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Moral Disorder

3.63  ·  Rating Details ·  7,884 Ratings  ·  819 Reviews
Alternate Cover Edition of ISBN # - 9781844080335
Mass Market Paperback, 260 pages
Published 2007 by Virago (first published September 4th 2006)
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Mar 04, 2008 Ellen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It's me, not you, I want to apologize to Margaret Atwood. One of my all-time favorite authors, who I consider one of my oldest and best friends, although we've never met. I have fallen out of love with her. I confess to not having finished the book. This is unheard of, like not having a second slice of pizza. I won't go as far as to say there is a sense of stagnation in the stories. Perhaps she has all too successfully evoked the ennui of average life. Attempting a committed and thorough read, I ...more
Apr 06, 2009 Marigold rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
Margaret Atwood = writer I am most intimidated yet inspired by. These short stories form a semi-autobiographical sketch about a woman, Nell, from childhood through into her 60's, but are not in chronological order. The stories focus on her relationships with her parents, husband, sister, husband's ex-wife, and more. It's like getting a box of really cool photographs of someone you don't know, & their family, & you're trying to piece together their story from the photos & figure out w ...more
May 22, 2007 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I noticed some reveiws are not so favorable for this book.
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
Stephen Durrant
Does anyone write crisper, cleaner English than Margaret Atwood? A few hundred of her sentences per day might help all of us write better. So, on the level of language, no complaints! In other ways, though, this is an uneven collection. It begins brilliantly and ends well, but the middle sections about the narrator and her life with Tig in the countryside just did not engage me. The problem may arise in part from the somewhat ambiguous nature of this book. Is it a collection of short stories or ...more
Jennifer Barrett
I chose to read Moral Disorder for my next Atwood book because it was a book of short stories. I thought it would be a good decision as it would be easy to read during my sporadic down time. I will not go so far as to say that Atwood deceived me, however after the third story I realized how truly misinformed I had been. The picturesque narrative of a woman’s life bounds along seamlessly with ever-changing perspective from first to third person views and makes the book impossible to put down.
Aug 04, 2014 Stela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

While reading Margaret Atwood’s Moral Disorder I kept remembering William Burroughs’s wish that his Naked Lunch be read in any order and direction. In his case, it was an attempt to challenge the narrative by denying chronology – no event could pretend to have happened before or after another.

There is a similar attempt towards the dissolution of the novel In Margaret Atwood’s book, for every “chapter” can also be read independently, but in this case more as a suggestion that life is a series of
Jun 01, 2015 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is described as a collection of short stories but it is actually a series of portraits of one person. So although you could, you wouldn’t really want to read them out of order. They chronicle the life of Nell (though we don’t know her name for the first part of the book as it’s written in the first person), with Atwood’s usual sharp observations and dry wit.

Nell was born in the thirties and grew up well before the social changes of the sixties, so is a bit uncomfortable with them. In one ea
Jun 21, 2014 Inaniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Atwood ever. I'm surprised how much I like this book. It's a collection of quite wonderful short stories which all belong together and tell episodes from the life of Nell. Every story has a different atmosphere. I enjoyed her writing so much that after finishing the last story I started again with the first one just to see wether the reading would feel different with having in mind the other stories. Highly recommended.
Mar 11, 2017 bookfetisher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own

A collection of short-stories written by our own Atwood, has 11 connected stories showing different times of a family. Their pains, struggles through a female protagonist, Nell. The last story is supposed to be her own and not connected to others.

The Bad News is the present of our Protagonist where she is an old woman and her husband Tig, who too is old and seen sharing talks on the news in the newspaper and Nell reflects on how they have grown used to each other's habit which chang
Holley Rubinsky
Published in 2006, the stories in Moral Disorder must be Margaret Atwood's fictional autobiography of her childhood. I loved this book when I realized that this recollection of experiences was her take on that part of her life. Atwood these days can seem very remote, a distant star, yet these stories take the reader into the heart and, even more exciting, the mind and insights of a bright, bright child. Her character, unnamed in the intimate first-person narratives, writes at the end of the capt ...more
I did not like these stories much. They are too disjointed for me to follow easily but the biggest annoyance for me was the character of Nell. She was just one of those creations that drove me crazy. Her attitudes to life and other people were frustrating for me, I did actually spend a bit of time yelling at a fictional person I got so irked.
May 07, 2014 Yani rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mi primer encuentro con esta autora no estuvo mal. Si bien no fue para cinco estrellas, un 3.5 definiría mejor este libro tan peculiar que contiene esbozos de temas muy interesantes de género e historias que pueden arrancar lágrimas.

El libro cuenta la vida de Nell y la divide en relatos que abren y cierran un episodio. Trazan un eje entre ellos y permiten saltos temporales y espaciales, que constituyen una especie de biografía no-cronológica del personaje. Nell es una mujer que atraviesa las et
Mar 04, 2008 Marissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
Margaret Atwood is of course, as we all know, awesome sauce. This was definitely a work in a different vein than her science fiction stuff, but it has the same dark, menacing tone that she does so well. You can feel her subconscious twisting these stories out, which are unsettlingly mundane. The book reminded me about the vague, intuitive terror of adulthood and the passing of time that I feel the edge of almost all the time these days. Here's a quote:

"I would have to go into the tunnel whether
Emily Rae
Atwood has a beautiful way of describing life and its experiences so accurately. On the first page she writes,

"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
FU GR app for losing my review. It was one of the best reviews I've ever written and I'm too lazy (and forgetful) to recreate it. So I guess, also, FU me for being lazy and forgetful. Anyway, this book is a great representative of Margaret Atwood's writing. She is the best best writer of the human psyche as I've experienced it. I was saying how I feel sorry for her characters for never ending up happy, but even still, I love how she can express a human in the most beautiful complicated labyrinth ...more
The Brain in the Jar
I’m not sure how to react this. This shouldn’t happen. Moral Disorder is part of a literary movement that’s close to me. Stories about the daily lives of people grab me like no other. I can forgive many flaws – lack of characters, lack of narrative structure – if the events are vivid enough.

Something about this literature is so lifelike. The grandmaster, Raymond Carver, didn’t have in-depth psychology and his stories rarely concludd. Yet his prose felt so intimate. He made you feel like you’re a
Mary Soderstrom
Jul 16, 2014 Mary Soderstrom rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
During our recent trip to Europe, I thought about books a lot. Margaret Atwood's short story collection Moral Disorder was one that kept coming to mind after a day spent in the 1800 year old Roman ruins at Conínbriga, Portugal.

These stories are about the best things Atwood has written in a couple of decades, in my opinion. She opens herself up as she has rarely, writing about people who are very much like herself and her family. At first the reader may think the stories are unrelated, but each
Evanston Public  Library
Margaret Atwood has a clever way of moving through the decades in this collection of related stories. The recurring main character, Nell, is a little girl anxious about the impending birth of a sibling in the 30s, a teenager just realizing that she's miles ahead of her boyfriend in intelligence and maturity in the 50s, a slightly rootless young woman in the 90s.
Somehow this all works with Atwood's smooth handling, and as we read of the mostly trivial trials and tribulations that Nell faces, we
Dec 03, 2009 Michael rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book should have been subtitled: "Sh!t happens."

A collection of short stories about a woman from childhood to old age, this book touches into Nell's life at odd, disjointed moments, usually as she is going through the worst periods of her life. Dealing with fear, pain, anxiety, depression, sickness, we miss out on all the good moments of falling in love and joy. Without that connective tissue, it's hard to care what happens to her.

Which is not to say that it is without merit. Atwood is a di
Mar 26, 2014 Akshay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There is no denying that Margaret Atwood is a fine writer. "Moral Disorder" is funny and touching and it provides an insight into domestic family life in all its horrors. As in a photograph album, time is measured in sharp, clearly observed moments. She entices readers to flip through the photo album of a Canadian woman who closely resembles herself. The writer takes the reader along on an emotional journey through loneliness, love, loss and old age. The secret resentments and alignments--diffic ...more
What a wonderful read! If you haven't noticed, I've been on a bit of an Atwood kick lately, and while this one is very different than her dystopian novels I've been reading, I absolutely LOVE getting lost in the lush prose word forests of such an incredible mind.

This short story collection features snippets of one woman's life told in marvelous details that skip across time, just like memories do. However, they also fit together and tell a larger story: one of being incredibly human, full of los
Dec 04, 2013 Guilie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first non-dystopia I read from Margaret Atwood, and I loved it. A collection of short stories that tell a whole story with Atwood's trademark incision into the nature of human conflict. Descriptions cut to the chase and build onto the story's mood. Each story stands poignantly alone, and yet at the end of each you're so glad there's more coming--except at the last one, which made me turn back and reread the whole thing again. I suspect I'll be doing that more often.
Jan 19, 2016 fiona rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was amazing. i adored the way this author's voice expanded the writing style we are usually faced in family and life based novels. she gave it something amazing as she approached it with her specific tone. i enjoyed this book so much and i can't wait to dive more into this attwood way of looking and feeling
Sep 04, 2013 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to these short stories in the car after dropping my youngest daughter off at college. It was a perfect match for my emotional mother heart.

These are family stories, I believe they must be autobiographical. My favorite was about the elderly realtor.

Themes: marriage, sisters, attempts at farming.
Mar 14, 2014 MKTH rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Best (or critically important to the text) Quotes:

"They always want to kill the leaders. With the best of intentions, or so they claim. The leaders have the best of intentions as well. The leaders stand in the spotlight, the killers aim from the dark; it’s easy to score."

"Once, this might have been an argument. Now it’s a pastime, like gin rummy."

"eerie politeness"

"On the other hand, it’s his general view that Rome is going to hell in a handcart, and I’ve noticed that most retired men feel like
Feb 19, 2017 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Moral Disorder" is a collection of short stories by Margaret Atwood published in 2006. While well aware of the author and her many works, this is my first experience with her writing. My interest in short stories for entertainment, as well as for craft, led me to this collection. I am humbled by the breadth and depth so artfully encompassed in such short works of fiction. Visit "What She's Reading" where I comment only on the first story, "The Bad News" ...more
Feb 28, 2017 Ellen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
May 01, 2016 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moral Disorder and Other Stories by Margaret Atwood is a gem of a book and was headed for five stars from me until the very last story. The inside sleeve blurb says:
"By turns funny, lyrical, incisive, tragic, earth, shocking, and deeply personal, Moral Disorder and Other Stories displays Atwood's celebrated storytelling gifts and unmistakable style to their best advantage. "The Bad News" is set in the present, as a couple no longer young situate themselves in a larger world no longer safe. The n
Oct 15, 2014 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"These are the tenses that define us now: past tense, back then; future tense, not yet. We live in the small window between them, the space we've only recently come to think of as still, and really it's no smaller than anyone else's window." (p. 4)

"I hadn't yet discovered that I lived in a sort of transparent balloon, drifting over the world without making much contact with it, and the people I knew appeared to me at a different angle from the one at which they appeared to themselves; and the re
This book is, to my mind, a model of what a linked short story collection should be. 1. Each of the stories can stand on its own. None read like fragments of a larger story. 2. Yet, the collection as a whole has a sense of continuity and wholeness. The whole is something more than the sum of its parts. 3. Finally, there’s a reason why it’s a short story collection rather than a novel. It focuses on the life of a single character (Nell), but in tracing that life through short stories, Atwood is a ...more
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Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa and grew up in northern Ontario, Quebec, and Toronto. She received her undergraduate degree from Victoria College at the University of Toronto and her master's degree from Radcliffe College.

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 about Margaret Atwood...

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“In the end, we'll all become stories.” 74 likes
“She wasn't ready to settle down, she told her friends. That was one way of putting it. Another was would have been that she had not found anyone to settle down with. There had been several men in her life, but they hadn't been convincing. They'd been somewhat like her table - quickly acquired, brightened up a little, but temporary. The time for that kind of thing was running out, however. She was tired of renting.” 64 likes
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