Regular price: $31.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

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.

List of Stories and Narrators:

  • "Alphinland" and "Torching the Dusties" read by Lorna Raver
  • "Revenant" read by Mark Bramhall
  • "Dark Lady" and "The Dead Hand Loves You" read by Arthur Morey
  • "Lusus Naturae" read by Emily Rankin
  • "The Freeze-Dried Groom" read by Rob Delaney
  • "I Dream of Zenia with the Bright Red Teeth" read by Bernadette Dunne
  • "Stone Mattress" read by Margaret Atwood
©2014 Margaret Atwood (P)2014 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Stunning…Atwood brings her biting wit to bear on the battle of the sexes." ( Publishers Weekly, starred review)
"Shrewdly brilliant, gleefully mischievous, and acerbically hilarious…Atwood has the raptor's penetrating gaze, speed, and agility and never misses her mark." ( Booklist, starred review)
"Clever tales about writers and lovers…Atwood is a playful, sharp-edged, and politically alert author." ( Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    171
  • 4 Stars
    118
  • 3 Stars
    64
  • 2 Stars
    18
  • 1 Stars
    13

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    170
  • 4 Stars
    106
  • 3 Stars
    36
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    153
  • 4 Stars
    102
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    15
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Includes 3 great short stories

I am a big fan of Margaret Atwood's work, and appreciate everything she writes, but in my opinion this is not her best work.
I didn't enjoy the entire collection, but it had its moments, thanks to the connection between the stories (revnge, looking back, connection between fantasy writers and their inspiration or themes).

There are also two exceptional stories included in this collection +one enjoyable nostalgic story for M. Atwood's fans.

I Dream of Zenia... - a retrospect/ revisit of the book The Robber Bride (funny and very well written)

The Dead Hand Loves you - a very amusing story, about a glorified horror writer, looking back at his inspiration and planning to take revenge on his past flat mates.

Torching the Dusties - best story included in this collection, and deserves entery to Atwood's hall of fame work. smart and disturbing story including a distopian view of old age.
brilliantly told and memorable.



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Percy
  • MelbourneAustralia
  • 01-31-15

Another amazing book

Growing old with empathy. An extraordinary set of stories.
Having different narrators was great. The stone mattress story was brilliant.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Staggeringly Good

Year ago, I read two of Margaret Atwood's novels; both were dark and disturbing, and extremely well-written. And recently, I've been listening to detective stories and mysteries - most of them enjoyable and good enough to pass the hours of my long daily commute.
Well, I clearly had forgotten how wonderful it is to listen to beautifully written prose!

Atwood's stories are wonderful, the characters are intriguing and the imagery conveyed by her beautiful words is stunning. I laughed out loud at times and other times I simply smiled to myself at the sheer wonder of how she tells a story. Happy tale or sad tale, Atwood's telling of the tale is everything.

I enjoyed every single minute of this collection of short stories and cannot recommend them highly enough.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Atwood at her finest!

The fact that the first few stories are interwoven is clever and engaging. I especially enjoyed hearing Atwood narrate a couple of them as no one like the author knows how to bring their characters to life. These were superb stories.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Just do it

Just get this, you won't regret it. It's riveting and I couldn't stop listening to it. Do it

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • sarah
  • san francisco, CA, United States
  • 04-13-15

Always a pleasure and great performances

If you like Atwood, these stories are pretty classic. She plays with perspective in the first few stories, reminding me of Oryx and Crake. The stories span genres and are and points of view. The performers are the same as Oryx and Crake, with Atwood reading some of the stories, expertly.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great short stories!

I'm a fan of Margaret Atwood. I see to be able to enjoy all her books and this one was no exception even though I find short stories in general to be less than satisfying because they're over too quickly leaving so much unfinished. I especially liked the story Stone Mattress for which the book is named. It was a great listen with a satisfying ending ;)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Nine wonderful stories

The performances of the readers in combination with the stories are both thrilling and charming. This book is a wonderful look at life further on, veering away from the standard 22-year-old protagonist and instead championing the complex lives of full adults.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well written and equally well narrated.

This is my first Margaret Atwood novel- I'm watching The Handmaid's Tale on HULU. Great book! I'm excited to begin reading her other works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • pt
  • 12-13-18

If you like short stories

This book Is very entertaining in an eerie sort of way. The voices fit the characters. All stories are interwoven.