enjoyed Atwood's fantasy/futuristic-style books, but this didn't even seem like her work.
It was okay. I suppose my dislike for the characters colored my response to her somewhat.
A waste of my time.
Margaret Atwood is one of my literary Gods.
....so I was really surprised at this labored story.
Throughout the listening experience, I kept wondering if she had written the Robber Bride at college while attending a class inspired by Joseph Campbell and Jung then hauled it off a back shelf, dusted it off and sent it to her publisher 20 years later. There is a workmanlike sincerity creating a dullness in the Robber Bride that even the efforts of the excellent Ms. Dunne's narrative can't polish.
Although I haven't listened, I have read and reread most of Ms Atwood's work. Pick something else- ANYTHING else.
I can't recommend the Robber Bride to even devotees like me.
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