Moral Disorder: and Other Stories
As an avid Atwoodian, I was struck by the similar themes running through this collection of vignettes about girlhood and growing up, childhood perception, adulthood reflection, memory and aging that appear in her earlier work (Cat's Eye, Edible Woman, Wilderness Tips) because it seems like a return to previous ideas but from a different vantage point informed by the deaths of family members and one's own aging. At times the stories seem a...more
This was the first work by Atwood in a long time that wasn’t speculative fi...more
"I would have to go into the tunnel whether...more
As always when Atwood is involved, this book is both well-thought-out and well-written. There are no wasted words. Still, while I enjoyed the stories ov...more
Somehow this all works with Atwood's smooth handling, and as we read of the mostly trivial trials and tribulations that Nell faces, we...more
Reading Moral Disorder was a journey in itself; At first, I was very confused as to who was the character I was following and the discontinuities at each segment's end (but that's supposed to be part of the charm of the storyline and also indicative of a Margaret Atwood book).
Then, I transitioned into comfort - like Nell and Tig I felt as if I was a part of their mostly idyllic farm life, wan...more
What's the difference between a novel and a collection of short stories? When the stories are interconnected, and gradually tell the life of one woman, the difference becomes hard to describe. The sections in this book could have been chapters in a novel, but somehow, they clearly aren't. There is something self-contained in each one, a complete focus on each new story's subject. Perhaps one reads a novel more porously,...more
"I think of bad news as a huge bird, with the wings of a crow and the face of my Grade Four school teacher, sparse bun, rancid teeth, wrinkly frown, pursed mouth and all, sailing around the world under cover of darkness pleased to be the bearer of ill tidings, carrying a basket of rotten eggs, and knowing- as the sun comes up- exactly where to drop them. On me, for one."
I am amazed th...more
Some of the stories as stories are reasonably strong by themselves. The last two stories, "The Labrador Fiasco"...more
As well as sharing some of the same characters, there are a number of themes which weave in and out of the stories, joining some, skipping others. Early on the book seems to focus on us being 'good' or 'bad' because others want us to be these things, and how each of us, as the center of our own story, fails to see others clearly.
It figures that it is Ms. Atwood that gets me back into the swing. I finished this in two days; she has that way of casting a spell. I even told myself that I need to take a break from her, explore other options and talents. But she is impossible to resist.
That being said, this wasn't her best. The description is that of a book that, thr...more
I also very much enjoyed the format of the book. It took me a little while to get i...more
Margaret Atwood has expressed her social vision, played with narrative form, and written about enigmatic women, sexism, and family in more than 40 books, including the acclaimed The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye, and The Blind Assassin. Her newest collection contains the same dazzling intellect, writing, and suspense as her previous fiction, but critics call this semiautobiographical effort more compassionate, rich, and emotionally resonant. The stories embedded in this novel of sorts, far from bei...more
"bye-bye love, as in songs. All alone now. It was so sad. Why did such things have to disintegrate like that? Why did longing and desire, and friendliness and goodwill too, have to shatter into pieces? Why did they have to be so thoroughfully over?
I could make my...more
This book focuses on one woman, providing snipits of her life, from a young girl, through her relati...more
Partly because of reason #2: I am never convinced by books that try to condense an entire lifetim...more
Moral Disorder is a series of shorts stories that knit together the life of a female protagonist. The s...more
The cover describes it as a series of seminal moments in the lives of characters, which initially seemed like a very tired way of describing what a short story is supposed to accomplish anyway, but in this case actually had a deep...more
Throughout her writing career, Margaret Atwood has received numerous awards and honourary degrees. She is the author of more than thirty-five volumes of poetry, childr...more