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Publisher's Summary

Marian is determined to be ordinary. She lays her head gently on the shoulder of her serious fiancee and quietly awaits marriage. But she didn't count on an inner rebellion that would rock her stable routine, and her digestion. Marriage a la mode, Marian discovers, is something she literally can't stomach ...

The Edible Woman is a funny, engaging novel about emotional cannibalism, men and women, and desire to be consumed.

©1969, 1980 Margaret Atwood (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd.

Critic Reviews

"Funny, sharp, witty, clever." ( The Times)
"Written with a brilliant angry energy." ( Observer)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    99
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    149
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    104
  • 2 Stars
    48
  • 1 Stars
    27

Performance

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    58
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    20
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    9

Story

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    98
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Sometimes there's a reason books get rejected...

I am a die-hard Atwood fan, and I've loved every single book/audiobook of hers UNTIL this one. Long, slow, annoyingly cynical and brow-beatingly propagandistic, I can only hope that the remaining books on my Atwood wishlist prove to be more inspiring.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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

One of my all time favorites of Atwood

This may have been the first book I read of Atwood's - probably 13-14 years ago - a recommendation from a writing mentor, please forgive how pretentious that sounds. (Lady Oracle may have been my first).

Reading this book for the first time as a 22-23 year old, I was amazed by how much I was experiencing the same conundrums as our protagonist. She struggles with feminism and femininity, a woman's place in society and in the home. She is working a job that was just a j-o-b (and during the time this novel was written, it was almost just assumed that when the woman married, she would quit her job - especially when she is marrying someone as Marian is marrying)

While I wasn't getting married, I was watching all my friends take that step. Marian's emotions rang so true to my own emotions at the time, reading this was almost like having drinks with a close friend. Marian behaves so irrationally and emotionally, it makes her so endearing and human.

The narration is ok - I give her 3 stars because her tones and inflections could be slightly better, more in rhythm, but I've listened to the audiobook I think 3 times now, so I obviously don't hate her reading of it. (I've read the book at least twice).

It is not of Atwood's more recent sci-fi ilk, so if that is what you are looking for, move on.

Even though I'm no longer in the same place I was at 22, I still really enjoy this book. It will always be one of my favorites. Great for any young woman who thinks she wants to get married because that's what young women do at her age. I've given it as presents a number of times - not at bridal showers though, I think that might be a little too cruel and cynical.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 01-20-08

Better with age

I read this novel in the early 70's and didn't really expect it to stand the test if time - but I couldn't put this audiobook down! While it's not Atwood's best, I found it more witty and relevant than ever, despite it's early 60's setting. Except for the staccato "she said's", the narration was quite good.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Portola Valley, CA, USA
  • 02-05-09

Very disappointed

In the introduction to this book, Ms. Atwood says this is an early work of hers that was published years later -- after she had already published many of those for which she is famous. It shows. The plot is not compelling and you feel no affinity for the characters. I listened to it all the way through, hoping it would get better because everything else I have read of Ms. Atwood's I have enjoyed, but I grew to be actually annoyed by the characters. The conclusion resolves none of the tension the writer created and I was left disappointed by the journey. Aside from not liking the plot and characters, I felt the book contained way too much descriptor language that further burdened the flow. The writing didn't show much discipline and seemed to be mostly writing for writing's sake.

24 of 27 people found this review helpful

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

Dissapointed, not much to hang onto

I love Margaret Atwood's later books, but this one seemed unsatisfying, not quite feminist yet not quite traditional, somewhere trembling in between a declaration of independence and complete confusion. I like the narrator - she didn't do a bad job, she was understandable but the performance did nothing to enhance my understanding of the book either. I felt the narration of the main character was a fairly aggressive reading, contrasted with other voices for less important characters that clashed with ideas I had of each of those characters as well. The only way I would recommend this audio would be for a passionate Margaret Atwood fan who most absolutely read everything available.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Slow and unengaging

I just could't become connected to the characters and found myself waiting for something interesting to happen.

11 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The Margaret Atwood you never knew!

Written before she became so immersed in science fiction, this is a great first novel by a pre-eminent author.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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

I just didn’t get it

Was it me? Am I missing something obvious? Based on the pedigree of the author, I am more inclined to think I am overlooking something as opposed to this just being a really boring story.

I feel that high-brow people feel obligated to say intelligent things about the book because Margaret Atwood is so renowned … whereas I just think it sucked.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Insight and Perspective: A 40 year old Snapshot

An unexpected pleasure, Atwood's wonderful writing, not yet fully developed, set in a time in which many female baby boomers came of age. I understand myself and my culture better after enjoying this marvelous book.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

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

SO GOOD

In typical Margaret Atwood style, this book illuminates recent (WAAAY TOO RECENT) issues for women, with witty storytelling. it's funny and light, and also heavy and dark, all at the same time sometimes. amazing. Everything Margaret Atwood touches is gold.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 12-01-15

Compelling

Whilst I did enjoy this audiobook I think I would get more from it on a second listen. Although the story was compelling I wasn't sure what to expect or where it was going during some parts during my original listen.

Lorelei King is a great performer, I have listened to The Thorn Birds as read by her many times and this performance was just as good.

This is only my second Margaret Atwood book and I would definitely try more based on this one.

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
  • Andrea Edan
  • 10-20-18

A great writer even at the beginning of her career

I read this book many years ago, possibly when it was first published in the 70's. I loved it then and love it now and Lorelei King is the perfect narrator for Margaret Atwood's books. MA has never written formulaic books which makes each of her boos all the more remarkable. This debut shows how, even at the age of 26, she showed high originality and the amazing talent that shines from all her work. Have recommended this book to anyone and everyone.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • S OST
  • 09-25-18

Loved it

Great narrator, amazing author. An engaging story even now, over 50 years since it was written.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Grete Buck
  • 06-03-18

Becoming Yourself

Loved this book. A young woman's journey into adulthood in a confusing world. Intelligent, witty with laugh out loud moments and a truly satisfying ending.