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Publisher's Summary

From the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Handmaid's Tale

Cat’s Eye is the story of Elaine Risley, a controversial painter who returns to Toronto, the city of her youth, for a retrospective of her art. Engulfed by vivid images of the past, she reminisces about a trio of girls who initiated her into the the fierce politics of childhood and its secret world of friendship, longing, and betrayal. Elaine must come to terms with her own identity as a daughter, a lover, an artist, and a woman - but above all she must seek release form her haunting memories. 

Disturbing, humorous, and compassionate - and a finalist for the Booker Prize - Cat’s Eye is a breathtaking novel of a woman grappling with the tangled knot of her life.

©1989 Margaret Atwood (P)2011 Random House

Critic Reviews

"A brilliant, three-dimensional mosaic...the story of "Elaine's childhood is so real and heartbreaking you want to stand up in your seat and cheer." (Boston Sunday Globe)

"Stunning...Atwood conceives Elaine with a poet's transforming fire; and delivers her to us that way, a flame inside an icicle." (Los Angeles Times)

"Nightmarish, evocative, heartbreaking." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Cat's Eye

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Excellent

I really feel the need to leave this review because the only other Audible reviewer colorfully describes how the narrator ruined the book, and I almost didn't get it because of that.

I'm so glad I decided to give it a chance anyway. I've listened to at least 100 audiobooks and I really found no problem with this narrator. I thought her voice and reading were perfectly appropriate for the character. I hadn't read the book before so I did not have a preconceived notion of what she was supposed to sound like, but either way, I did not find the narrator at all robotic or over-acting.

As for the story - yes, it is wonderful. All in all, this audiobook was a very enjoyable experience.

48 people found this helpful

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Great book for those with memories

One of the best studies of where melancholy aloofness is born. The eternal simmering of childhood injustices tempered by quiet self sufficiency is where the broad and weary weariness is born. Knowing all that you know, can you trust others, can you forgive them. Can you grow to cherish them. Can you tell them this?

16 people found this helpful

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Glorious!

No matter who you are, whether your childhood was a glory or a nightmare, no matter what your age today, you may find you are changed when this story steals your heart.

This novel is loved by many, and we all have our preferences and memories around it, but I must say that I can't understand the criticism given to Kimberly Farr's reading. Ms. Farr is the very person to read Elaine. Her voice is both young and old, and she conveys emotion with its nuances, rather than with "acting". Her performance enhanced the story for me.

Jay Thomas

14 people found this helpful

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Heart opening

This book is a must read for any woman who ever grew up in the western world, especially in a suburban setting. It's a true and very touching catharsis about the cruelty of women towards each other and the heartbreak behind such cruelty. I will definitely be reading this again.

11 people found this helpful

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Another great one!

I have never been disappointed by Margaret Atwood! Cat's Eye is no exception. This story is the narrator's retelling (reminiscing) about her life interspersed with present time. I loved the journey she shared, parts poignant, parts funny, parts tug at the heart.

10 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

Where does Cat's Eye rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's one of the best audiobooks I've listened to. The narrator does a really amazing job. She captures the voice of the main character perfectly, both as a child and as an adult. The whole story is told in a beautiful manner.

5 people found this helpful

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Thinking Back

Vintage Margaret Atwood. I'm nearing this juncture in my own life, so the "thinkback" motif hit very close to home. Performance a little tight.

5 people found this helpful

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a favorite since forever

An observational, often funny, often moving story of a woman returning to her hometown of Toronto as an adult, remembering the experiences that led her to where she is.

Want to know how malicious girls can be? Cat's Eye nails it on the head. It gets me right in the feels every time.

4 people found this helpful

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Her book are contagious...I can't get enough of 'e

I am beginning to understand quite well what makes her storylines so intriguing and her characters so vivid. She sticks to the techniques she is good at. However, it is precisely this use of the same techniques and even the same phrases that made this book slightly more predictable than the others (Handmaid's Tale and her Oryx and Crake trilogy). But her descriptive techniques in the Cat's Eye made up for this, though.

4 people found this helpful

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  • TH
  • 09-20-16

Girls Are Mean- At All Ages

What made the experience of listening to Cat's Eye the most enjoyable?

I thought about my own childhood bullies, and where we are all in our lives now. Karma may not always be swift, but she is indeed a just lady.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Elaine's mother- she was adaptable and aware.

Which character – as performed by Kimberly Farr – was your favorite?

Elaine- she was flighty, scattered, and awkward....very much the way I perceive myself.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It rang true to me from many life experiences. There are so many people who will be unkind to us, judge us, belittle us, be cruel to us...and we must find our ways to cope and to survive.

Any additional comments?

I loved the descriptions of Elaine's art, though I wish she'd also depicted Grace, her true bully.

8 people found this helpful