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Bluebeard's Egg and Other Stories

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  4,328 ratings  ·  184 reviews
A man finds himself surrounded by women who are becoming paler, more silent and literally smaller; a woman's intimate life is strangely dominated by the fear of nuclear warfare; a melancholy teenage love is swept away by a hurricane, while a tired, middle-aged affection is rekindled by the spectacle of rare Jamaican birds...





In these exceptional short stories, by turns funn
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Paperback, 281 pages
Published 1996 by Vintage (first published 1983)
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Community Reviews

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Manny
How I saw Sex And The City 2 after reading Bluebeard's Egg

Carrie wonders why she's so unhappy. She's spent her life pursuing excess, and now she's acquired everything on her list. She's a famous writer. She shares a beautiful apartment in the best part of Manhattan with the handsome, successful man she spent years snaring into marriage. She's got a walk-in closet full of expensive designer shoes. She eats out most evenings at the city's finest restaurants, and attends its most exclusive parties.
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Madeline
If someone were to ask me to encapsulate Margaret Atwood's writing style in three sentences or less, I would show them the first two lines of the first story in Bluebeard's Egg:

"When my mother was very small, someone gave her a basket of baby chicks for Easter. They all died."

BOOM. Welcome to Margaret Atwood, motherfuckers. You're going to like it here. Oh, and happy Easter.

I've only read a few of Atwood's short story collections, and I never find them quite as satisfying as her novels - I pref
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Arun Divakar
There was once a request for a day's absence from office that went like this :

My wife delivered baby. As I am the only father, I request you to declare holiday today !!

This at a moment of insane happiness is what a father wrote to his boss asking for a day off ! What should ideally have been written as :

I am now a proud father. I would like to take a day off and spend time with my family in this time of happiness.

This became something totally different in the hands of another English user
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Jordan
I have only read the short story "BlueBeard's Egg" so far, here is what I thought.

Within the pages of “BlueBeard's Egg” by Margaret Atwood we are introduced into a world of metafiction and intertexuality. Atwood spins the retelling of the fairytale of BlueBeard's Egg for the reader. Atwood does this through the narration of the man character Sally. Atwood wanders down the path of the complexities of the ordinary life, through the inner narration of the main character Sally. Atwood's main lite
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abcdefg
If you're a woman, and you're having a shitty relationship with a man, this book will either depress the hell out of you or it will make you feel better to know that someone else knows how it feels to be a woman in a shitty relationship.

But not every story was centered around relationships between women and men. "Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother" and "Unearthing Suite" focus on parents seen through the eyes of their progeny. It's interesting to note how the entire book which largely
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Alaina
Point me to the nearest Lesbian Separatist Feminist Commune, will you? What a lot of heterosexual angst this book has. The male characters are cads and the women are in love with them and unhappy.

I realize this is a book of its time, and the stories are about realistic women in realistic situations, but it has not aged well. Or maybe I just don't care for Margaret Atwood's writing. All of the stories were depressing except the last one, which was more of a personal memory and very sweet and lov
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Amanda
I am soooooo happy right now. Not because the book is finally over, but because I am fulfilled by the very reading of it. This touching book is 13 of me. 13 beautiful, amazing, perfectly-shaped pictures of a woman I know as self and as friend and as human. Soft electric humanity. I. Love. It.
Regine
Atwood, I'm giving you another chance.
Ana Mardoll
Bluebeard's Egg / 0-385-49104-2

This collection of Atwood stories includes:

- Significant Moments in the Life of my Mother
- Hurricane Hazel
- Loulou
- Uglypuss
- Betty
- Bluebeard's Egg
- Spring Song of the Frogs
- Scarlet Ibis
- The Salt Garden
- The Sin Eater
- The Sunrise
- Unearthing Suite

Most of the stories revolve around the superb Atwood device of women in comfortable, "correct" lives, yet who are unbearably sad and alone. Many of these women have relationships outside of themselves - husbands, lover
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A.M.
Don't be fooled by the title, for these short stories aren't exactly reinterpretations of classic fairy tales - at least not in the same style as, say, Anne Sexton's Transformations. Atwood's collection is modern, and each story centers on male/female relations - often failed ones. "Puss in Boots" becomes "Uglypuss," with all of the sexual connotations such a name implies. Bluebeard's secret lies behind a door we don't wish to open.

Atwood's writing is so well-crafted. Perhaps it's the poet in he
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Jamie
This is only the second Atwood work I've read, though I've got several in the queue for possible use on my thesis. In comparison to The Handmaid's Tale (perhaps cliche, but that's where I got started), this collection of shorts certainly doesn't hold itself up too well. I enjoyed them quite a bit, but they were a bit inconsistent and somehow missing the magic I felt "THT" had. I think Atwood pinpoints the problem in the last story, when her narrator notes that "it will mean action, a thing I avo ...more
Sanni
En ollut aikaiseemin lukenut Atwoodilta novelleja, mutta mielestäni tämä novellikokoelma on toiseksi paras, mitä Atwoodilta olen lukenut. Heti Sokean surmaajan jälkeen tietysti.

Novellit ovat yhtä aikaa absurdeja ja arkisia ja ehkä sen takia onnistuvat tavoittamaan oudompia samaistuttavia tuntemuksia. Esimerkiksi Betty-novellissa kertoja tuntee huonoa omatuntoa siitä, että pitää karismaattisesta, tosin ilkeästä miehestä enemmän eikä tämän aina ystävällisestä ja herttaisesta vaimosta. Mikä tekee i
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Rocktopus
This is a difficult book to describe well. It is about women in heterosexual environments. Some of the characters are lovers/wives, sometimes they are women regarding the way that their mothers (or other women close to them) handle themselves. Some of them seem like they will be pathetic, but are actually very easy to sympathize with. Some of them are very strong and lovable, like LouLou and Yvonne and Emma. This book is about the frustrating (mainly crappy) relationships that they are in or nea ...more
Sarah
Atwood has a way of letting readers peer into her characters' minds as they go about their days. Nothing was extremely exciting or crazy but that's why I loved this collection of short stories- I have a thing for simplicity. I think it's something special when an author can make an average human into something interesting and unique, and it reminds me that everyone has a mind that is constantly thinking. I particularly enjoyed Bluebeard's Egg, The Salt Garden, and Significant Moments in the Life ...more
Matt Weber
The language and moment-to-moment observations in these stories are great, and there are some really creative characters (notably Loulou from "Loulou; or the Domestic Life of the Language"), but some aspects of these stories start to seem perverse after a bit. There is never any resolution, never even any particularly momentous action. These are quality problems in the sense that they're the problems of a thoughtful writer, but in resisting the deformations of storytelling convention, they make ...more
kate
sigh. this book is why there is a tv show about 1960s ad agencies in new york and not a tv show about 70s era canadian hippies. canadians aren't always terribly exciting and the me generation wasn't necessarily as earthshatteringly special as books like this would like you to think.

disconnected tales of disconnected souls in toronto, a city undesigned in order to be disconnecting and dislocated.

like most things canadian, it bashes capitalism and shies away from being blatantly sexy. I say this b
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Katie
How the heck does she do it? There are entire worlds in each story within this collection, and each one has something in it that speaks directly to my heart. Atwood is one of the only authors for whom I break out my highlighter--I know I will need to revisit certain passages. I want to copy them down on paper and give them to my loved ones: "Here, read this and understand me."
missy ward-lambert
This collection really, really hit me where I'm at.
Nicola Mansfield
I'll start off by admitting that I'm a great fan of Atwood's writing but absolutely cannot stand her as a person. This being her earlier work I expected to run into some of the vitriolic, man-hating feminism of hers that I can't tolerate. However, I only came to heads with her a couple of times. I found this collection quite satisfying. Due to my opinion of the author feel free to read my following comments with interest, amusement or offense. These are the thoughts that ran through my mind afte ...more
Jenee
The first story in this book mostly revolves around the narrators mother. Right off the bat you can tell there is a feminist undertone. But while super radical feminism can be annoying. I found this story and others to follow more inspiring and did not showcase viscous feminism but shed light upon realistic female struggles.
Atwood tells stories about a different time in history, when the roles of men and women differed drastically and a divide existed between the two sexes.
The Second story is ab
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Amit
I have been meaning to pick up Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assasin for a while, but for one reason or whim or another, I never have even started with it. Some of the reviews of this collection of short-stories by her, mention that it needs novel's length to really do justice to her writings. But to me, this collection of short stories looked alluring for precisely the fact that you don't need to invest lot of time with such a collection, unlike a novel.

I wasn't disappointed. Decidedly, none of t
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A.F.
My favorite, favorite book of her short stories, and my go-to book for comfort food. Favorite story: Significant Moments in the Life of My Mother. The stories here feel so much more tender than her later stories; more about being a woman than a feminist, although feminism still prevails; it's not as strident and overbearing as it is in The Handmaid's Tale.
Amy
I've tried to read this book at least three times. The first two stories are good, the third one annoys me. I don't know about any of the others because I have to read short stories in the order presented or something really bad might happen.
Jessica Cannon
A selection of excellent stories, neatly concise but with Atwood's characteristically evocative prose. She uses simple but perfect words to construct stories that sound as though each and every one of them might be secretly autobiographical. At the same time, they're strangely familiar. The first story in the text reminded me of my grandmother and her sister - getting drunk and sharing their stories. You can't put in requests for your favourite, but if the winds are blowing in the right directio ...more
Corielle
I normally don't like short stories. With the exception of horror stories, which don't really require it, I dislike them because there's so little characterization. You get a few pages to learn all you can about a person, and then it just cuts off. I want miles and miles of information about a person; their thoughts and habits and dreams and flaws and all the good stuff that makes me want to read a story.

Margaret Atwood is such a talented writer that she creates the opposite problem for me. She
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Monique
This is a fantastic set of short stories giving great insight into the themes of family life, domestic relationships and artistic practice that recur throughout Atwood's fiction. These stories are haunted with echoes of myth and fairytale. Through them we get a clearer idea of Atwood's own artistic practice and family life, giving a different weight to novels like Cats Eye. In this book of short stories we learn about the figure of the mother and Atwood's relationship to her, which remains large ...more
Κατερίνα Μαλακατέ

http://www.diavazontas.blogspot.gr/20...

Ο λόγος που αγόρασα κάποτε το «Bluebeard’s Egg» της Άτγουντ χάνεται στη λήθη, πιθανολογώ πως θα είχα πρόσφατο το «A Handmaid’s Tale» και θα μου γυάλισε. Εγώ τώρα άνθρωπος του διηγήματος – όσον αφορά το διάβασμα, γιατί το γράψιμο είναι άλλη ιστορία- δεν είμαι. Όμως δέκα μέρες στο κρεβάτι με οξεία οσφυαλγία, χιλιάδες αναλγητικά, ενέσεις στο τέλος πρωί-βράδυ (όχι δεν είμαι γκαντέμω που το έπαθα στις διακοπές μου, μην το σχολιάσετε καν) και το βιβλίο που έμει
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Sara
The life she's led up to now seems to her entirely crazed. How did she end up in this madhouse? By putting one foot in front of the other and never taking her eyes off her feet. You could end up anywhere that way."

Questa interessante raccolta di racconti più o meno brevi costituisce il mio primissimo incontro con la canadese Margaret Atwood che, probabilmente, circa due terzi della popolazione mondiale dei lettori conoscerà per il ben più noto romanzo “L’assasino cieco”. Avrei accettato di buo
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Wordwizard
Good! Lots of good moments. Obviously I liked some stories better than others--didn't really like anyone or see much point in the story about the street performer, his girlfriend, and the stolen cat. I think all the interesting thoughts in that could have been put into a story that was going someplace, not just sitting. Much the same reaction to "Sunrise," although I liked that one more. I think Atwood is great at writing these meditations and reveries and sometimes her stories are little else-- ...more
Chaitra
Margaret Atwood is a favorite novelist, but her short stories are hit or miss with me. This collection of stories is also a mixed bag. Atwood has lovely prose, that is not my qualm about this collection. It's just that her stories fizz out before making any cogent point. It still has a couple of lovely stories that are still with me: the titular Bluebeard's Egg being one of them. The heroine of the story is way too complacent about her slow but cute husband, and in the course of a party she real ...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
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More about Margaret Atwood...
The Handmaid's Tale Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) The Blind Assassin The Year of the Flood (MaddAddam, #2) Alias Grace

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“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” 1687 likes
“In theory I can do almost anything; certainly I have been told how. In practice I do as little as possible. I pretend to myself that I would be quite happy in a hermit's cave, living on gruel, if someone else would make the gruel. Gruel, like so many other things, is beyond me.” 10 likes
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