Stone Mattress by Margaret Atwood
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc on 2014-08-28
Genres: Fiction, General
Source: Bloomsbury Publishing Pic
A recently widowed fantasy writer is guided through a stormy winter evening by the voice of her late husband. An elderly lady with Charles Bonnet’s syndrome comes to terms with the little people she keeps seeing, while a newly-formed populist group gathers to burn down her retirement residence. A woman born with a genetic abnormality is mistaken for a vampire. And a crime committed long-ago is revenged in the Arctic via a 1.9 billion year old stromatalite. In these nine tales, Margaret Atwood ventures into the shadowland earlier explored by fabulists and concoctors of dark yarns such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Daphne du Maurier and Arthur Conan Doyle – and also by herself, in her award-winning novel Alias Grace. In Stone Mattress, Margaret Atwood is at the top of her darkly humorous and seriously playful game.
I received this book for free from Bloomsbury Publishing Pic in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have a confession to make. I haven’t been reading as much as I want to – well, I haven’t been reading fiction “for fun” as much as I have wanted to. The reason is that now that school is in session and I’m focusing on a specific area of literature and navigating my way through graduate school, I just can’t afford to set aside time to read for pleasure. But then, the other night I was thinking about that and I realized that it shouldn’t be the case. Just because I’m in school and reading other things doesn’t mean I can’t pick up a book for fun and so the first one I picked up was STONE MATTRESS by Margaret Atwood.
There’s a reason I went to Atwood. She never fails – not once – to get me out of a reading slump. Her style of writing just grabs me by the throat and, essentially, forces me to continue to read until the last page has been turned and the story finished. STONE MATTRESS was no exception. I loved – no I adored this collection of short stories. I think it’s Atwood at her absolute sharpest in wit and her best in storytelling. There’s a story in here where a woman commits the “perfect murder,” a connected group of stories about the art of writing and what makes for good literature and what doesn’t and explores the lives of people who think they determine these things… the stories just go on and on and every one kept building on the one before until I felt completely overwhelmed (in a good way) with the sheer genius on the page before me.
I know it’s a stylish thing these days to gush over Atwood. If you are any serious sort of book lover, it seems to be expected that she ranks high on your list, but I have to say all that aside, she’s just a damn fine writer and deserves every bit of praise coming her way. STONE MATTRESS is testament to that and I highly recommend you pick it up as soon as possible and discover what I found in there. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
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