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Stone Mattress Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Sep 9 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: McClelland & Stewart; 1st edition (Sept. 9 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0771006802
  • ISBN-13: 978-0771006807
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.3 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #22,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

Praise for Margaret Atwood's previous book of short stories, Moral Disorder
 • "Sharply focused.... Rueful, wise, elegiac." Joyce Carol Oates, New York Review of Books
 • "Vintage Atwood -- sharp and skilled, with a razor wit and deep emotional core.... A vital, thrilling, deeply affecting work from one of Canada's finest writers." Ottawa Citizen

About the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD is the author of more than forty books -- novels, short stories, poetry, literary criticism, social history, and books for children. Atwood's work is acclaimed internationally and has been published around the world. Her novels include The Handmaid's Tale and Cat's Eye -- both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; The Robber Bride, winner of the Trillium Book Award and a finalist for the Governor General's Award; Alias Grace, winner of the prestigious Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy, and a finalist for the Governor General's Award, the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; The Blind Assassin, winner of the Booker Prize and a finalist for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and Oryx and Crake, a finalist for The Giller Prize, the Governor General's Award, the Orange Prize, and the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent books of fiction are Moral Disorder, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood. Margaret Atwood lives in Toronto with novelist Graeme Gibson. Visit www.margaretatwood.ca.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By ronbc TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 2 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Margaret Atwood has written about age and loss before, in both non-fiction -- going all the way back to SURVIVAL, of which aging is a subspecies -- and fiction, including the wonderful BLIND ASSASSIN.

In STONE MATTRESS, Atwood mixes comedy, sensitivity, satire, and realism in an engrossing anthology of short stories. Although one story is told more than once, and another recycles characters from an earlier book, each "tale" (her preferred word) stands on its own not so much as a revelation but as a reflection -- on life, on love, and on the endurance that it takes to pursue both.

I particularly liked the first and last stories. Vastly different, they share a humour that comes and can best be appreciated from the perspective of age, which inevitably increases both personal introspection and societal irrelevance. Irrelevance to the swirl of the more vital world outside, but intensely real and meaningful to the characters whose lives have retreated behind interior and/or exterior walls.

This is the work of a great writer, writing wisely, but never taking herself -- or the situations of her characters -- so seriously that the tales are overwhelmed by her own presence.

Well worth your reading time!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first few stories tell the same tale from the points of view of the different people involved. The other tales are stand-alone. The one I liked best was the tale on a ship on a tour of the Arctic and how a woman manages to murder someone she has an old score against. That was so thorough I think I would worry on one of those trips (kidding). As always, the writing and insights are top notch, of the whole book I only gave up on one story, hence the 4 rather than 5 stars.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a good collection of short stories. The first three connect nicely. The rest are not related to the first three. I enjoyed most of the shorts, especially the first three and the title story.
This is not my favourite work by the author, but very enjoyable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Couldn't wait to get my hands on this book; and I wasn't disappointed. Stories were dark and macabre but very very funny. Sorry, I am not a very articulate book reviewer; what I can say though is that .... I LOVED it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
But they don't fail Ms. Atwood.

I have read many of her works over the years, and I have always been a fan. But this collection is so full of heart, of loveable characters, of compelling themes, that it is my favourite.

My only criticism is that it ended.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hilarious in places, poignant, angry, frightening -- Atwood's best short story collection to date. The volume kicks off strong with a trilogy of stories and differing viewpoints around a failed relationship, then keeps right on going from strength to strength. The chilling title story in particular is strong enough to stick with you long after you put this book down. Brava, Margaret Atwood!
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Format: Hardcover
I have never read any of her works until I bought this book. A friend who is familiar with Atwood's works told me that her pieces seem to show a low opinion of humans because she frequently writes about the gruesome aspects of humanity and that the endings in her stories are often left on a bad note. I appreciate the fact that she does this (In this anthology, she does this in a witty and humorous manner). After reading her stories (in "the stone mattress"), I think one will know that although the characters are flawed (resulting in us possibly disliking them), their dysfunctional behaviour is derived from a desire to be loved and more importantly, to love others. I believe that humanity will empathize with this desire. Atwood makes this empathy within readers come more easily. If there is anything impressive I've seen from Atwood with regards to this book, it is her ability to make us empathize with the characters efforts to be happy despite placing them in an odd and magical setting.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My children ordered this accidentally, but I read it anyway. I didn't realize it was a short story book so I was a little confused but the stories were good and I'm glad I have it. I love Margaret Atwood's way of looking into people.
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