Stone Mattress: Nine Wicked Tales (Paperback)Margaret Atwood (author)
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By the author of The Handmaid's Tale and Alias Grace
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 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 stromatolite.
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.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 320
Weight: 255 g
Dimensions: 196 x 130 x 20 mm
Atwood illuminates heavy themes with a lightness of touch, giving insight not only into the nature of stone but the trials and tribulations of flesh and blood -- Anita Sethi * Observer *
This collection of short stories is charged with a delightful cheekiness . Atwood has characters here close to death, dead already, unwittingly doomed or - in one memorable case - freeze-dried; but her own curiosity, enthusiasm and sheer storytelling panache remain alive and kicking. Anyone keen to consign literary fiction to an early grave will have to deal with her first * Independent *
Realism and ridiculousness, play and deadly seriousness, are held in fine balance throughout. This long view throughout the collection is entirely unsparing, both of the vanished past and the vanishing present, but Atwood's prose is so sharp and sly that the effect is bracing rather than bleak * Guardian *
Atwood is as puckish as ever with these 'nine wicked tales' . . . 'Lusus Naturae' is a deliciously gothic treat in which the language is so rich you could lick it and 'The Freeze-Dried Groom' is a spine-tingling mini-thriller -- Marcus Field * Independent *
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Really enjoyed this take on fairy tales. I usually buy collections of short stories to read late at night when I can't sleep but don't want to get too engrossed in a long book. My strategy failed. I read... More
“Impish humour and eloquence turned to the various afflictions and (mis)adventures of old age, full of chuckle-worthy speculative elements.”
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